CLEVELAND -- It wasn't easy, but the Dallas Mavericks got out of the Quicken Loans Arena with a 102-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday afternoon.
The Mavs are now 25-18 on the season while the Cavs fell to 15-26.
Monta Ellis led Dallas with 22 points, Shawn Marion scored 18, Dirk Nowitzki tallied 17, DeJuan Blair scored 13 before he fouled out with 17.5 seconds remaining, and Brandan Wright finished with 10 points.
However, Ellis missed two free throws with 3.4 seconds left, leaving the Cavs with a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime. But the Cavs were whistled for a five-second violation when Jarrett Jack cound't get the ensing ball inbounds while being guarded by Wright.
Ellis then nailed a pair of free throws to close out the scoring.
The Mavs led by 24 points (59-35) with 50.6 seconds laeft in the second period and appeared on their way to an easy win. But the Cavs got within two points (91-89) with 3:25 left and made things interesting down the stretch.
Kyrie Irving paced the Cavs with 26 points, but he was only 10-of-27 from the field. Teammate Luol Deng scored 20 points.
-- Dwain Price
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