Cavs defeat Mavs 103-97 to avoid winless preseason
CLEVELAND (AP) — J.R. Smith scored 19 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers avoided a winless preseason with a 103-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.
The Cavaliers, who have had several key players sidelined by injuries in training camp, end the exhibition season with a 1-6 record.
Kevin Love, playing his second preseason game after dislocating his left shoulder in last season’s playoffs, scored 10 points with four rebounds in 23 minutes.
MAVERICKS: John Jenkins scored 26 points, but Dallas fell to 0-5. … Dirk Nowitzki, also playing in his second preseason game, scored 13 points and had four rebounds in 23 minutes.
CAVALIERS: Matthew Dellavedova scored 13 points. … Love scored six points in 13 minutes Sunday against Toronto.
STAR WATCH: Cavaliers coach David Blatt said LeBron James "absolutely" will be ready for the season opener. James, who got an anti-inflammatory shot in his back last week, didn’t play in the final four preseason games.
QUOTABLE: Asked before the game about two winless teams playing each other, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said, "We haven’t won a game and we’d like to win a game. Cleveland hasn’t won a game. I’m sure they’d like to win one, too. As preseason games go, it’s somewhat interesting."
UP NEXT: Dallas hosts Phoenix on Wednesday. Cleveland doesn’t play again until the season opener at Chicago on Oct. 27.