Max Strus drilled a 59-footer as time expired his fifth made 3-pointer in the final four minutes, to give the Cleveland Cavaliers a wild 121-119 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night.

After the Mavericks took the lead on P.J. Washington’s dunk with 2.9 seconds left, the Cavs quickly inbounded the ball to Evan Mobley, who passed back to Strus — who made four 3s in a span of 67 seconds down the stretch to keep Cleveland close.

Strus then took a dribble before launching his shot from well beyond mid-court. As it swished through the net, Strus was tackled to the floor by teammates as the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse crowd erupted.

Strus said he knew it was good from the moment it left his hand.

“The last five felt pretty good,” he said. “I felt a rhythm and every I shot it I felt like it was going in, and it was. Same with the last one.”

Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points, Strus added 21 and Jarrett Allen 19 for the Cavs, who improved to 12-3 since Jan 26.

Luka Doncic had 45 points and 14 assists a day before turning 25 for the Mavericks. Kyrie Irving added 30 for Dallas, which lost for just the second time in 10 games.

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“It’s disappointing,” Washington said. “We felt like we should have won that game. Obviously, it was a lucky shot. You hate to lose that way, but it is what it is.”

Doncic added nine rebounds, finishing one shy of his 11th triple-double.

With Doncic making a 3-pointer, Dallas reeled off 10 straight points to take a 108-98 lead with 4:38 left.

The Mavericks were still up by double digits when Strus got hot, making four 3-pointers in just over a minute to pull the Cavs within 113-112.

Doncic’s appearance in Cleveland always brings out dozens of fans from  the city’s Slovenian community. Following his early pregame warmup, Doncic went into the stands to sign autographs and pose for photos.

After a sluggish start offensively, the Cavaliers made 7 of 9 3-pointers to begin the second quarter while opening a 56-41 lead.

But following a Dallas timeout, Doncic took over. The All-Star made three 3s in a span of 1:26, dropped two free throws and then hit another step-back 3 to score 14 points in the final 2:57 to pull the Mavs within 60-56 at halftime.

This was Irving’s first visit since being traded to Dallas from Brooklyn, and he got a warm ovation in player introductions and again when the Cavs played a video tribute for him during a first-quarter timeout.

Irving waved to the crowd and formed the shape of heart with his hands to show thanks.

The mercurial guard has a complicated relationship with Cleveland fans. Some remain faithful and will never forget his contributions to the Cavs’ title run in 2016 while others feel bitterness toward Irving after he demanded to be traded.

He’s been with Dallas nearly a year, and Mavericks coach Jason Kidd raved about how Irving has blended in after a bumpy exit from the Nets.

“He’s at peace,” Kidd said. “He’s enjoying Dallas, the city. He’s enjoying his teammates and he’s playing at a high level.”


Mavericks: At Toronto on Wednesday.

Cavaliers: At Chicago on Wednesday.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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