Give the Mavericks this much: They’re pretty good in a pillow fight.
For the third time on this homestand, they confronted an opponent with a record ridiculously south of .500, and they treated them accordingly. This time it was the Cleveland Cavaliers, who didn’t put up much resistance down the stretch as the Mavericks pulled away for a 124-107 victory.

Never mind that Houston, the one winning team the Mavericks saw on this four-game run at American Airlines Center, came in and stamped a loss on them.

For now, the Mavericks could take some satisfaction in getting their record back to seven games above break-even, matching their high-water mark of the season.

The Mavericks improved to 17-6 against teams at .500 or worse.
Against teams with a winning record?

They are 11-15.

Still, there’s something to be said for taking care of business, which is what the Mavericks did for the most part on the homestand. They spread the wealth offensively against the Cavaliers with six players in double figures. They improved to 8-1 when at least six players score 10 points or more.

And they got an alert effort from Samuel Dalembert, which triggered not only a good offensive night but also their best rebounding night (plus-14) since beating the Lakers by 15 on the boards in the fourth game of the season.

“He’s proven that he can take us to a higher level,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Dalembert. “Down the stretch, he was a presence at both ends. We just have to keep reinforcing with him the things that we need him to do. He’s big heading into the next game because they have a lot of big, strong guys.”

“They” would be the Memphis Grizzlies, one of several teams locked in a tight race with the Mavericks in the chase for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference.

If the Mavericks keep the same focus on the rebounding as they did against the Cavaliers, their chances against the Grizzlies will go up markedly.