DALLAS – Not even a full lineup could save the Mavericks Tuesday night.
With everyone suited up, it wasn’t near enough as the Cleveland Cavaliers dismantled Dallas 127-94 in the first of the Mavericks’ five-game homestand.
All five starters for the Cavs (41-25) scored at least 17 points while four scored 20 or more.
LeBron James led all scorers with 27 on 10 of 14 shooting to go along with seven boards and eight dimes, as he became the all-time career assists leader in Cleveland history. Kyrie Irving added 22, J.R. Smith and Kevin Love had 21 apiece and Timofey Mozgov dished in 17.
“Can’t remember another game where we came out there and took an L like that,” Chandler Parsons said. “We have one of the most talented teams in the NBA, we’re just not playing like it.”
“We have an understanding that the [Western] conference is so competitive and so close that in two weeks we could be the 3-seed and two weeks we could be the 10th seed so obviously we know that in the back of our minds, but we control our own destiny and just have to get it together and finish these last games strong and be playing our best basketball going into the playoffs.”
The Mavericks (41-25) led 31-26 after one after they finished the final six minutes of the quarter on a 19-6 run. Parsons scored early and often in the quarter for a team-high 10 points.
Cleveland scored the first seven points before Parsons keyed a 10-0 run, personally scoring eight.
But Dallas struggled to find any sort of rhythm the next 36 minutes.
The Cavs outscored the Mavericks 41-22 in the second quarter and took a 14-point lead into the break. James led with 17 first-half points while Smith and Irving chipped in 16 apiece. Cleveland shot 52.3 percent to Dallas’ 40 percent and was +18 from behind the arc.
Dallas’ woes continued after halftime, falling 32-23 in the third and could never make any sort of run during the fourth quarter.
“After the first quarter, it was our worst performance of the year, just flat out. We just did a horrible job and I’m taking full responsibility for what happened the last three quarters,” Rick Carlisle said.
“We got a little lucky in the first quarter, we got some breaks. From then on, 41 points in the second quarter, too many breakdowns, too many lack of concentration mistakes that are just normally beneath who we are but it’s on me and I’m sick to my stomach about this.”
NOTE: Dirk was 6 of 7 from the line and has 6,703 career free throws made, 10 shy of passing Kareem and Dolph Schayes for ninth in NBA history…Shawn Marion, who didn’t play, made his return to Dallas after spending the previous five seasons with the Mavs…A video tribute was played on the jumbotron between the first and second quarter for his time with Dallas….Al-Farouq injured his shoulder in the first half after colliding with J.R. Smith…Aminu would leave the bench for the locker room, return, then leave again before being ruled out…15 points from Amar’e marks his Mavs high (previous- 14 twice)…Dallas moves to 14-6 when Parsons scores 18 or more…Tyson Chandler finished with nine points and 10 boards, one point shy of his 26th double-double of the year…It also marks the 40th time Chandler has grabbed 10 or more rebounds in a game…Tonight’s attendace was 20,501…Dallas has now sold out 546 consecutive regular-season games at American Airlines Center, which is an NBA-best sellout streak (it started Dec 15, 2001 and Dallas has sold out an additional 63 playoff games during that span).
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