Caris LeVert played the hero for the Cleveland Cavaliers, scoring 29 points and hitting a clutch go-ahead 3-pointer in the fourth quarter to secure a remarkable 113-110 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night (Thursday morning, December 28, 2023, Philippine time).
The Mavericks, initially holding a commanding 20-point lead in the first half, found themselves struggling in the fourth quarter, going five minutes without scoring as the Cavaliers turned a nine-point deficit into a 111-105 lead with just over a minute left in the game.
Jarrett Allen was a force for the Cavaliers, contributing 24 points and an impressive 23 rebounds, falling just shy of his career-high. Isaac Okoro added 22 points to the scoreboard, highlighting the team’s depth and resilience. The Cavaliers, now 3-1 in the absence of Donovan Mitchell due to illness, demonstrated their ability to thrive even without their star guard on the court.
Despite Luka Doncic’s remarkable 39-point performance for the Mavericks, marking his 14th game with at least 30 points in the last 15 outings, the team couldn’t secure the win. Doncic’s absence at the start of the fourth quarter proved costly for the Mavericks, as a 15-0 run by the Cavaliers coincided with his return to the court.
Caris LeVert, along with Allen and Max Strus, spearheaded the Cavaliers’ fourth-quarter resurgence, scoring at the rim and contributing to a pivotal 15-0 run. LeVert, in particular, shone in the fourth quarter with 15 points, showcasing his scoring prowess and resilience after missing the previous game with a knee injury.
The Mavericks, despite trailing by six with 21 seconds remaining, had a chance to tie the game in the final possession. However, Cleveland’s defensive efforts, including trapping Doncic near midcourt and a crucial block by Strus on Seth Curry’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer, secured the Cavaliers’ thrilling victory.
Georges Niang chipped in with 16 points for the Cavaliers, while Craig Porter Jr. contributed nine points and an impressive 12 rebounds. On the Mavericks’ side, Josh Green made a return after missing 12 games with a right elbow sprain, scoring two points and dishing out five assists in 21 minutes.
The Cavaliers’ comeback win against a talented Mavericks team showcased their resilience and ability to perform under pressure, solidifying their status as a formidable force in the NBA.