Max Strus pulls off a miracle as Cavaliers stun Mavs 121-119 
            BY TIM SHIRER
(CLEVELAND, OH) - The Cleveland Cavaliers (38-19, 20-10) returned home to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Tuesday night after picking up a win on Sunday night in Washington D.C. against the Wizards 114-105. The Dallas Mavericks (33-25, 15-12 away) were waiting.

Entering Tuesday night’s contest, the Cavaliers held a 44-40 all-time series lead over the Mavs. The Cavs also held a 24-18 lead at Home (Richfield Coliseum, RMFH). The two teams met one time this season on December 27 in Dallas and the Cavs won the game 113-110. Both teams knew entering the game it was going to be a fight between two of the best teams in the NBA and it was just that as the Cavs courtesy of a Max Strus half court prayer sent the Cavs home a winner 121-119.

Both teams couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn in their first couple possessions, the Mavericks got on the board first with a short jumper by Derrick Lively II with 10:26 left on the clock. At the other end the Cavs basket looked like it had a lid on it, but Evan Mobley was tough inside getting two offensive rebounds and then hitting Darius Garland outside the three-point line. Garland took advantage and gave the Cavs a 3-2 lead with 9:56 left in the first. The Cavs went up 10-9 with 7:06 left on a dunk by Mobley. Just 30 seconds later the Mavs were back on top 12-10 when former Cavs Kyrie Irving, who received a nice hand from the RMFH crowd prior to the game hit a three pointer from the corner with 6:36 left. Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff took a timeout. During the timeout the Cavs played a tribute to Irving on the scoreboard and acknowledges his contributions to the 2016 team and he received another nice round of applause, some standing from the RMFH crowd. The Mavericks extended their lead to 18-12 with 5:34 left on another Lively layup. The Cavs then made a run and tied the game 20-20 with 1:45 left on a Georges Niang three pointer. The two clubs traded baskets for the next 1:45 until the quarter ended with the Mavs leading 24-23. Luka Doncic led all scorers with 11 first quarter points. Donovan Mitchell and Garland led the Cavs with four points apiece. The Mavericks outpaced the Cavs on the boards 15-13 in the first 12 minutes.

The Cavs regained the lead 25-24 just :37 into the second quarter when Caris LeVert hit a jumper. The Cavs extended the lead to 35-28 with 8:29 left in the half when Garland hit Niang with a nice pass in the paint and Niang laid it in the basket. The Cleveland lead ballooned to ten points at 41-31 with 7:05 left on the clock in the half when Mitchell hit a three pointer from the left side of the arc. Dallas coach Jason Kidd had seen enough and called a timeout. After the timeout the Cavs lead built to 13 when Mitchell hit another three with 6:38 left. After Doncic cut the lead to 11 with a basket, Niang went down to the other end and hit a three giving the Cavs a 14 point lead at 47-33 with 5:56 left on the second quarter clock. With 4:52 left Dallas cut the lead to 49-39 on a three pointer in the corner from newly acquired PJ Washington, Jr. with 4:54 left. With the Cavs leading 53-41 the Mavs had a chance to cut the lead to ten, but Strus would have none of it as he emphatically smacked away a Doncic layup and at the other end of the fast break Mitchell hit a three giving the Cavs a 56-41 lead with 3:10 left in the half. Kidd immediately took a timeout. In their first possession after the timeout the Mavs cut the lead to 12 points on a three by Doncic. After a Cavs turnover by Mitchell Strus fouled Maxi Kleber, Kelber hit one of two to cut the Cavs lead to 56-45 with 2:09 left. The Cavs were cold offensively and Dallas took advantage as Doncic hit a three and cut the Cleveland lead to 56-48 with 1:58 left. With 1:23 left after Allen hit two free throws for Cleveland, Doncic hit another three cutting the Cleveland lead to 58-51 with 1:26 remaining. With :18.5 left Doncic hit another three, his third of the first half to cut the Cleveland lead to 60-56, which is what the score was when the halftime break commenced. Doncic was on fire in the first half, scoring 27 points to lead everyone. He shot 60% (9 of 15) from the field and was perfect (5 of 5) from the free throw line. Mitchell led the Cavs with 13 first half points. The Cavs outrebounded the Mavs 11-5 in the second quarter to have a 24-20 halftime advantage on the boards. Points in the paint were even with both clubs having 18, it was definitely a game of outside shooting in the first 24 minutes. Cleveland’s bench had the advantage, outscoring the Dallas reserves 22-7.

