For the most part Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Dallas Mavericks appeared as though they were still hung over from a grueling eight-day, four-game road trip that ended with Thursday’s emotional loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

The hapless Cavs were pushing the weary Mavs around the majority of the night until the home team finally showed some moxie while fighting their way to a 96-86 triumph before a sellout crowd of 20,482 at American Airlines Center.

Sparks off the bench from Rodrigue Beaubois, Brandan Wright and Darren Collison helped the Mavs avoid a major upset and increase their record to 31-34. Meanwhile, coach Rick Carlisle explained why his team lacked so much luster for over half the game.

“It’s a big energy game and because of us playing Thursday night and having a difficult loss and those kinds of things, we struggled early and we struggled partly because we couldn’t hit a bull with a bass fiddle on offense,” Carlisle said. “And defensively they were getting momentum into their offense and they were scoring.