Balanced Mavs share the wealth vs. Cavs


DALLAS (AP) -- This time, the Dallas Mavericks didn't need a huge game from top scorers Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley or Steve Nash.

Finley's 22 points and 17 each from Tim Hardaway and Nash sent
the Mavericks to a 102-82 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night.

Nowitzki added 15 points and Adrian Griffin had nine points and a season-high 11 rebounds for the Mavericks, who had lost three of their previous four.

Dallas got a career-high 39 points from Nash in Tuesday night's win over Portland. Nowitzki has scored 30 more more points eight times and Finley has had four games of 30 or more this season.

"We got everyone involved from the beginning and got into a good rhythm," said Finley, who went 10-for-17 from the field and had eight rebounds and four assists. "We played with energy from the start and when we do that, I like our chances."

Hardaway went 4-for-8 from 3-point range and Dallas made eight
of its 17 3-point shots to beat the Cavs for the third straight

Dallas pushed the tempo from the outset as coach Don Nelson went with "small ball" lineups that had Nowitzki at center and point guards Nash and Hardaway playing in tandem for long stretches.

"Tim played great tonight," said Nash. "It was nice to play with him and feed off his energy."

The Mavericks also did a better job on the boards, holding a
48-38 rebounding edge despite the small lineups. Dallas had been
outrebounded in seven of its previous eight games.

Lamond Murray had 23 points for Cleveland. Jumaine Jones added
13 points and 10 rebounds and Bimbo Coles contributed 13 points for
the Cavaliers, who had won four of their previous five.

The Cavaliers were without point guard Andre Miller, sidelined with a bruised right shoulder. Miller's streak of 185 consecutive games and 140 straight starts came to an end. The Cavaliers listed Miller as day-to-day, and Coles got his first start of the season.

"We took it on the chin tonight," said Cavaliers coach John
Lucas. "We couldn't take advantage of our big lineup. Without
Miller, it was tough and we could never get over the hump."

Dallas took a 77-64 lead into the fourth quarter after building an 18-point lead, 60-42, early in the third quarter on three consecutive baskets by Juwan Howard.

Cleveland got as close as 81-70 early in the final quarter, but
Nash scored seven consecutive points to trigger an 11-2 run that
extended Dallas' lead to 92-72.

Hardaway hit all four of his first-half 3-pointers to help the
Mavericks to a 52-40 halftime edge. Hardaway and Finley both had 14
first-half points.

Game notes
Miller's consecutive games streak was tied for the
ninth-longest current streak in the league and was 10th longest in
Cavaliers history. ...Nowitzki was back in the lineup after missing
the second half of Tuesday night's victory over Portland due to a
sprained left ankle. ...Hardaway matched his season-high point
total. ...Mavericks center Shawn Bradley did not play for the first
time this season.