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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
W2W4: Can Mavs contain Clippers' athletes?

By Tim MacMahon

The Clippers’ big men jump over cars. The Mavs’ big men might be able to jump over a credit card.

The Mavs can’t match the athleticism of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, Lob City’s frontcourt finishers. For that matter, they’re at a major quickness disadvantage when Derek Fisher is defending Chris Paul.

The Mavs will have to figure out other ways to compete with the Clippers.

“These guys are as dynamic and athletic as they come, so we’re going to have to approach it with a team game,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “That’s how we have to do things. We’ve got to do things hard. We’ve got to do things together.”

Records: Mavs (8-9); Clippers (11-6)

When: 9:30 p.m.

Where: Staples Center

TV: ESPN/FSSW

Radio: ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1270 AM (Spanish)

What to watch: Can O.J. Mayo keep the hot hand? He busted out of his first mini-slump as a Mav by lighting up the Pistons for 24 points in the second half of Saturday’s win. Mayo, the league’s eight-leading scorer at 20.2 points per game, is shooting the 3 with historic efficiency. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, among the 300 players who have attempted at least 80 3-pointers in the first 17 games of their season, Mayo has hit the highest percentage (52.7). The next 3 Mayo makes will be his 50th of the season, which would make him the fastest Mav to that milestone if it comes on this road trip.

Key matchup: Derek Fisher vs. Chris Paul – The 38-year-old Fisher was pleased with his conditioning in his first game of the season Saturday night. It’ll really get tested tonight, when he has to chase around arguably the NBA’s premier point guard. However, don’t totally dismiss the old head. The last time Fisher started against Paul, the Clippers’ star was held to four points in a loss to the Lakers, although Paul did have 12 assists and zero turnovers in that game last season.

Injuries: Mavs – PF Dirk Nowitzki (knee) is out. Clippers – F Grant Hill (knee) and F Trey Thompkins (knee) are out.

Up next: at Phoenix Suns, 9:30 p.m. Thursday