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Saturday, November 17, 2012
W2W4: Can Mavs cure road woes in Cleveland?

By Tim MacMahon

The Mavs have been miserable on the road. If that doesn’t change in Cleveland, they’ll come home under .500.

Dallas’ lone road win came over the Los Angeles Lakers in the season opener at the Staples Center. They’ve lost four in a row away from the American Airlines Center since then. There were double-digit margins of defeat in three of those games, including Friday night’s 20-point blowout by the Pacers.

“We’re just not doing what we should be doing right now,” Shawn Marion said. “And everybody is guilty, including me.”

Records: Mavs (5-5); Cavaliers (2-6)

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Quicken Loans Arena

TV: FSSW

Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: How much energy will the Mavs have during the butt end of a back-to-back? That’s especially important for Dallas’ thirtysomething frontcourt duo of Elton Brand and Chris Kaman. If they’re sluggish, Cleveland center Anderson Varejao will take advantage. He’s averaging 15.9 points and 13.7 rebounds and is coming off a 35-point, 18-board performance in a loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Key matchup: Darren Collison vs. Kyrie Irving – This will be Collison’s toughest matchup so far this season. Irving, the Rookie of the Year last season, is quickly rising to level of the league’s elite point guards. He’s averaging 24.3 points and 6.5 assists per game. The Mavs go as Collison goes, and that hasn’t been good recently. He’s shooting only 38.6 percent from the floor during this stretch of four losses in the last five games.

Injuries: Mavs -- PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) is out. Cavaliers -- F Luke Harangody (knee) is out.

Up next: vs. Golden State Warriors, 7:30 p.m. Monday