Dallas continued to be hot to start the second half and with 10:49 left in the third period Lively tied the game 60- 60 on a hook shot in the paint. After both teams traded baskets and turnovers Allen put the Cavs back on top 64-62 on a dunk with 9:29 left. Mitchell put the Cavs up 67-63 with 8:22 left on a three pointer on a nice pass from Strus. The Mavs responded and regained the lead 68-67 with 7:27 left on a three pointer from Irving. Dallas then extended the lead to 70-67 on a layup from Doncic. Donci then taunted the Cavs and was accessed a technical foul with 6:58 left in the third period. For the next several minutes the lead went back and forth with the Mavs taking a 75-74 lead on a Doncic layup with 4:44 remaining. The Cavs came right back with 4:04 left and took a 77-75 lead on a three by Mitchell. With 3:21 left the Mavs were back on top after two consecutive baskets by Doncic 79-77. Dallas extended their lead to 82-79 with 1:49 left when Derrick Jones, Jr hit one of two free throws after being fouled by Isaac Okoro. With :38 left on the clock in the quarter, Caris LeVert hit a jumper to give the Cavs an 83-82 lead after three quarters. Doncic continued to be hot in the third quarter and had 35 through three. Irving also had 20 points to that point. Mitchell led the Cavs with 20 and Allen had 17. The Cavs continued to own the boards 39-30.

The Cavs scored the first two baskets of the final quarter courtesy of Mobley giving the Cavs an 87-82 lead with 11:44 left. With 9:29 left in the game and the Cavs leading 91-86 the NBA narrative of the officials taking over the game began. First Garland was run into Lively while taking the ball over the timeline and was charged with an offensive foul, the Mavericks then scored. After a Mitchell turnover the Maves cut the Cleveland lead to 91-90. Then Niang hit a three pointer and was called for an offensive foul, it was overturned on a challenge by Cavs coach JB Bickerstaff. The Cavs took advantage and took a 93-90 lead on a pullup jumper by Mitchell with 8:37 left. After Doncic tied it with a three and Mitchell gave the Cavs a 95-93 lead, Irving hit a three to put Dallas back on top 96-95 with 7:36 left. Mobley was fouled with 7:25 left and the Cavs regained the lead as he hit both free throws and the back on forth final seven minutes were underway. The Mavericks extended their lead to 102-98 with 6:42 left on a fadeaway jumper by Tim Hardaway, Jr. The lead was extended further with 6:12 left when Doncic hit another three and gave the Mavs a 105-98 lead. Once again, the officials took over. With 4:38 left the Mavericks began to pull away after Kleber hit a three pointer to give Dallas a 108-98 lead. With 3:40 left Strus cut the Dallas lead to 110-103 and then Irving stepped on the line inbounding the ball giving it back to his former team, Strus then drained another three to cut the Dallas lead to 110-106. After Irving drained a three on the other end, Garland responded with a three of his own. Irving was stifled at the other end on a block by Mitchell and the Cavs cut the Dallas lead to 113-112 with 2:35 when Strus drained another three, his sixth of the game and fourth in the quarter sending the sellout crowd into a frenzy. With 1:51 left the crowd was on the edge insanity when Mitchell drained a three and the Cavs regained the lead 115-113.
Dallas tied the game at 115-115 with :45 left after a turnover by Mitchell and a give and go by Doncic to Josh Green in the paint. Mitchell said not so fast cowboys as he sent the crowd into hysteria with a three at the other end to give the Cavs a 118-115 lead with :28.9 left. Mavs coach Kidd took a timeout. The Mavs cut the Cavs lead to 118-117 with :23 left on a floater by Irving. After the Cavs turned the ball over on a bad inbound pass by Mobley PJ Washington dropped in an easy layup giving the Mavericks what looked like a clinching 119-118 lead with :02.6 left. The Cavs were out of timeouts, the ball was inbounded and Mobley this time he made a great pass to Strus before the half court line (59 feet from the hoop), Strus let it go in what seemed like slow motion the ball swished through the net, the second longest buzzer beater to win a game in NBA history giving the Cavs a 121-119 win sending the crowd into complete delirium after watching what was maybe the best Cavs win of an already great season.

Mitchell led the Cavs with 31 points and Strus had 21 including five three pointers in the fourth quarter including the game winner. Allen had 19 points and nine rebounds, Mobley also had nine boards as the Cavs outrebounded Dallas 47-36. Doncic led all scorers with 45 points in the loss along with 14 assists and nine rebounds. Irving had 30 points.

The Cavs will be in action next on Wednesday night in Chicago against the Bulls (27-30, 16-15 home) at the United Center at 8 pm. The Bulls and Cavs have met three times previously this season and the Cavs have won all three contests. The last meeting was on February 14 at RMFH which the Cavs won 108-105. 
Follow us on Twitter @SportsSentinel Check out our Cavaliers fan page Taitville 
​POSTED 02/27/2024 21:58 updated 23:19
HomeCommunity InformationEditorialNews ArchivesSports

