Mavericks 114, Cavaliers 98
CLEVELAND (AP)—The Dallas Mavericks made their long shots, their short ones and just about everything in between.
Once they heat up, there isn’t much a defense can do but watch—and wish.
“All you can do is hope they miss,” LeBron James said. “And they didn’t.”
Scott Williams scored 16 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field in the 14-year veteran’s first start for Dallas, which signed him off waivers last month from Phoenix.
“We’re not going to shoot poorly every night,” Nash said. “When we find the open guy, I’ll take our chances. Tonight, the shots were falling for us again. They usually do.”
The Mavericks had seven players score in double figures for the second time this season. Dallas is 14-4 since Jan. 12.
Cavs coach Paul Silas feared the Mavs’ firepower, and they displayed all of their offensive weapons. The league’s second-highest scoring team blew it open in the third quarter, extending a 10-point halftime lead to 18.
“They were on fire,” Silas said. “Unlike last night, when they couldn’t make a shot, they made everything. When they’re shooting like that, it’s tough.”
Cleveland entered the game as the NBA’s top rebounding team, but the Mavericks outworked the Cavs underneath and outrebounded them 53-40—18-9 on the offensive end.
“We knew they were No. 1 (in rebounding) coming in,” Williams said. “We had to crash the glass and try to prevent some of that. We did a good job on the boards.”
Williams was well-rested after sitting out Tuesday’s game with a sprained ankle. But he made the most of a rare start, hitting his first seven shots.
“Sure I knocked down shots, when they forgot about me,” Williams said with a laugh.
Williams’ best performance since joining the Mavericks came with one of his former Chicago Bulls’ teammates, Ron Harper, watching from the front row.
“Harper was chirping in my ear,” Williams said. “He messed up my perfect game.”
Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavs, who were playing for the first time since the All-Star break. James added 16 points and nine assists, but with the game out of reach, he played just three minutes in the fourth period.
Leading 63-53 at halftime, the Mavericks went to work from the outside in the third period, building a 79-61 lead with mostly perimeter jumpers.
Dallas finally cooled down, but the Cavs couldn’t cut into the lead and trailed by 18 going into the fourth.
“They’re tough to guard when they’re making everything,” Boozer said.“They’ve got weapons everywhere, and they just made shots.”
Dallas shot 47 percent and is 26-6 when it shoots better than 44 percent from the field. … Silas said the Cavs will not make another deal before Thursday’s 3 p.m. trading deadline. However, he says his club still needs some help and will look for it during free agency. “We need a big-timer, a big-time scorer, the kind of player to take the pressure off LeBron,” he said. “We need a big-time player who everyone knows is the man.” … Dallas F Antawn Jamison played in his 300th straight game, extending the league’s longest current streak. … Dallas also had seven players in double figures on Jan. 23 in a win at Chicago. … Cavs C DeSagana Diop sat out with a sprainedright ankle, and may miss a few more games with the injury.