Post-mortem: Mavs 102, Cavs 95
The bad: No Nowitzki? No problem. The Cavs couldn't take advantage of a Dallas team without its leading scorer and opens its four-game Western swing with a loss. While Nowitzki sat in street clothes on the bench with an elbow laceration, Tim Thomas filled in for him and tried his best to match the German's almost-27 point scoring average. Thomas poured in 22 and grabbed seven rebounds in relief. Had they been able to put any kind of clamps on him, the Cavs had a chance to win this one.
The ugly: The lack of defense in the second half. Dallas shot a mere 40 percent in the first half, but over 55 percent in the second, outscoring the Cavs 50-45 in the final two quarters. The allowed the Mavericks to bury them with timely shooting in the fourth quarter, especially from the three-point line as Jason Kidd stole back some momentum with a trey at 4:31 in the fourth quarter.
Game: Cavs at Mavericks Broadcast:
TV: FSOhio Radio: WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM).
Cavs: LeBron James (F); J.J. Hickson(F); Shaquille O'Neal (C); Anthony Parker (G); Mo Williams (G). Mavericks: Shawn Marion (F); Tim Thomas (F); Erick Dampier (C); Jose Juan Barea (G); Jason Kidd (G).
Cavs: Leon Powe (knee surgery) - OUT, Jamario Moon (undetermined) - OUT; Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki (elbow laceration) - OUT.
Officials: Eddie Rush, Pat Fraher and Haywoode Workman.
The Cavs will not have to face the Mavericks' uber forward Dirk Nowitzki tonight. The team' s leading scorer suffered an elbow laceration after elbowing the Houston Rockets' Carl Landry the other night, getting some of Landry's teeth embedded there. The Mavs will have to rely on Tim Thomas to come off the bench and replace some of those 27 points.
The Cavs, thus far this season, are 7-2 against Western Conference teams, including a win versus the Mavericks at Quicken Loans Arena back on November 28. They jumped on the Mavs early taking a 68-55. halftime lead before eventually going on to win 111-95. LeBron James had 25 points and 12 assists in that game. Delonte West added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Misc.: Tonight is LeBron James 500th game as a Cavalier...The Cavs are 7-2 versus the Western Conference.