(The Sports Xchange) - Kyrie Irving scored 33 points and came up with a key steal in the final seconds to preserve the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 99-98 victory Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Cavs played without star forward LeBron James, who was rested.
Irving threw the ball away when the Mavericks double-teamed him with 16 seconds left and the Cavs ahead 97-95. He regained possession when he hooked Dirk Nowitzki and wiggled in front of him for a steal.
Nowitzki was forced to foul, and Irving converted both free throws. The Mavericks’ Deron Williams banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it didn’t matter.
Kevin Love had 23 points and 18 rebounds, and Channing Frye scored 14 points off the bench to give the Cavs their first victory in a game James sat out this season. They were blown out in the previous two instances and nearly blew a 20-point lead Wednesday before surviving.
J.R. Smith added 13 points for Cleveland (48-19).
Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points for the Mavericks, who never led in the game. David Lee added 20 points off the bench, and J.J. Barea scored nine of his 17 in the fourth quarter. Chandler Parsons contributed six points and a game-high 10 assists.
Dallas (34-34) lost for the sixth time in the past seven games.