Mo Williams made 7 of 7 3-point attempts, LeBron James scored 25 points with 12 assists and the Cleveland Cavaliers rebounded from a lackluster loss in Charlotte by beating the road-tested Dallas Mavericks 111-95 on Saturday night.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 and Jason Terry 25 for Dallas, which was denied its sixth straight road win.
O'Neal was back in the Cavs' lineup on Friday, but Shaq's comeback only bogged down Cleveland's offense, which was out of sync and struggled while trying to incorporate him back into the flow. O'Neal scored only 9 points in 25 minutes but his presence alone bothered the undersized Mavericks.
But despite the offensive efficiency, the Cavs didn't put the Mavericks away until late in the fourth quarter. Leading by 11, James scored on an alley-oop off an inbound pass, Williams hit a jumper and James scored on a drive as Cleveland opened a 106-88 lead with 4:08 left.
With Erick Dampier missing his eighth straight game with an undisclosed illness, the Mavericks did not have a true center to match up with O'Neal, and the Cavaliers exploited Dallas' deficiency inside. They pounded the ball in to O'Neal, who was guarded by 6-foot
James or Kobe Bryant? Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wouldn't want to make the choice. "I might flip a coin," he said. "They're both great. Right now in this league they're the best of the best. They both not only are great players, they both have great charisma and they both represent out league extremely well. I'd gladly take a blindfold and pick a name and I'd be happy." ... Dallas has lost four straight to Cleveland. ... Varejao was 7-of-7 from the floor.