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Mavs maul Clippers, hand L.A. second straight home loss

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks are undefeated since
Jerry Stackhouse and Erick Dampier became their 1-2 punch off the
bench.

Stackhouse and Dampier combined for 27 points, Dirk Nowitzki had
26 points and 11 rebounds, and the Mavericks got Clippers leading
scorer Elton Brand in early foul trouble in a 101-81 rout of Los
Angeles on Friday night.

"I like playing with Damp," Stackhouse said. "People make a
lot about him being out of the starting lineup and coming off the
bench, but I think he feels comfortable playing with me because he
gets a few more shots maybe than he gets in the starting lineup. So
it's been working out well. Hopefully we can continue to get
better."

Stackhouse finished with 14 points. The two-time All-Star, who
missed the first 26 games of the season because of a sore right
knee, has come off the bench in all 14 games he has played and was
one of six Dallas players to score in double figures.

Dampier had 13 points and 12 rebounds. He came off the bench for
the fourth straight game after being demoted from the starting
lineup by coach Avery Johnson. It was the first time the 10-year
veteran center has scored in double figures in his last 29 games.

"It means a lot," Johnson said. "Those are two guys who
obviously can be starting. Damp's been a starter and Stack's been a
starter, so hopefully, we can get those guys matched up on some of
the other team's second-team players. We like to go to Damp, and we
went to him tonight -- and he delivered. He's been playing really
hard."

The Mavericks extended their winning streak to four games and
improved their road record to 15-6, after setting a franchise
record last season with a 29-12 mark. The victory kept Dallas a
game behind defending NBA champion San Antonio for the best record
in the Western Conference.

Sam Cassell scored 23 points for the Clippers, who went 7:06
between field goals in the fourth quarter. Brand, who came in as
the only player in the league among the top 10 in scoring and
rebounding, finished with 19 points and 10 boards.

"It's embarrassing. You can't get embarrassed on your home
court like that," Brand said. "You have to play with some pride
and some intensity. We came out in the third quarter with a sense
of urgency, but you've got to start the ballgame off like that."

Trailing by 21 with 3:35 left in the third, the Clippers
narrowed the gap to 83-70 on a three-point play by James Singleton
with 10:33 remaining, but the Mavericks responded with jumpers by
Nowitzki and Adrian Griffin.

Dallas guard Jason Terry received a double-technical and an
ejection from referee Bill Kennedy after complaining that he was
fouled on a drive to the basket against Cassell and Brand. Cassell
made both free throws, but Stackhouse and Nowitzki answered with
consecutive 3-pointers, triggering a 10-0 run that gave the
Mavericks a commanding 97-72 lead with 4:05 remaining.

Stackhouse and Dampier combined for 19 points in the first half
to help Dallas take a 63-39 lead. It was the largest point
differential at halftime for the Mavericks this season, and marked
the third time they led by at least 20 after two quarters.

"I was really disappointed in our focus. A team who is coming
in 29-10 should be able to get our attention," Clippers coach Mike
Dunleavy said. "When you dig yourself a hole like that, it's hard
to come all the way back against a really good team. But we need to
quit feeling sorry for ourselves."

Nowitzki missed four of his first five shots, but Dallas still
managed to build an 11-point lead in the first 5½ minutes. Brand
went to the bench with a minute left in the opening quarter after
picking up his second foul on a layup by Dampier -- whose
three-point play triggered a 12-0 run that extended the margin to
42-21 with 11 minutes left in the half.

"They played really well, shared the ball and played defense.
But I don't think they should have punished us like that.
Definitely not," Brand said. "The last game, Cat (Cuttino Mobley)
was out with foul trouble, and tonight I had to come out early in
foul trouble. But we don't have any excuses. Guys need to step up
and play with a sense of pride."

Game notes
The Mavericks are 46-1 when holding their opponent under 90
points since Nov. 6, 2003, when they lost 77-71 at Toronto. The
only defeat since then was Nov. 22, 2004, when Minnesota beat them
83-82 at Dallas. ... Dallas G Darrell Armstrong played less than a
minute late in the fourth quarter, but left with a slightly
sprained left ankle. ... Clippers backup C Zeljko Rebraca, who was
cleared Thursday to return to action after missing 24 games because
of an irregular heartbeat, is expected back in the lineup sometime
next week.

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