The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 131-111 to win their third consecutive road game to start the 2019-20 NBA season.
Ohio has the largest Slovenian population among the 50 U.S. states, and Luka Doncic put on a show for those in attendance, recording his league-leading third triple double of the young season.
Dallas starers were Jalen Brunson, Seth Curry, Luka Doncic, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dwight Powell.
Cleveland started Collin Sexton, Darius Garland, Cedi Osman, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson.
Porzingis won the opening tip and Curry quickly got the Mavs on the board with a 20 foot jump shot. Both teams traded baskets in the early going, until Kevin Love’s third three-pointer of the opening quarter put the Cavs up 15-10 with 7:15 remaining.
A pair of Doncic three’s pulled the Mavs withing two, 23-21. Doncic started the game 4-4 with 10 points. After a timeout, Love connected on his fourth three-pointer of the opening frame before Doncic responded with another three of his own.
On the Mavs next possession, a Tim Hardaway Jr. trey put the Mavs on top, 29-26, with under one minute remaining. A Boban Marjanovic layup, on an assist from Doncic, capped an 8-0 run for the Mavs to end the first quarter on top, 31-28.
Hardaway Jr. opened the second quarter with a mid-range jumper, but a Jordan Clarkson three ended a 10-0 run for Dallas. Justin Jackson answered, hitting Dallas’ six three-pointer in eight attempts. Two more Clarkson three’s put the Cavs back on top, 37-36, and forced Rick Carlisle to call a timeout.
Porzingis ended a 9-0 Cleveland run with his first points of the game. Doncic checked back into the game with 6:04 left in the half and the Mavs down 43-38. He immediately found Jalen Brunson open for three and connected with Dwight Powell on an alley-oop and the game was tied.
Porzingis followed his third block of the game with a three pointer, and the Mavs found themselves back on top. Cleveland called a timeout, down 46-43.
A strong close to the quarter saw Dallas up 58-53 at the break.
Doncic and Love were the stars of the first half. Doncic had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. All 16 of Love’s points came in the first quarter. Porzingis made his presence known defensively, contributing 4 blocks. As a team, Dallas shot 10-17 from beyond the arc and 50 percent from the floor. Both teams combined to shoot only four free throw attempts.
Cleveland scored the first four points after halftime to pull within one, 58-57. The first Dallas points came after Dwight Powell hit one of two at the foul line.
From there, neither team was able to take a lead larger than one possession, until a Cedi Osman three put the Cavs on top with 4:48 left in the third, 73-69. Doncic quickly tied the game with a personal 4-0 run.
At the 3:44 mark of the third, Doncic found Marjanovic inside for a floater. Marjanovic hit the shot and was fouled in the act. The assist gave Doncic a triple-double.
Dallas closed the quarter on fire from deep, with Doncic, Hardaway Jr., and Dorian Finney-Smith each hitting a three-pointer in the final minutes. The Mavs carried a 90-86 lead into the final quarter.
An 11-2 start to the fourth saw Dallas up 101-88 with 9:21 remaining in the game. Delon Wright followed a Cleveland timeout with a steal and a three-point play to push the lead to 16.
Cleveland had a chance to cut the lead to single digits but Tristan Thompson went 0-2 from the foul line on two separate occasions. The Mavs were able to pull away late, outscoring Cleveland 41-25 in the fourth quarter. The final score was 131-111.
Doncic finished with 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 14 assists. Porzingis pitched in 18 pints, 9 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Jalen Brunson and Seth Curry contributed 14 and 13 points respectively. Boban Marjanovic had a nice game filling in for an injured Maxi Kleber. He had 12 points and 8 rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.
Dallas connected on 20 of their 41 three point attempts and shot 53.2 percent from the floor.
The 4-2 Mavericks will head back to Dallas for a pair of home games, the first of which coming on Wednesday night against the 2-4 Orlando Magic.