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Mavericks Avoid Embarrassing Loss With 99-96 Victory

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Having set a single-season league record for consecutive losses, the Cleveland Cavaliers tried to avoid surpassing the franchise’s own all-time league mark Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks.  They were unable to avoid history as they lost to the Mavericks, 99-96.  The 25 straight defeats surpass the overall NBA record, set by the Cavs from March 19-November 5, 1982.  The Cavs had the ball with 10 seconds to go and took a tough pull-up three, rebounded the ball and scrambled around as the clock ran out.

With the victory against Cleveland, the Mavericks recorded their ninth consecutive win.  It marks the longest active win streak in the NBA (Miami has won five straight).  It’s the Mavericks’ second-longest win streak of the season (won 12 straight from November 20-December 11).  They have now won 10 of their last 11 games, after they lost six straight from January 6-January 17. 

Jason Terry scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to make sure the home team avoided the being the team that was Cleveland's streak-buster.  Terry's first basket of the game gave him sole possession of 114th place on the All-Time Scoring List over Shareef Abdur-Rahim.  Shawn Marion, Terry's running mate off of the bench, chipped in 17 points in the victory.  The bench was a huge factor in the victory for the Mavericks.

The Mavericks have won 15 of the last 21 regular season meetings with the Cavaliers.  Dallas has won nine of the last 11 match-ups with Cleveland at home.  With the victory, the Mavericks swept the Cavaliers (2-0) in the regular season.  The Mavericks have now swept six Eastern Conference teams (Cleveland, Charlotte, Boston, Atlanta, New Jersey and Miami).  They have also been swept by two (Chicago and Milwaukee). Overall, Dallas is 17-8 against the Eastern Conference.

Did THAT Just Happen?!

- The Mavericks had to deal with two injuries to their starters within the first quarter of the game.  DeShawn Stevenson went down in the first quarter as he ran into a screen by a Cavaliers player.  He left the game momentarily with a shoulder contusion.  The more dramatic injury came when Dirk Nowitzki appeared to jam his right wrist.  Nowitzki was clenching the hand for the final minute of the first quarter.  Afterward, he went straight towards Head Athletic Trainer Casey Smith, giving teammates fives with his non-shooting hand on the way.  He went to the locker room for x-rays and they came back negative.  

- Peja Stojakovic was able to have the chance to get the rust off quickly as he was inserted into the starting lineup.  The Mavericks have used 14 different starting lineups and have used 11 different lineups in the last 22 games.  Stojakovic played just under 19 minutes and the minutes came in big stretches.  He did not play in the final quarter.  For a guy that has been out late November, he looked pretty good and looked settled in while the Mavericks were on offense.  He did only shoot 33% from the field, but his jumper should come around in due time.  Stojakovic hit one three-point basket and tied Dale Ellis on the All-Time List for three-pointers made (1719).  His next made three-point basket will place him behind Jason Kidd on the list.

- The overall intensity on the defensive end of the quarter was severely lacking.  The Cavaliers scored 34 fast-break points.  Most of those points came from Ramon Sessions as he was able to get to the rim at will.  He scored 19 points on 6-12 shooting from the field.

- Brendan Haywood got his second Did Not Play - Coach's Decision of the season, the previous one came on December 30, 2010 against the San Antonio Spurs.  Instead, Ian Mahinmi got the backup center minutes and played just over 20 minutes.  Mahinmi's season-high in minutes played is currently at 21 minutes.  The Frenchman's energy on both ends of the floor proved to be a major factor in the victory for the Mavs.

- Ryan Hollins had an interesting night.  First, he attempted a clothesline on Tyson Chandler that would impress a WWE Scout.  As a follow-up, Hollins was in a jump-ball situation with Jason Terry and proceeded to lose the tip.  The young center quickly turned into a fan-favorite for the Mavs while he was on the team in 2008-2009 with his leaping ability and energy.  Those feelings have quickly turned sour as he always finds himself in an altercation when going up against his former team.

- The physicality continued as Dirk Nowitzki and Ramon Sessions got into a minor altercation during the game.  Sessions was dribbling around the perimeter and proceeded to bump into Nowitzki.  The Mavs forward lunged awkwardly at Sessions with his arm, but didn't make contact.  Nowitzki was called for a blocking foul as the two got tangled up.  The Mavericks felt that Sessions was the instigator of the situation as he led with his elbow into Nowitzki and that led to Nowitzki's reaction towards Sessions.  After the game, Sessions said that Nowitzki threw a punch at Nowitzki.  The Mavericks forward said it was nothing and that he did not throw a punch.


