NBA: As LeBron James rests, Cavaliers hold off furious rally by Mavericks

NBA: As LeBron James rests, Cavaliers hold off furious rally by Mavericks

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James laughs as he sits on the bench in the first half of an NBA game against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.

(Tony Dejak / AP)

Kyrie Irving scored 33 points and made a key steal in the closing seconds, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers —without resting LeBron James — to a 99-98 win over the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

James was given the night off by Coach Tyronn Lue as part of his plans to keep Cleveland’s starters fresh for the playoffs. The Cavaliers hardly missed their star until the Mavericks stormed back from an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Dallas had chances to take the lead, but the Mavericks missed two open three-pointers and had a costly turnover before Irving swiped a pass intended for Dirk Nowitzki with 2.9 seconds left. Irving was fouled and made two free throws before Dallas’ Deron Williams hit a three-pointer at the final horn to conclude a frenzied finish.

Kevin Love had 23 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who are 4-12 without James over the last two seasons.


at Golden State 121, New York 85: Stephen Curry made eight of 13 three-pointers on his way to 34 points and the Warriors improved to 61-6 by blowing out the Knicks.

Oklahoma City 130, at Boston 99: Kevin Durant had 28 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in just over three quarters as the Thunder handed the Celtics their most lopsided home loss of the season.

at Washington 117, Chicago 96: The Wizards picked up their second consecutive lopsided victory over a team just ahead of them in the standings, as John Wall (29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds) outplayed Derrick Rose, who returned after missing two games with a strained left groin and finished with 16 points and four assists.

at Charlotte 107, Orlando 99: Marvin Williams and Nicolas Batum each scored 26 points, and the Hornets finished a 6-1 homestand.


Atlanta 118, at Detroit 114: Jeff Teague scored 22 points, including two free throws with 17.9 seconds left, and the Hawks held off the Pistons for their sixth win in seven games.

Minnesota 114, at Memphis 108: Zach LaVine scored 28 points and the Timberwolves were never caught after a 42-point first quarter.

New Orleans 123, at Sacramento 108: Anthony Davis had 27 points and 14 rebounds, Ryan Anderson scored 21 of his 29 points in the second quarter and the Pelicans ended a four-game losing streak.

Clippers 122, at Houston 106

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