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Mavs lose third straight

12/21/2003

DALLAS (AP) -- The Los Angeles Clippers are turning things around
against the Dallas Mavericks.

Corey Maggette scored 26 points and Quentin Richardson had 25
points and 13 rebounds as the Clippers beat the Mavericks for the
second time in as many meetings this season, 115-105 on Saturday
night.

Elton Brand had 22 points and a season-high 20 rebounds for the
Clippers, who had won only three of their previous 21 meetings with
the Mavericks before this season.

"It was a great win for us," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy
said. "They are a great team at home and very efficient, averaging
108 points per game. Our guys worked hard and defended well."

Antawn Jamison had 26 points to match his season high, Dirk
Nowitzki scored 23 and Steve Nash added 20 points and 11 assists
for the Mavericks, who dropped to 12-2 at home. They lost their
third straight game -- their longest skid this season.

"We've been through situations like this before and figured out
what we had to do," Jamison said. "A lot of guys in this room
have a chip on their shoulder. We've got too much talent. This
should never happen."

The Mavericks slipped to 15-11. At the same point last season,
they were 22-4.

Dallas rallied from an 18-point third-quarter deficit, pulling
as close as 103-99 with 4:15 left on Nowitzki's 3-point play.

But Bobby Simmons hit a free throw, Nowitzki turned the ball
over on a bad pass, and Richardson converted a layup with 3:10
remaining to give the Clippers a 106-99 edge.

Consecutive baskets by Brand, the second with 1:47 left,
extended the Clippers' lead to 110-101, and Dallas was unable to
get closer than seven.

The Clippers, beaten at Houston 99-85 on Friday night, took a
61-54 halftime lead behind Maggette's 13 points.

Dallas got 17 first-half points from Jamison on 8-of-12
shooting, but the Mavericks had nobody else in double figures.

The Mavericks held a 30-26 halftime rebounding edge, and
Dunleavy took his team to task for that deficit.

Los Angeles responded with a 19-7 advantage on the boards in the
final quarter.

"Coach told us at halftime we needed to focus on that a little
more," Richardson said. "Everybody kind of keyed in and said we
had to go in there and rebound."

The Clippers opened the third quarter with an 18-8 spurt capped
by Glen Rice's 3-pointer for an 80-62 advantage.

Dallas answered with a 14-2 run, hitting seven of nine shots to
close within 82-76 on Nash's 3-pointer with 3:10 left in the third
quarter.

The Clippers carried a 91-82 advantage into the final quarter.

Mavericks coach Don Nelson missed the game due to the flu.
Nelson's son and top assistant coach, Donnie, took over bench
duties. Donnie Nelson picked up a technical foul with 6:40 left for
protesting a call while his team was behind 100-89.

"That's a good young team we played tonight," the younger
Nelson said. "They gave us all we could handle for four quarters.
Between Maggette, Brand, Richardson and all their young guys, we
couldn't come up with the answer tonight."

Game notes
Dallas was without F-G Michael Finley (sprained right big
toe) and C Shawn Bradley (back spasms). ... Clippers F Melvin Ely
was out with the flu. ... The Clippers have won five of their last
six. They snapped a six-game road losing streak. ... Dallas is 2-10
when allowing 100 or more points.