The Cavaliers raced back from a 24-point first half deficit, only to lose in the final seconds when they were called for a five-second violation when Jarrett Jack failed to get the ball in bounds with 2.8 seconds left and the Cavs down 3.
The Dallas Mavericks were able to claim a 102-97 victory in Cleveland’s first of five straight home games after a five-game west coast trip.
The Mavericks were led in scoring by Monta Ellis, who ripped the nets for 22 points while Shawn Marion chipped in with 18.
Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 26, while Luol Deng, playing his first home game since being acquired, had 20. Anderson Varejao was a demon on the board with 21 rebounds to go along with his 18 points.
Irving had 18 in the third as the Cavs chipped away at the huge Dallas lead to cut it to 10.
Deng’s three-pointer got the Cavs within two late in the game but the Cavs could never get any closer.
Cleveland is back home on Wednesday as Deng’s former team, the Chicago Bulls, comes to Quicken Loans Arena.