Mavericks-Cavaliers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 17, 2012
While the Dallas Mavericks have been anything but consistent, O.J. Mayo has been nothing but steady. Coming off their most lopsided loss of the season, Mayo and the Mavericks try to get back on track Saturday when they visit a Cleveland Cavaliers team that has dropped four straight. Mayo has been one of the few constants for Dallas (5-5), which has lost four of five after a 4-1 start. The sharpshooter scored a team-high 19 points Friday and hit a pair of 3-pointers - increasing his league-leading total to 31 - but it hardly helped as the Mavericks lost 103-83 at Indiana. Vince Carter and Darren Collison were the only other Dallas players in double figures, with 10 apiece. The Mavericks will have to play better down the stretch if they hope to avoid falling to 1-5 on the road after being outscored 55-34 in the second half against the Pacers. "We can't seem to sustain anything," said forward Shawn Marion, who scored two points after missing five games with a strained MCL. "We are continuing to have lapses, mental lapses.'' Mayo, though, has been able to sustain his success on the offensive end. He's scored at least 18 points in each of the last eight contests, averaging 23.9 points on 51.6 percent shooting during that stretch. With Mayo leading the way, the Mavericks are fifth in the league in scoring (100.5), eighth in field-goal percentage (45.7) and fourth in 3-point percentage (40.0) even after performing far below their season averages Friday. That could spell trouble for the Cavaliers (2-6), who are 29th in the NBA in points allowed (104.8) and have given up 107.7 since a 94-84 season-opening victory over Washington last month. After dropping the last four games on a six-game, 11-day road trip, the road-weary Cavaliers have had some time to work on their defensive woes since a 114-101 loss at Brooklyn on Tuesday night. "I don't want to talk about the defense. There was nothing there defensively,'' coach Byron Scott said. "We've got to get more guys that are going to be competitive and passionate about the defensive end.'' Scott's two best players, Anderson Varejao and Kyrie Irving, have done all they can to keep the team competitive on the offensive end. Varejao, the league's second leading rebounder (13.7), finished with a career-high 35 points and 18 rebounds against the Nets - his fourth game with at least 15 boards. Varejao had 17 points and 17 rebounds in Cleveland's 91-88 home victory over Dallas last season. Irving, the top scoring point guard in the league at 24.3 points per game, had 20 in that victory. The reigning rookie of the year is coming off a career-high 34 points and eight assists against Brooklyn. However, rookie Dion Waiters has slowed after a fast start with just 16 points on 6 of 22 shooting in the last two games. The Cavaliers should get a boost Saturday with the return of their other first-round pick, Tyler Zeller, who has been cleared to play with a mask to protect a broken cheekbone suffered when he was elbowed in the face by Clippers center DeAndre Jordan on Nov. 6. Zeller, who has missed four games, had 15 points in 24 minutes against Los Angeles - doubling his scoring total from his first three NBA contests.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Luke Maye sends North Carolina to the Final Four with game-winning shot

Singer Darius Rucker cries as South Carolina clinches Final Four berth

Rockets take shot at Westbrook's MVP candidacy

New info shows just how much Las Vegas wants Raiders

Tomlin: Steelers are preparing for Roethlisberger's retirement

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bills reporter: 'Only a matter of time' before GM Whaley is fired

Report: Patriots, Revis have not discussed possible reunion

Video of LaVar Ball playing basketball surfaces and he doesn't look great

Reporter: Giants 'would not go near' Adrian Peterson

Report: Browns unlikely to give Josh Gordon another chance

Popovich: Owners interfering with player rest is risky

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

NBA 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

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

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