Lake County Sentinel
Mitchell less Cavaliers fall to Magic 116-109 - 02-22-2024
Cavaliers edge Bulls with late heroics 108-105 - 02-14-2024
Cavaliers win streak ends at nine with 123-121 loss to Sixers - 02-12-2024
Cavaliers move into 2nd place in the East after blowing out Kings 136-110 - 02-05-2024
Cavaliers squeak past Pistons 128-121 - 01-31-2024
Cavaliers sink the Clippers 118-108 - 01-29-2024
Cavaliers blow out Bucks 135-95 - 01-17-2024
Cavaliers complete two game sweep of Wizards 114-90 01-05-2024
Cavaliers dominate Wizards 140-101 - 01-03-2024
Cavaliers unable to overcome long range shooting trouble and officials in 119-111 loss to the Bucks - 12-29-2023
Cavaliers run out of steam in 123-104 loss to Pelicans - 12-21-2023
Shorthanded Cavaliers shoot down Hawks 127-119 - 12-16-2023
Cavaliers outplayed by Blazers in terrible 103-95 loss - 11-30-2023
Cavaliers dominate Trae Young's Hawks 128-105 - 11-28-2023
Cavaliers scorched by Heat 129-96 - 11-22-2023
Cavaliers dominate World Champion Nuggets 121-109 - 11-19-2023
Cavaliers cruise past error prone Pistons 108-100 - 11-17-2023
Cavaliers end the Warriors road winning streak 115-104 - 11-05-2023
Shorthanded Cavaliers lose second straight in 125-113 loss to Pacers - 10-28-2023
Cavaliers lose home opener to Thunder 108-105 - 10-27-2023
Cavaliers eliminated by Knicks in five games 4-1 - 04-26-2023
Cavaliers even series 1-1 with dominating 107-90 win over Knicks - 04-18-2023
Cavaliers simply outplayed by Knicks in game one 101-97 - 04-15-2023
Cavaliers comeback late to stop Pacers 115-105 - 04-02-2023
Cavaliers sloppiness on offense and lack of defense costly in 130-116 loss to Knicks - 03-31-2023
Cavaliers clinch first playoff berth since 2017-18 with 108-91 win over Houston - 03-26-2023
Cavaliers glide past Wizards 117-94 - 03-17-2023
Cavaliers victim of terrible overturned call in 118-109 loss to Philly - 03-15-2023
Lamar Stevens late heroics lead Cavs to 118-114 win over Celtics in OT - 03-06-2023
Cavaliers end skid with resounding 118-93 win over Toronto - 03-04-2023
Cavaliers fall to Nuggets from long range 115-109 - 02-23-2023
Cavaliers win seventh straight holding of Spurs 117-108 - 02-23-2023
Cavaliers win sixth straight, coming from behind to stop Bulls 97-89 - 02-11-2023
Cavaliers pound Pistons late 113-85 - 02-08-2023
Cavaliers turnovers costly in 100-97 loss to Heat - 01-31-2023
Cavaliers blow out Clippers 122-99 - 01-29-2023
Cavaliers end two game skid with 114-102 win over Bucks - 01-21-2023
Cavaliers completely embarrassed by severely shorthanded Warriors 120-114 - 01-20-2023
Cavs comeback late to stop Pelicans behind Garland's 30, 113-103 - 01-16-2023
LeVert, Neto, Osman come up big in Cavs 90-88 win over Suns - 01-02-2023
Donovan Mitchell joins NBA elite scoring 71 in Cavs 145-134 OT win over Bulls - 01-02-2023
Cavaliers fall to Durant's Nets 125-117 - 12-26-2022
Cavaliers stop Bucks 114-106, move to within 1 game of the top spot in East - 12-21-2022
Cavaliers struggle but pull out 118-112 win over Pacers - 12-16-2022
Cavaliers too much for the Wagner's of Orlando 107-96 - 12-02-2022
Shorthanded Cavaliers humiliate 76ers 113-85 - 11-30-2022
Cavs shoot down Hawks 114-102 - 11-21-2022
Cavs dominate shorthanded Heat 113-87 - 11-20-2022
Cavs end skid with 132-122 double overtime win - 11-18-2022
Cavs use late surge to win stop Knicks 121-108 - 10-30-2022
Cavs win third straight defeating the Magic 103-92 - 10-26-2022
Cavs prevail in home opener 117-107 in overtime - 10-26-2022
Cavs welcome media to kick off what promises to be an exciting 2022-23 season - 09-26-2022
Garland outduels Irving as Cavs top Nets 114-107 - 01-17-2022
Cavaliers lose close battle with Grizzlies 110-106 - 01-04-2021
Cavaliers end skid, stopping Pacers 108-104 - 01-02-2022
Cavaliers sluggish 3rd quarter leads to 121-118 loss to Hawks -12-31-2021
Shorthanded Cavaliers turn shorthanded Raptors into mammals 144-99 - 12-26-2021
Cavaliers shoot down Rockets like a scud missile 124-89 - 12-15-2021
Cavaliers win fourth straight with 105-94 win over Miami - 12-13-2021
Cavaliers turn Kings into peons with 117-103 win 12-11-2021
Cavaliers pound Bulls 115-92 - 12-08-2021
Cavaliers comeback thwarted in 109-108 loss to Utah - 12-05-2021
Cavaliers end skid, taking the Magic out of Orlando 105-92 - 11-27-2021
Cavaliers drop fifth straight with 120-115 loss to red hot Suns - 11-24-2021
Cavaliers fall to .500 with 117-112 loss to Nets - 11-22-2021
Shorthanded Cavaliers fall to Warriors 104-89 - 11-18-2021
Cavaliers hold off Trail Blazers 107-104 - 11-03-2021

Cavaliers Max Strus one of seven three pointers.             Photo by Tommy Shirer