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Monday, February 13, 2012
At the half: Mavs 55, Clippers 47

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- This one is going up and down and it's the old legs of the Mavs that continue to lead and continue to make the smart plays. The Clippers rolled early in the second quarter to cut an eight-point deficit to 33-31 and then 43-31, but Dallas ended the period strong.

The Mavs are shooting 57.9 percent and Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood have done a bunch of damage with 10 points each. Dirk Nowitzki has eight points on 2-of-3 shooting and is strangely 4-of-7 from the free throw line.

Caron Butler leads the Clippers with 13 points, nine coming in first on three 3s. Blake Griffin has 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting. Chris Paul has five points and six assists.

Vince Carter has seven points and has abused his smaller counterpart, Randy Foye, throwing down a reverse jam off a baseline drive late in the second quarter.

The Mavs are indeed the older team, but the Clippers are playing the final game of a long six-game road trip. Will they have the legs to run away from Dallas? Or can the Mavs expand the lead with more strong offense that has yielded a 28-16 advantage in the paint?

Also of note, the Mavs have just five turnovers.