Cavaliers collapse in fourth quarter falling to Mavs 131-111
 BY STONE LEXINGTON
    CAVS BEAT WRITER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - For nearly three quarters, the underdog Cleveland Cavaliers hung with the favored Dallas Mavericks. Then, the wheels fell off.

Facing their first Western Conference opponent this season on Sunday, the Cavs fell to the Mavs 131-111 in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

“We just had no answers because of height at the guard position and the big man position,” Cavs head coach John Beilein said. “We have to continue to try to find new ways and better ways to still play.”

The loss was the first for Cleveland at home this season, dropping their record to 2-4 on the season. As the third quarter wound down, though, it looked like the Cavs had a shot to upset Dallas.

After Jordan Clarkson sank a three-pointer with 3:31 remaining in the third quarter, the Cavs had secured a 76-75 lead. It was the last time they held an advantage in the game.

Less than two minutes later, Dallas built its largest lead to that point, 86-76, and the onslaught only continued into the fourth quarter. The Mavericks started the fourth with a 14-2 run that helped them take a 104-88 lead with 8:58 to play in the fourth. With around five minutes left in regulation, fans began heading for the exits.

“They hadn’t shot the ball as well, but I thought they shot it really well today,” Beilein said. “They got more open looks than they’ve been getting and that’s on us to improve our defense.”

Defense had been a positive for the Cavs through their first five games. Entering Sunday, the Cavs had held four of their five opponents under 45 percent shooting from the field. Dallas, however, finished Sunday’s game shooting 53 percent from the field.

“We’re starting to get an understanding,” Beilein said before the game. “First of all, you got to play hard and smart on defense and you got to pay attention to the scouting report and we’ve done that pretty well. With young players, they may make a mistake, they’ll make it again, and then maybe they recognize it the next time.

“The recognition is there that we can move forward. The veterans, I just love their effort. It’s all starting with Tristan and Jordan and Cedi.”

Kevin Love led the Cavs with 29 points and eight rebounds. He has played superbly this season, producing a double-double in Cleveland first five games. Entering Sunday’s game, Love had totaled 86 points, 84 rebounds and 24 assists. Wilt Chamberlain (1966) is the only other player to hit all three marks in his team’s first five games of the season.

Four other Cavaliers reached double figures in scoring, led by Jordan Clarkson’s 17 points. Tristan Thompson notched his fifth double-double in six games this season with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

The Cavs will host the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
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​POSTED 11/03/2019 22:47
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