That was the scenario three times this season before Thursday night’s game, and all three times they came back and won.
But the fourth time would be the charm for the Mavericks, as Dallas finally was able to hold on to its double-digit lead and secure a 113-107 win. In the process, the Mavericks handed the Clippers only their sixth loss at home this season and first since Feb. 18.
How it happened: The Clippers played like a team that had just returned home from a five-game trip and three comeback wins in the past four games: confident they would find a way to rally and win. But you can only play with fire so many times. With the Mavericks up 12 with 2:51 to go, the Clippers went on a 10-0 run over the next 85 seconds. But the comeback was not to be this time.
What it means: The Clippers finally fell short in a comeback attempt and missed out on their first season sweep of Dallas in 20 years. It also hurt the Clippers’ shot of catching the Oklahoma City Thunder for the second seed in the West after OKC halted the 19-game winning streak of the San Antonio Spurs and pushed its lead over L.A.to 2 1/2 games with only five games left.
Hits: Despite dealing with back spasms, Blake Griffin had a triple-double with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Griffin also appeared to twist his ankle in the waning seconds. Griffin said after the game it was a misstep and that he was fine. DeAndre Jordan had 21 points and 15 rebounds. Chris Paul had 17 points and nine assists, and Darren Collison had 22 points. J.J. Redick had 12 points off the bench in his return.
Misses: Outside of Redick’s 12 points off the bench, the Clippers’ second team was a disappointment. With Redick moving up to the starting lineup soon and Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger out until the playoffs, the Clippers will need to find a way to get some more consistent production from the second unit.
Stat of the game: The Clippers hit only 6-of-27 from beyond the arc, while the Mavericks nailed 14-of-29 3-pointers.
Up next: The Clippers have a couple of days off before facing the Los Angeles Lakers in what will be a Clippers home game at Staples Center. The last time these two teams met, the Clippers blew out the Lakers by 48 points. It was the largest margin of victory in Clippers history and the largest margin of defeat for the Lakers.