Ellis, Marion lead Mavericks past Cavaliers 102-97
Monta Ellis scored 22 points, Shawn Marion added 18 and the Dallas Mavericks held off a late Cleveland rally to beat the Cavaliers 102-97 on Monday.
Cleveland roared back from a 24-point deficit in the first half and trailed by three with 2.8 seconds remaining, but the Cavaliers were called for a five-second violation when Jarrett Jack failed to get the ball inbounds. Ellis put the game away with two free throws with 1.1 seconds left.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 26 points. Luol Deng, acquired from Chicago on Jan. 7, scored 20 points in his first home game with the Cavaliers while Anderson Varejao had 18 points with 21 rebounds.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points and DeJuan Blair added 13 for the Mavericks, who had six players in double figures.
Dallas built a 59-35 lead late in the second quarter and maintained a double-figure lead for most of the second half before the Cavaliers rallied. Cleveland cut the lead into single figures early in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers got the lead to 91-89 on Deng's 3-pointer, but Irving missed a jumper and a 3-point attempt on the same possession when Cleveland had a chance to tie or take the lead.
A basket and two free throws by Ellis followed by Marion's steal and score pushed the lead to 97-90 with 1:35 to play. Cleveland cut the lead to 98-95, but two free throws by Jose Calderon with 11.1 seconds remaining pushed the lead to five. Varejao's basket with 5.7 left made it 100-97.
Ellis missed two free throws with 2.8 seconds left and gave Cleveland one last chance, but Jack couldn't find anyone open after a timeout for a costly turnover. Ellis finally put the game away with two free throws.
The Mavericks played as if they had a point to prove after a lopsided loss at home to Portland on Saturday, a defeat coach Rick Carlisle called "beyond embarrassing." Dallas trailed by 38 points early in the fourth quarter before their reserves made the score a somewhat respectable a 127-111 final.
The Cavaliers went 3-2 on a road trip to the west coast but struggled in the first game of five straight at home. Cleveland led briefly in the first quarter, but couldn't keep up with the hot-shooting Mavericks.
Dallas used a 9-0 run late in the first quarter to break a 21-all tie. The Mavericks padded the margin in the second quarter and went ahead 51-33 at the 2:27 mark. Dallas shot 55 percent from the field in the first half and took a 59-37 lead into the locker room.
Marion and Blair both made all five of their shots in the first half. Marion scored 14 points while Blair had 11. Marion made his first shot of the third quarter before finally missing a 3-point attempt from the corner. He scored three points and made only one of six shots against Portland.
Blair missed his first shot attempt in the third quarter and was hit with a technical later in the period after being called for a foul while trying to grab a rebound.
Irving scored 18 points in the third quarter and Cleveland cut the lead to 75-65.
Deng, a two-time All-Star, will face the Bulls for the first time since the trade on Wednesday. Cleveland is 3-3 with Deng in the lineup.
Mavericks center Samuel Dalembert left the game early in the third quarter with a strained left shoulder. He was taken to the locker room and didn't return.
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