Cavaliers-Mavericks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 15, 2013
The Dallas Mavericks are coming off a solid trip, but with the position they're in, it needed to be better. Dallas will try to rebound from its first loss in five games on Friday night when it opens a potentially crucial stretch at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Going for a season-best fifth consecutive victory - and an undefeated four-game stretch outside Dallas - the Mavericks (30-34) lost 92-91 to Western Conference-leading San Antonio on Thursday. Dallas scored the game's final seven points, but Vince Carter's 3-pointer in the final second missed. The Mavericks, targeting a 13th consecutive playoff appearance, trail the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers by three games in the Western Conference. "It has been the motto for our year,'' Dirk Nowitzki said after scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double. "We are right there, we just cannot get over the hump.'' Maybe a stretch of eight of nine at home will help Dallas, which will face a Cavaliers team trying to move on without All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. The reigning rookie of the year could be done for the season after suffering a sprained left shoulder in Sunday's 100-96 loss at Toronto. "I think it gives us a golden opportunity to continue to develop our team concept," coach Byron Scott, whose team defeated Washington 95-90 on Wednesday without Irving, said following Thursday's practice. With Irving sidelined, rookie guard Dion Waiters should get plenty of opportunities to develop over the final six weeks of the season and prove to Scott that he can carry the Cavaliers (22-42), and close out a game. The No. 4 overall pick scored 12 of his team-best 20 points in the final 7:29 on Wednesday. "Coach told me to keep attacking,'' said Waiters, the league's second-highest scoring rookie with 14.8 points per game. "Either to get to the basket or find an open teammate. That's what I was trying to do.'' The Cavaliers will try to slow down Nowitzki for the first time this season after the big German missed the Mavs' 103-95 victory in Cleveland on Nov. 17 following offseason knee surgery. "Tristan (Thompson) starting off on him is going to have his hands full," Scott said. Thompson, though, could also cause headaches for the Dallas frontcourt. The second-year forward is averaging 12.5 points and 11.5 rebounds while posting a career high-tying four consecutive double-doubles. Thompson had 10 points and 12 boards in the previous matchup with Dallas. Mavs forward Shawn Marion scored 10 points with 10 rebounds in that game, but he could miss a fifth straight game with a bruised calf. He's scheduled to be examined on Friday. "We don't have anybody that can replace what Shawn does," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "There just aren't any 6-8 guys that can guard point guards or centers and can do the playmaking or running and all the different things that he can do. … He's been our leading rebounder all year, so it's a loss and it's a hit we've got to take here." Dallas, though, has won four of five in this series and nine of 11 with the Cavs in town. Cleveland, 2-9 visiting West opponents, will try to match a season high with back-to-back road wins.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia becomes first player ever banned by MLB for PEDs

Eight bold predictions for NBA All-Star Weekend

Iowa athletics department under federal civil rights investigation

2016 Naismith Hall of Fame finalists announced

Hasselbeck ‘strongly leaning towards playing’ in 18th season

Pitchers to wear new protective headwear in spring training

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Klay Thompson: Warriors will shoot for all-time wins record

Bryce Harper 'squashed' beef with Jonathan Papelbon

WWE has record revenue despite perceived troubles

CC Sabathia declares himself ‘ready to go’ after alcohol rehab

Report: Suns still want to deal Morris before trade deadline

Report: Celtics could offer best deal for Dwight Howard

Is there a place for Aaron Hill with the Brewers?

The market for forwards may shape the NHL trade deadline

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

The most intriguing NBA story lines for the rest of the season

Report: Timberwolves ‘lament’ Andrew Wiggins missing weight-lifting sessions

Kevin Durant to the Warriors makes little sense

City of Atlanta, Braves fighting over iconic Hank Aaron statue

Brock Osweiler hopes to remain part of ‘very special’ Broncos

Kobe Bryant receives great gift from ‘media’ member

Ranking the best NBA/ABA Dunk Contests ever

LeBron to be immortalized with Akron Zips bobblehead

Four best free-agent destinations for Matt Forte

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Who had the best NBA All-Star Game of the last 40 years?

The winners and losers of the 2016 MLB offseason

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker