Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Dallas Mavericks Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 27th 2024

The Cleveland Cavaliers snapped a modest two-game skid in their last outing, but their performance wasn’t received with open arms by coach J.B. Bickerstaff.

The Cavaliers will look for a better showing on Tuesday night when they host Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and the Dallas Mavericks.

Cleveland squandered an 11-point lead in the third quarter and overcame a six-point deficit in the fourth of a 114-105 victory over the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

“I thought we just need to be better. I don’t think we played to our standard tonight,” Bickerstaff said. “I expected more fire from our group after losing two games in a row and having an opportunity to play another one. We’ve got to get back to playing with that spirit the way we played before the break.

“We’ve got some tough stretches coming up here, but we’ve got to be better. I’ve got to do a better job of getting guys ready to play and our players have to do a better job as well.”

Jarrett Allen collected 22 points, 12 rebounds and five assists while Caris LeVert bounced back from a 3-for-21 stretch from the floor over his previous two games to flirt with a triple-double Sunday. LeVert recorded 18 points, a season-high 12 boards and eight assists to lift Cleveland in Donovan Mitchell’s return from a two-game absence due to an illness.

LeVert acknowledged Sunday’s performance may not have been aesthetically pleasing but it still resulted in victory.

“I think that’s what the good teams do — they find a way – playing good, playing bad and still finding a way to win,” he said. “And I think our defense got better in the fourth quarter. There were still holes in it, still possessions where we could have been better, could have talked better. But all in all, we got the win.”

LeVert highlighted a 29-point performance by draining a go-ahead 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers’ 113-110 win in Dallas on Dec. 27.

Doncic finished with 39 points in that game and added 33 on Sunday, however the Mavericks saw their seven-game winning streak come to a halt with a 133-111 setback to the Indiana Pacers.

Doncic contributes an NBA-best 34.3 points per game to go along with team-leading averages in assists (9.5) and rebounds (8.8).

Irving finished with 29 points on Sunday for Dallas, which was eighth in the Western Conference entering Monday’s games.

The Mavericks wrap up their four-game road trip with stops in Toronto (Wednesday) and Boston (Friday).

“A lot of teams are coming after us. When you kind of see the press or the media kind of calling us legitimate contenders, I don’t think it’s our time right now to be listening to all that noise,” Irving said.

“We just got to focus on one game at a time and just get ready for what’s ahead of us. A lot of teams are going to be playing their best basketball, and this is that test for us in the season.”

–Field Level Media

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