CLEVELAND -- After Kyrie Irving broke his hand and had surgery last summer, there was much trepidation in the arena Saturday night when he was taken to the locker room holding his hand.
He walked off the court with athletic trainer Max Benton with 6:54 left in the third quarter. Irving returned to start the fourth quarter with a bruise on his left index finger.
However, despite Irving's return, the Dallas Mavericks prevailed 103-95 in Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs (2-7) have now lost five in a row.
They were led by Irving's game-high 26 points, 10 after his return for the fourth quarter. Strangely enough, though, he failed to get a rebound or an assist.
If the Cavs were going to win this game, they would have to shore up their defensive effort. But they failed to stop the Mavs, who shot 51.4 percent from the field. They were the sixth team in the last seven games to shoot 50 percent or better against the porous Cavs defense.
The Cavs trailed 75-73 after three quarters. Swingman Alonzo Gee had four of the Cavs' 11 steals through three quarters.
Mavs center Chris Kaman hurt the Cavs inside with 15 points and six rebounds.
O.J. Mayo paved the way for Dallas with 19 points.
Cavs center Anderson Varejao, coming off a career-high 35 points against New Jersey, couldn't find the basket. He was 2 of 11 from the field for four points and seven rebounds. He had trouble shooting over the 7-foot Kaman.
The Cavs' reserves have struggled all season, but guard Daniel Gibson had 16 points and five rebounds off the bench. Forward Omri Casspi added five points and five rebounds.
Still, the Cavs' bench was outscored 45-24 by Dallas. Veteran Vince Carter fired in 14 points and Dominique Jones added 10 off the bench for the Mavs (6-5).
Cavs swingman Alonzo Gee finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Power forward Tristan Thompson was active around the basket with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Rookie guard Dion Waiters added 16 points.