Cavaliers' defense fails to slow Mavericks in 124-107 loss

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Staff and wire report

DALLAS -- Two bad quarters sunk the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday during a 124-107 loss against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas.

The Cavs played virtually even win the Mavericks in the first and fourth quarters, but fell short in duplicating the feat in the second in the third quarters, when Dallas outscored Cleveland 70-54.

the loss was Cleveland's fifth straight and seventh in the last eight games. The lone win during that stretch came at home on Jan. 24 when they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 93-78.

Next up for the Cavs is a home matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. The Lakers are also in a slump, having lost their last six games.

As for Monday's game, six different Dallas players reached double-digits during an offensive explosion that was seemingly something the Cavs would be immune to at this point in the season after hiring defensive-minded coach Mike Brown.

Leading Dallas' offensive onslaught was Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range. Monta Ellis added 22 points, while Samuel Dalambert had 18, Devin Harris 16, Brandan Wright 14 and Jose Calderon 11.

For the game, the Mavericks shot a red-hot 55 percent from the floor (44-of-80), 46 percent from 3-point land (12-of-26) and 92 percent from the free-throw line (24-of-26).

Dallas turned the ball over only 13 times and had 30 assists on their 44 made field goals, with Calderon leading the team with 10 dimes.

Cleveland was led offensively by point guard Kyrie Irving, who had 27 points. He shot 8-of-18 from the floor, 4-of-9 from 3 and had eight assists. Irving actually led seven players in double figures, but the Cavs just couldn't stop Dallas from scoring.

Luol Deng had 18 points, Tristan Thompson 17, Jarrett Jack 12 and eight assists, Anthony Bennett 11 and Anderson Varejao and C.J. Miles each scored 10 points for Cleveland.

The Cavs had just nine turnovers and had 21 assists.

The 124 points given up by Cleveland's defense was the fourth-most against the team this season. Philadelphia scored 125 points in an overtime loss in Cleveland on Nov. 9, San Antonio scored 126 in a home win over the Cavs on Nov. 23 and the Atlanta Hawks scored 127 in a double-overtime win on Dec. 26.

In Cleveland's last 14 games, 11 teams have scored more than 100 points against them.

The Cavs are now 5-20 on the road this year.

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