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NBA GAME OF THE DAY

Mavericks beat Cavaliers despite Dirk Nowitzki's absence

Dallas wins, 102-95, to end Cleveland's five-game winning streak, even though Nowitzki, the NBA's No. 6 scorer, sits out because of an elbow injury suffered in a collision Friday night.

December 21, 2009

Dallas — Tim Thomas took Dirk Nowitzki's spot in the starting lineup and scored 22 points, helping the Dallas Mavericks beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 102-95, Sunday night to spoil LeBron James' 500th career game.

The Cavaliers, who had won five straight, pulled to within 84-83 midway through the fourth quarter, but Dallas answered with a 12-4 spurt.

Nowitzki didn't play two days after a collision with Houston's Carl Landry, who lost five teeth, two of which were embedded in Nowitzki's right elbow, necessitating several stitches.

-- associated press

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