Cavs shock Mavs on Max Strus’ game-winning heave

Max Strus sank a 3-pointer from well beyond midcourt as time expired to lift the host Cleveland Cavaliers to a 121-119 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

NBA Scoring Leader Faces Best Defense in East | Mavericks vs. Cavaliers |  OSB

Strus matched Donovan Mitchell by making seven 3-pointers on the evening. Strus, in fact, sank four in a 67-second sequence late in the fourth quarter before answering P.J. Washington’s go-ahead layup with 2.1 seconds left with his improbable shot.

Mitchell collected 31 points, seven rebounds and six assists to offset seven turnovers. Strus finished with 21 points and Jarrett Allen recorded 19 points and nine rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have won two in a row overall and completed a season sweep of the Mavericks. Cleveland recorded a 113-110 victory in Dallas on Dec. 27.

Strus’ heroics spoiled a banner night by Dallas’ Luka Doncic, who recorded 45 points, 14 assists, nine assists and three steals.

Doncic, who scored 27 points in the first half, made 17 of 29 shots from the field for the game — including 6 of 11 from 3-point range. The five-time All-Star scored 39 points in Dallas’ previous encounter with Cleveland.

Dallas’ Kyrie Irving, who scored 30 points on Tuesday, received a loud ovation from the crowd after being honored during the first stoppage in play. The eight-time All-Star played his first six NBA seasons with Cleveland.

Irving’s layup gave Dallas a 110-100 lead with 3:57 remaining in the fourth quarter before Strus went on his 3-point barrage to trim the Mavericks’ advantage to 113-112 with 2:35 left. Mitchell converted from beyond the arc to give the Cavaliers the lead, and he did so again with 29.1 seconds remaining after Josh Green’s dunk forged a tie.

Irving sank a floating jumper to trim Cleveland’s lead to 118-117 with 23.1 seconds left.

Washington snapped a 98-98 tie with a driving layup, igniting a 10-0 run by Dallas. Tim Hardaway Jr. added a step-back jumper and Doncic and Maxi Kleber each sank a 3-pointer.

Mitchell drained a 3-pointer to stake Cleveland to a 56-41 lead with 3:10 remaining in the second quarter before Doncic responded with a flourish. He sank four 3-pointers and added two free throws during his team’s 15-4 surge to end the half.

This article first appeared on Field Level Media and was syndicated with permission.

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