DALLAS (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 34 points against the team that eliminated him from the playoffs last season and the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-90 on Wednesday night.
It was Mitchell’s first time to see Luka Doncic and Dallas since his final game with Utah last April, a 98-96 loss at home in Game 6 of the first round in the Western Conference.
Mitchell switched to the East as the centerpiece of a blockbuster offseason trade that vaulted the Cavaliers into the conversation of title contenders.
Cleveland had slipped a bit after a strong start, thanks in part to eight losses in the past nine road games, including a surprising defeat at San Antonio to start a two-game Texas swing.
The Cavs found a fix with a 17-0 run in the first half, and now gear up for a season-high six in a row at home, where they are 12-2, starting with Indiana before seeing Dallas again Saturday.
Doncic scored 30 points and had the Mavericks within nine late in the third quarter and midway through the fourth.
Mitchell answered Dallas’ fourth-quarter surge with a 3-pointer, and the Cavs led by at least 10 the rest of the way.
Mitchell was 13 of 20 overall and 6 of 9 from 3 as the Cavs shot 53%. Lamar Stevens scored 18 points, and Cleveland big men Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley had 14 points apiece.
Christian Wood scored 20 points for Dallas.
Cavaliers: Cleveland had four consecutive road wins as part of an 8-1 start. Five straight road losses followed. … Caris LeVert scored 11 of the Cavs’ 13 bench points as Cleveland went just eight deep before emptying the bench in the final two minutes. … Mobley had seven rebounds and six assists.
Mavericks: G Josh Green missed a third consecutive game with a right elbow sprain, and F Maxi Kleber was out for the second time in three games. Kleber had a sprained right knee this time after right foot soreness kept him out Saturday at Chicago. … Doncic set a franchise record with a 35th consecutive game with at least 20 points.
Cavaliers: Cleveland swept the four-game season series from the Pacers last season for the first time since 2007-08.
Mavericks: A three-game homestand ends Friday against Portland before a four-game trip that starts in Cleveland, then continues with consecutive games at Minnesota.
Schuyler Dixon, The Associated Press