Friday, January 3, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Clippers 119, Mavs 112
By Tim MacMahon
DALLAS -- The Mavericks couldn’t close out the Los Angeles Clippers, blowing a late lead in a 119-112 loss Friday despite L.A.’s star point guard, Chris Paul, watching from the locker room after suffering a sprained right shoulder.
How it happened: The power forward who came through in the clutch wasn’t the Hall of Famer wearing the home white.
Clippers star Blake Griffin had five of his game-high-tying 25 points in the final two minutes. That included a go-ahead three-point play off a drive with 1:37 remaining. Griffin, who also had 15 rebounds, scored nine points in the fourth quarter.
Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki put up a team-high 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting despite a sore left ankle, but he missed two of his famous one-footed fadeaways in the final two minutes.
The Clippers closed the game with a 16-2 run to claim the victory.
The Clippers played the last quarter and a half without Paul, who suffered a separated right shoulder and crumpled to the floor after a collision with Monta Ellis midway through the third. He had 19 points and six assists before his departure. Backup point guard Darren Collison, who played for the Mavs last season, had 20 points and four assists in 35 minutes.
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had one of the most dominant performances of his career, scoring 25 points on 11-of-14 shooting, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking three shots.
The Mavs set a new season high for points in a half with 70 in the first, but the Dallas offense sputtered in the third quarter, scoring only 17 points in the frame to allow the Clippers to take the lead.
What it means: The Mavs saw their season-high-tying three-game winning streak snapped, falling to 19-14 overall and 11-5 at the American Airlines Center. Dallas, which is in eighth place in the Western Conference, is 4-6 against the seven teams ahead of it in the standings. The Clippers improved to 23-12.
Play of the game: Griffin attacked Brandan Wright off the dribble and muscled in the biggest bucket of the night. Griffin finished despite being fouled and hit a free throw that gave the Clippers a 113-112 edge with 1:37 remaining. L.A. never relinquished the lead.
Stat of the night:Shawn Marion surpassed the 17,000-point milestone with his first basket of the night. He became the 82nd player in NBA history with at least 17,000 points. The group of players who have at least 17,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals and 1,000 blocks is much more exclusive: Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Kevin Garnett and Marion.