Los Angeles Clippers: Jason Kidd
April, 2, 2012
By Pedro Moura | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Sure, the Dallas Mavericks were without both Jason Kidd and Lamar Odom in Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
But the Clippers didn't beat the Mavs solely because those two were absent. The Clippers hammered Dallas 94-75 because they played a much better game than the defending champions did -- and a more complete one.
This victory effectively validates the Clippers' recent winning streak, which has now stretched to six, the longest since 1992 for the beleaguered franchise. But three of the five wins before Monday night had come against sub-.500 teams, two of which were also missing a key player.
Dallas is comfortably over .500, despite its dismal start to the 2011-12 season, and would have been in position to face the Clips in a 4-5 first-round matchup had they beat them Monday night. So this one meant something.
Randy Foye, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin would have none of that, with Foye connecting on a franchise-record-tying eight 3-pointers to lead all scorers with 28 points. Paul played through an injured elbow to accumulate double-digit assists for the fifth time in the six-game win streak, and Griffin shot an efficient 7-of-11 from the field and added 16 rebounds.
Defensively, it's hard to tell how well the Clippers played because Dallas shot so horribly, but it's clear that L.A. played at least serviceable defense. Their rotations have been better of late, and there was no reason to think they took a step back in that category Monday night.
"Sometimes you just get your a-- kicked that bad," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said in his postgame press conference at the American Airlines Center.