After a bad road loss to the Spurs on Monday, the Cavs(18-11) got back at it in Dallas against the Mavericks(14-14) on Wednesday night.
The Cavs played one of its better games of the season as they led the Mavs from start to finish and defeated them 105-90 at American Airlines Center.
Cleveland had six players in double figures, including all five starters, and with the win, the Cavs ended their three-game road losing streak.
Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ big win over the Mavs.
Donovan Mitchell, who lost to the Mavs as a member of the Jazz in the first round of the playoffs last season, was on fire Wednesday night, especially in the first half, where he scored 27 points on 10/12 shooting, including 5/6 from deep. Mitchell finished the game with 34 points(13/20 FG, 6/9 3-pt FG).
Lamar Stevens was also big for the Cavs. He had a season-high 18 points and a career-high tying 11 rebounds. Stevens did it on both ends on Wednesday night as he helped limit Luka Doncic to 9/23 from the field. The last four times, including Wednesday, Stevens scored in double figures, the Cavs have won.
Second Quarter: This is where Mitchell and the Cavs took over the game. After leading by as many as 14 in the first quarter, the Mavs cut the lead to 34-30 in the second quarter. From there, the Cavs went on a 17-0 run to take a 21-point lead. Mitchell scored 10 of his 17 second-quarter points(6/6 FG. 5/5 3-PT FG) during that run.
Dallas cut the lead to nine in the third and fourth quarters, but they could not get any closer. The Cavs were in control after that 17-0 run.
Defense: Cleveland brought great defensive energy. They held the Mavs to 90 points on 39% shooting. The Mavs had a hard time scoring against the Cavs’ long frontline of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
Not So Great:
It’s hard to put anybody on this list, but Darius Garland would be the guy if we were. He was just 4/11 from the field and finished with 12 points and six assists. Garland continues to be an All-Star at home and is just okay on the road.
Great road win for the Cavs, and it was clear from the start that they were a different team than what we saw against the Spurs.
This is how a good team responds, and the Cavs, despite their road struggles(6-9), are a good team. In addition, the Mavericks are an excellent home team(11-5), so winning in Dallas is not easy.
Now they head home for six games with an opportunity to put some wins together.
The Cavs return home on Friday night to face the Indiana Pacers as they begin a six-game homestand.
Best of the Rest:
Mobley and Allen had 14 points apiece. Mobley added seven rebounds and six assists.
Cleveland has won 14 games by double-digits this season.
Doncic led the Mavericks with 30 points (10-11 FT), 5 rebounds and 6 assists tonight. Dončić passed Mark Aguirre (34 games, 11/22/83 – 2/1/84) for the franchise record in consecutive 20-point games with his 35th straight.
Stevens received the “Junkyard Dog” award for his performance against the Mavs.