The Cleveland Cavaliers made this one a game, but the tone was set from the get-go by Luka Doncic, the 19-year-old rookie sensation who has brought hope to a Dallas Mavericks team lacking direction over the last few years. At halftime, Doncic had 28 points, five assists and five rebounds. It was a glimpse at the type of talent we hoped the Cavs might be able to add last June with the pick that came from Boston in the Kyrie Irving deal.
Without burying Collin Sexton, it just hasn’t worked out that way, and it didn’t work out that way on Saturday night. The Mavericks came into Cleveland and will leave with a win. Perhaps it will move the Cavs closer to a Doncic-like talent in this coming June.
The Dallas Mavericks, 111. Your Cleveland Cavaliers, 98.
The story of the game can be told from the three point shot output from each team. The Cavs were just 4-23 from distance, and the Mavs made 16-39. That’s extremely difficult to overcome. Even if three point shooting on a game to game basis involves a lot of variance, you want to limit the attempts of the opposing team. The Cavs were not able to do that on Saturday.
After the Mavericks scored 40 points in the first quarter, the Cavs were able to improve and stayed in the game until fairly late. Larry Nance Jr. played fairly well, but played a bit more than you’d like in the second half as he works back from injury. Sexton had just 13 points on 17 shots. Matthew Dellavedova missed all four of his attempts. The team was down 86-80 for what felt like five minutes of game time at one point, and the door was open for the Cavs to make a run. They simply don’t create enough good shots, though, and so they didn’t.
Cedi Osman left the game with an injury at halftime. We’ll keep you updated moving forward. He’s been taking steps forward lately, so you’d hate to see him miss time.