Sports

Cavs, Mavs bump heads in Big D

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Cleveland Cavaliers will visit Texas and Florida for their next four games, starting with Tuesday's matchup with the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

The Cavaliers are scheduled to make stops in San Antonio, Orlando and Miami on the upcoming trip and have a 1-3 mark in the past four road games.

Cleveland has won three of four and seven of its last 10 overall, including Saturday's 89-79 victory versus the Phoenix Suns at Quicken Loans Arena. Timofey Mozgov scored 19 points, LeBron James had 17 and Tristan Thompson collected 15 points and 12 rebounds. Kevin Love ended with 13 and 10.

The Cavs led by as much as 32 points in the third quarter, then scored just nine in the fourth to account for the slimmer margin of victory. Cavs coach David Blatt said his team was a little worn out down the stretch.

"I thought we played three great quarters and we had the game in-hand," he said. "Got a little messy there in the fourth quarter but that's our fourth game in five nights and our eighth game in 13 days."

Kyrie Irving had only eight points and three assists for Cleveland, which is one game ahead of Chicago for the Central Division lead and second in the East.

Dallas is in the mix for a Western Conference playoff spot and will begin a five-game homestand Tuesday versus the Cavs, LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic and Memphis Grizzlies.

The Mavericks have a 21-10 record at home and won for the second time in the past six tries with a 100-93 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday in the finale of a three-game road trip (1-2).

Monta Ellis poured in 31 points on 12-of-22 shooting, Al-Farouq Aminu netted 13 off the bench and Dirk Nowitzki added 12 points for the Mavs, who shot 48.7 percent and needed to hold LA to 16 points in the fourth quarter.

"Today was one of those days. My shots felt pretty good, I was able to get to the basket," Ellis said.

The Lakers won the battle of the boards, 47-33, and outscored the Mavericks by a 46-30 margin in the paint. Los Angeles also posted a 23-9 advantage in second-chance points.

Dallas, which sits only a half-game behind the Clippers for fifth in the West, looks to find some consistency in Big D and is just a half-game ahead of defending champion San Antonio in the conference standings.

Mavericks guard Devin Harris (hand) is questionable Tuesday.

The Mavericks bested the Cavaliers, 109-90, on Jan. 4 at the Q, as Ellis scored 20 points and Love countered with 30 for the Cavaliers. James did not play in that one because of knee and back ailments.

The Mavs have won five straight in this series and eight of the last nine meetings between the teams. Cleveland is winless in four straight and 11 of the past 13 visits to Big D.