NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, November 17th
(All times eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (5-5) at Cleveland Cavaliers (2-6), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks make their only trip to Cleveland on
Saturday night to face the Cavaliers, who are mired in a four-game losing
streak, at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Mavericks had a rough night in Indianapolis Friday. The Pacers handed
Dallas a 20-point loss, 103-83, and it was a bad loss on a few different
Dallas surrendered 100 points or more for the fifth time in its last six
games. The Mavs, losers of four in a row on the road, gave up 101 points to
the winless Washington Wizards in victory on Wednesday, then allowed 103 to
the Pacers. The Wizards and Pacers are ranked 30th and 28th in the NBA in
And, the Mavericks got one of their injured stars back on Friday when Shawn
Marion returned to the lineup after missing the previous five with a knee
sprain. Marion scored two points in 25 minutes against the Pacers.
"We've got to get consistency out there and we've all got to take
accountability for what we're doing on both ends of the floor," he added.
"Right now, it seems like our trust is not where it should be and we're not
helping each other the way we should be helping each other. We've gotta get
back to doing that."
The Cavaliers, who should be well rested since their last game was Tuesday,
have dropped four in a row after an impressive victory in Los Angeles over the
Clippers on Nov. 5.
Scoring hasn't been the big problem during this slide. The Cavs average 98.2
ppg over the last four, but they've surrendered an average of 108.25 ppg. That
number is staggering and in fact, Cleveland has allowed 100 or more points to
the opposition in every game since the season-opener against the Washington
"In these first eight games, I think we've taken a step of two back," head
coach Byron Scott said of his team's defense, which slipped to dead last in
Kyrie Irving is putting up All Star numbers. He is fourth in the NBA in
scoring with a 24.3 ppg average and 6.5 assists.
The Cavs get a member of the rotation back on Saturday when rookie big man
Tyler Zeller returns after missing four games after he fractured his left
orbital bone and got a concussion against the Clippers. In that game, Zeller
had 15 points and seven rebounds.
"It doesn't hurt as bad today as it did yesterday," said Zeller, who will wear
a protective mask. "They did a great job making it. For the most part, I can
The Mavericks have won three of the last four in this series, but are 1-3 in
their last four in Cleveland.
11/17 10:56:41 ET