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CLEVELAND — — Jarrett Allen’s dunk with 2:01 left lifted Cleveland to a 100-99 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night, keeping the Cavaliers unbeaten in five OT games this season.

Allen outjumped two defenders for a layup by Darius Garland, then chipped the ball over Christian Wood for the final points of the five-minute session. Kemba Walker’s 3-pointer opened OT and gave Dallas a 99-96 lead.

“It was a character win because we just didn’t have it tonight,” Cavaliers coach J.J. B. Bickerstaff. “But that was no excuse for the boys. They came out and took over defensively, which is what you have to do when your shots aren’t falling.”

The Mavericks had three chances to take the lead in the final minute, including Wood’s 30-footer as time expired. Frank Ntilikina was stripped by Donovan Mitchell and Walker’s jumper fell between the backboard and the rim for the other two.

Mitchell had 25 points and Darius Garland had 18 points, seven rebounds and 12 assists for Cleveland, which has the NBA’s best home record at 14-2. Allen added eight points and 15 rebounds, and Evan Mobley added 17 points and eight rebounds.

“It’s all mental on nights like this, so you have to fight really deep and find that energy,” said Mobley, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter. “But in the end we got the stops we needed.”

Walker, a four-time All-Star guard who signed with Dallas on Nov. 29, had 32 points and seven assists in 42 minutes in his third game. Wood scored 26 points and 14 rebounds, and Hardaway scored 13 points.

Dallas forced OT on Walker’s driving layup with 3.5 seconds left in the fourth to tie the game at 96. After Mitchell was called for an offensive foul with 0.7 tick left, Tim Hardaway Jr. missed a half-court shot on the layup.

Dallas was without its starting backcourt of Luka Doncic (right quadriceps strain) and Spencer Dinwiddie (right knee sprain) and center Dwight Powell (bruised left hamstring). Doncic is the NBA’s second-leading scorer at 33.0 points per game.

“You’ve got to have a next-man-up mentality, and we had a lot of next-man-up tonight,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “This is the toughest of our schedule, but we’re professionals and we’re here.”

The Cavaliers are 2-0 in their longest homestand of the season, a six-game stretch that will end on Dec. 26.

Both teams went into the second half of a back-to-back set. The Cavaliers beat Indiana 118-112 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, while the Mavericks didn’t score at their downtown Cleveland Hotel until 3:37 a.m.


Mavericks. Walker made his first start for the Knicks since Feb. 16 against Brooklyn. Walker, whose career average is 19.4, is on his fourth team in five years. … Josh Green (right elbow strain) and F Maxey Kleber (right hamstring tear) were inactive and F . Davis Bertans (illness) did not play. … Dallas lost to the Cavaliers for the second time in four days, dropping 105-90 on Wednesday.

Cavaliers. F Lamar Stevens (right knee soreness) missed the game. Stevens has started the previous eight games, averaging 6.6 points and 5.9 rebounds. … Mobley appeared in his 100th NBA game. The second-year pro is one of 11 players in league history to surpass 1,400 points, 800 rebounds, 200 assists and 150 blocks in his first 100 contests.


Mavericks. Monday night in Portland.

Cavaliers: Hosted Utah on Monday night.



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