Dallas Mavericks Lose Steam Late In Tough Loss To Cavaliers
By Emmanuel Dixon
A late push by the Dallas Mavericks falls short as they lose to the Cleveland Cavaliers 111-104.
Nearly halfway through a daunting November schedule, the Dallas Mavericks find themselves slipping further in league standings.
Dallas held its own for much of the game, but a few miscues late in the fourth quarter led to a 111-104 loss at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
A game that featured 13 lead changes was decided in the final two minutes. Dallas (2-11) once held a 10-point advantage and even led midway through the final period. However, missed layups by Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr., along with defensive lapses resulting in a breakaway dunk by LeBron James and an and-1 by Kyle Korver proved to be the deciding factors.
Even in a loss, the Mavs showed that they can hang with most opponents.
Harrison Barnes — who played majority of the game at power forward — had a team-high 23 points and 11 rebounds in 39 minutes. After struggling to get in rhythm early in the season, the talented swingman has slowly returned to the level of productivity he displayed last season.
Dennis Smith Jr. (21), Dirk Nowitzki (14) and Wes Matthews (12) each stepped up in key moments of the fourth quarter.
Smith Jr. pushed the pace, keeping Cleveland backpedaling on defense. Nowitzki hit open jumpers and blocked a Jae Crowder layup. Matthews defended LeBron James as well as one can hope to.
While Nerlens Noel slips further into the abyss, Dwight Powell was impressive tonight, grabbing eight rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench.
Traveling to Oklahoma City Sunday, Dallas will have an opportunity to replicate tonight’s effort. Taking on a revamped, yet struggling Thunder team in search of continuity, presents another test for the Mavs.
Next: Dwyane Wade Talks About His Free Throws in 2006 NBA Finals
Having the worst record in the NBA is not something most MFFL’s can stomach. For others, the pain is necessary — banking on a coveted 2018 top-5 lottery pick. In any case, as bleak as this season has been, the future is indeed bright.