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National Basketball Association
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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, February 1st (All times Eastern)

Cleveland Cavaliers (16-31) at Dallas Mavericks (27-21), 8:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks have won two of their last three and will try to keep things going in the right direction Monday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers at American Airlines Center.

Monday's game will end a four-game homestand where the Mavs are 2-1 with wins over the Detroit Pistons and Sacramento Kings and a loss against the Houston Rockets.

The Kings win was the most recent with Dallas prevailing 107-103 on Friday.

Dirk Nowitzki poured in 34 points to help the Mavericks. Monta Ellis added 20 points, Jose Calderon had 14 points and seven assists and Brandan Wright finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks, who had dropped three of four entering the contest.

"Dirk was great, obviously, with 34 points in 34 minutes. It was a tough night because our shot-making wasn't great," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "It took us almost three-and-a-half quarters to hit a three. On those nights, you've got to hang in somehow."

Dallas only shot 47.5 percent from the floor and 10.5 percent from long range. The difference was the Mavs committed only four turnovers and forced 15 from Sacramento, which Dallas turned into 18 points.

The Mavs have four of their next five games on the road.

Cleveland will wrap up a three-game road trip Monday night. They've lost four in a row overall and six of their last seven.

The last setback came Saturday night in Houston as the Rockets earned a 106-92 victory.

Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters accounted for 69.5 percent of Cleveland's points. Deng finished with 24, Irving had 21 and Waiters totaled 19 off the bench.

Jarrett Jack was inserted into the starting lineup with Irving and only managed seven points and six assists.

"Coming into the game playing off the ball was something I'm used to already so it wasn't really to big of a change," said Irving.

Anderson Varejao missed his third straight game with a knee injury.

The Mavs won in Cleveland on Jan. 20 and have taken three straight over the Cavaliers. Cleveland last won in Dallas on Nov. 3, 2008.

02/03 10:58:28 ET

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