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Rapid Reaction: Clippers 109, Mavs 103

3/28/2014

DALLAS -- The Mavericks failed to close the door on the Los Angeles Clippers, blowing a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of a 109-103 loss Thursday night at American Airlines Center.

How it happened: The high-powered Mavs offense went kaput down the stretch.

Dallas made only one field goal in the final five minutes. That allowed the Clippers to complete a comeback after they fell behind by 10 points earlier in the quarter.

Dirk Nowitzki, who was outstanding again for most of the game and finished with 21 points, was 0-for-4 from the floor and 1-of-3 from the line during crunch time and committed a crucial turnover. Monta Ellis, who had a miserable shooting night (4-of-19), made the Mavs’ only basket down the stretch but missed badly on two wild jumpers after Clippers star Blake Griffin’s transition layup tied the score with 1 minute, 16 seconds remaining.

The Clippers took the lead for good with 33.9 seconds remaining, when Griffin beat Brandan Wright on a beautiful spin move for a layup. Griffin finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

Chris Paul carried the Clippers offensively for most of the game. He led all scorers with 31 points and had nine assists.

What it means: The Mavs (43-30) are alone in ninth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind the Phoenix Suns and a game behind the Memphis Grizzlies. They’re 3-3 on this homestand, with the three losses coming by a combined total of 10 points. The Clippers improved to 51-22, maintaining their one-game lead over the Houston Rockets for third place in the West.

Play of the game: Griffin grabbed a defensive rebound, pushed the ball in transition and threw an underhanded lob to DeAndre Jordan from the dotted line. Jordan soared way over the rim -- not to mention over on-the-floor Nowitzki -- for a one-handed flush that made the crowd buzz for a couple of minutes in the second quarter. It wasn't a key play in the game, but it will look pretty on "SportsCenter."

Stat of the night: The Mavs blew double-digit leads in each of their three losses to the Clippers this season.