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No Dirk, no problem: Mavs 102, Cavs 95

DALLAS -- The Mavericks didn't need their best player to beat one of the East's elite teams.

With Tim Thomas doing a pretty good impersonation of Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs scrapped for a 102-95 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Thomas had 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting in his first start for Dallas, filling in for Nowitzki, who sat out due to a laceration in his right elbow suffered in Friday night's loss to the Rockets. Thomas was one of six Mavericks to score in double figures, including three reserves.

The Cavs made a run to trim the Mavs' lead to one midway through the fourth quarter. The Mavs responded with a 12-4 run in which all five players on the floor contributed one bucket.

That was a fitting way to finish off a team win without their MVP candidate.