Box Score Revelations

- The Mavs bench scored 60 of the 99 points in the game.  It marked the second highest scoring performance for the bench, they scored 63 against the LA Clippers on January 25.  It was clearly a one-sided fight as the Cavaliers bench only scored 11 points.  Dallas had three bench players score in double figures.  On the other hand, Cleveland had only three bench players score in the game.  The leading scorer off the bench for Cleveland was Ryan Hollins with five points.

- Tyson Chandler recorded another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.  Shawn Marion added his own double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds.  It was the fifth double-double of the season and the Mavericks have a record of 4-1 when Marion nabs a double-double.

- Jason Kidd and JJ Barea combined for 15 assists, three more than the entire Cavaliers team.

- Dirk Nowitzki had a quiet night from the field and it appeared that he was used more as a decoy after returning from the locker room with his injury.  He shot 5-11 from the field and scored 12 points.  He had six rebounds and five turnovers.  He did look tentative for the remainder of the game with his jammed wrist.

- Antawn Jamison is quite the player and that should not be taken as a compliment.  The former Maverick made sure to attempt as many three-point attempts as he possibly could.  He went 1-6 from beyond the arc and went 8-23 over the course of the game.  The 23 field goal attempts were a game-high.


Tweetings From the Mavs Universe

- "Mavs go to Peja on his first possession. He has 16-footer roll off rim. Clearly doesn't have it anymore."


- "Dirk Nowitzki jammed his right wrist, but just re-entered the game. Will it affect his shooting?"

@PDcavsinsider (he was certainly hoping so, dying for a win)

- "I think more Cavs fans want a flagrant and ejection on Hollins than Mavs fans do"


- "Peja first mav on floor after halftime. Ryan hollins is on the cavs side practicing karate"



If You Don't Like What I Said, Read What They Said

- Rick Carlisle on how his team played, "Inconsistent.  There were times when we were real good, but our energy to start the game was not where it needed to be.  We had too many variations on it.  That’s why we were so poor on the transition defense.  They had 34 points on the break, which is a staggering number.  That’s disappointing, but I’m glad we won.  We took some steps back tonight,"

- Dirk Nowitzki on the Injury, "Just got caught the wrong way there. I was boxing our and somebody got pushed, and I just got caught in the air at the wrong angle," Nowitzki said of the injury. "I took some X-rays, they were negative. So, it will be better from day to day."

- Rick Carlisle on Peja Stojakovic, "I was very pleased with his conditioning.  He’s been working the last 10 days extremely hard.  Really, it’s been a training camp of sorts, double sessions, a lot of work on conditioning, defensive stuff, offensive stuff.  NBA games are hard to simulate, but they did a good job of simulating it because he didn’t look particularly winded."

- Peja Stojakovic on the looks he was getting early in the game, "It was too good of shots.  I was probably more think how I was gonna fit into the offense, but playing with those guys it was easy."

- Peja Stojakovic on how he's feeling after the game, "Physically, I felt pretty good.  My knee felt alright, that was my main concern getting into this game. "

- Rick Carlisle on Ian Mahinmi, ""He was by far our best player.  He was doing the things consistently that we needed to be doing as a team all night which was being extremely alert, being ready to react and respond, quick to the ball, willing to take charges, those kinds of things.  He played a great game."

- Ian Mahinmi on his approach to the game, ""Every time I get on the court, my first thing is to bring energy.  I’ve got to play the game with a lot of energy, rebound the ball, play good defense and then the offense comes.  The more you feel comfortable, the rest will come."

- Dirk Nowitzki on Cleveland, "Once you’re in a little funk — I was in it my first two years — it almost seems like you find a way to lose.  And that last possession was a perfect example.  They didn’t even get a second shot up there,"


BG's Baller of the Game:

Baller status has been granted to Ian Mahinmi.  Rick Carlisle used the energy card in the form of the French center.  The Mavericks needed everything Mahinmi gave them over the course of the game.  He showed aggression on both ends of the floor while still playing under control.  The Mavs might have a problem with Haywood, but Mahinmi has truly been a luxury for the Mavericks as he has maintained the ability to stay sharp and stay ready to play whenever the coach calls on him.



The Mavericks had a quick cup of coffee with their one game home-stand.  Now, Dallas will hit the road for the rest of the week.  The first stop on the three game road trip will have them land in the capital of California, Sacramento as they take on the Kings on Wednesday night.  If you remember, the Mavericks had a squeak out a win against the Kings to extend their winning streak to nine games in early December.  Dallas had to grind out the closing moments of the game using a 15-4 run over the final 5:24 to secure the 105-103 victory.  The boys in blue have won seven straight games against the Sacramento Kings.  The game will tip off in Sacramento at 9:00 pm CST.


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