Cleveland, OH – Kyrie Irving scored 20 points, including a 88.
After Irving's layup made it a three-point margin, Jason Terry missed a three- pointer from the top of the arc with 0.9 left. But following a review, the Mavericks got one final opportunity with 0.5 showing on the clock. Brandan Wright's desperation shot at the buzzer was off the mark.
"In that fourth quarter he was pretty fresh and we put the ball in his hands and let him make decisions," Cavs head coach Byron Scott said of Irving. "He's got the unique ability to get to the basket. And when he gets there he has a great way of finishing."
Anderson Varejao had a huge game with 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who snapped a two-game skid.
Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points and eight rebounds for the Mavericks, who have lost three straight games. Dallas turned the ball over 21 times and lost for the first time all season when shooting over 45 percent. The Mavericks made 47.8 percent of their shots.
The Cavaliers shot just 39.8 percent, but held a decided 17-4 advantage on the offensive glass. Cleveland also netted 19 points off Dallas' 21 giveaways.
"Combination of points off turnovers, 19 points off turnovers and 17 second- chance points was the difference," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said.
Trailing, 70-64, heading into the fourth, Dallas scored the first eight points of the final period, taking a 72-70 advantage with 9:33 to play.
It remained a one-possession contest throughout the quarter until Terry's three-pointer made it 85-81 with 4:14 left.
But the Cavs used an 8-1 surge, which was capped by Varejao's floater, to take an 89-86 advantage with 41.4 seconds to play.
Terry made a pair of free throws on the other end to make it 89-88, but Irving's layup pushed the lead back to three.
Dallas shot 60 percent in the opening quarter and took a 24-15 lead into the second.
The Mavs led by as many as 15 in the second before taking a 51-43 advantage into the break. Nowitzki had 15 points in the opening half.
The Cavs forced seven Maverick turnovers in the third and outscored them 27-13 in the stanza, taking a 70-64 lead into the final quarter.
Dallas is 1-6 when Nowitzki scores at least 20 points...The Cavs outrebounded the Mavs, 46-39...The Cavaliers outscored Dallas 54-38 in the paint...Terry finished with 17 points...Cleveland's Antawn Jamison netted 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds.