DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks moved back into eighth place in the heated Western Conference playoff race Monday with a 124-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers before a sellout crowd at American Airlines Center.
The Mavs (28-21) started the night in ninth place. But the Oklahoma City Thunder knocked Memphis out of the eighth spot with Monday's 86-77 win over the Grizzlies.
That sets up a very crucial showdown Wednesday night in Memphis when the Mavs square off against the Grizzlies (26-21).
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 23 points, Monta Ellis had 22 points and seven assists, Samuel Dalembert powered for 18 points and eight rebounds, Devin Harris tallied a season-high 16 points, Vince Carter scored 14 and Jose Calderon contributed 11 points and 10 assists.
Kyrie Irving paced the Cavs (16-32) with 27 points, Luol Deng had 18 points and seven boards, and Tristan Thompson collected 17 points and eight boards.
The Mavs, who finished this home stand with a 3-1 record, led 59-52 at the half and 94-79 after three quarters. Then a dunk by Dalembert put Dallas ahead 106-87 with 8:08 left in the game.
-- Dwain Price
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