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Thursday, December 6, 2012
3-pointer: Darren Collison disappoints again

By Tim MacMahon

Let’s just say Darren Collison didn’t do anything in Los Angeles to convince Rick Carlisle that it was a bad idea to give away the point guard’s starting job.

A moment early in the fourth quarter illustrated why the Mavs can’t trust Collison to run their team. His sloppy, careless pass was easily intercepted by Matt Barnes, leading to a fast-break opportunity for the Clippers that Barnes finished with a layup.

Carlisle responded by calling a timeout. The reason he wanted the break was to bench Collison, who was replaced by Dominique Jones with the Mavs trailing by 21 points.

Collison got back off the bench for garbage time. He committed another turnover on his first possession after checking back into the game.

Collison padded his point total during garbage time, but his line in the box score was still butt ugly: eight points, two assists, two rebounds, four fouls and five turnovers in 18 minutes. The Mavs were outscored by 24 with him on the floor, the worst plus-minus of any player.

By contrast, Fisher was the only Mav who finished with a positive plus-minus. Dallas outscored the Clippers by two points in Fisher’s 25 minutes, with the 38-year-old point guard scoring 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

A few more quick notes from the Mavs’ lopsided loss in L.A.:

1. Lam Lam shows life: As if getting blown out by the Clippers wasn’t bad enough, the Mavs actually let Lamar Odom look like he belonged in an NBA uniform.

Odom, who stunned people who paid no attention to his disastrous stint in Dallas by reporting to Clipper training camp in terrible shape, played 24 active, productive minutes in L.A.’s rout. He grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds and had four points, two steals and two assists. Odom didn’t have a double-digit rebounding game during his abbreviated season in Dallas.

Oh, there was one classic Lam Lam lowlight, when he had zero lift on a layup attempt he managed to miss by several feet.

2. Butler did it: Another ex-Mav on the Clippers’ roster also enjoyed facing his former team. Caron Butler, who left Dallas with nothing but the utmost respect and admiration from the Mavs’ franchise, contributed to the Clippers’ win 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting and five rebounds.

Of all the Clippers’ highlight-worthy dunks – and there were a bunch of them – Butler might have had the most impressive. He put Chris Kaman on a poster while finishing a baseline drive with a ferocious one-hand slam.

3. Crowder’s struggles continue: Rookie second-round pick Jae Crowder’s offensive woes as a starter continued with an 0-of-6 shooting night. Crowder is now averaging 4.0 points on 25 percent shooting as a starter, compared with 8.7 points on 52.7 percent shooting as a reserve.

Elton Brand started the second half instead of Crowder, perhaps a sign of things to come.