Mavs thump Cavs 109-90
CLEVELAND (AP) — Monta Ellis scored 20 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 15 and the Dallas Mavericks won their fifth straight game Sunday, a 109-90 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who again played without LeBron James.
James, who is out with knee and back soreness, missed his fourth in a row and fifth of the season. The Cavaliers are 1-4 when the four-time MVP doesn’t play and have dropped 5 of 7 overall.
Nowitzki has 27,397 career points and is 12 shy of tying Moses Malone for seventh place all-time.
Kevin Love scored a season-high 30 points, but the Cavaliers couldn’t stay with the Mavericks (25-10), who had five players in double figures.
Kyrie Irving left in the third quarter with lower back tightness and didn’t return. He was 2 of 9 from the field and scored a season-low six points.
Before the game, Cavaliers general manager David Griffin said speculation about coach David Blatt’s job status was "ridiculous" and no change would be made.
The Mavericks, who wrap up this three-game trip Monday in Brooklyn, are 10-0 on the road against the Eastern Conference this season and have won 14 straight overall against the East.
Dallas went ahead for good late in the first quarter and built a 57-42 lead two minutes before halftime. The margin grew to 20 in the third.
Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler scored 14 points apiece for Dallas, which shot 56 percent and made 12 of 26 3-pointers.
Rajon Rondo, who scored a season-high 29 points Friday against Boston, was held to four points and had eight assists in 27 minutes. Dallas is 6-2 since acquiring Rondo from the Celtics.
Shawn Marion scored 13 points for Cleveland.
Mavericks: Mark Cuban purchased the franchise 15 years ago Sunday. Under his ownership, Dallas won the 2011 championship and has advanced to the NBA Finals twice.
Cavaliers: Griffin said James didn’t attend Sunday’s game and won’t make the trip for Monday’s game in Philadelphia on advice from the team’s medical staff. The Cavaliers host Houston on Wednesday and Griffin hopes James will return during their five-game West Coast trip that begins Friday. . G Dion Waiters missed all seven shots, including three air balls, in the first half. He finished with eight points, going 4 of 14.
Mavericks: At Brooklyn on Monday.
Cavaliers: At Philadelphia on Monday.