DALLAS (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki is aware his long-range game is off right now. So the reigning MVP is trying to work closer to the basket.
Nowitzki is hitting just 30 percent of his 3-pointers
-- his worst percentage since his rookie season in 1998-99. After missing a 3-pointer on the game's first possession, Nowitzki decide to post up against smaller Clipper defenders.
He scored 14 in the first quarter, then helped close out Los Angeles with a couple of baskets in the fourth.
"Some nights you find your rhythm quick," Nowitzki said. "I had some great looks right away and I got to the foul line."
Los Angeles got within 88-81 on Dan Dickau's layup midway through the fourth.
But Dallas put the game away by scoring the next nine points. Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer and added a three-point play to put the Mavericks up 97-81.
Nowitzki has scored at least 30 in his last three games. The Mavericks won their fifth straight game as they held the Clippers to less than 90 points for the ninth time this season.
"At this point it doesn't matter how many games you win in a row," Nowitzki said. "It's a matter of finding a rhythm. This is a step in the right direction. We're not worried about any streaks."
The Clippers have lost 12 of 15 games since starting the season 6-4.
"I thought we went through stretches where we just didn't shoot the ball well again," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We made some good runs but we could never get a crack."
Chris Kaman scored 24 points and grabbed 19 rebounds for Los Angeles. It was his 21st double-double of the season and his 11th straight in December.
Dallas led by 12 at the half, but Los Angeles opened the third on a 15-6 run.
Richie Frahm hit a 3-pointer to bring the Clippers within 60-57.
The Mavericks answered as Harris drove for a layup, then stole the ball from Tim Thomas and finished with another hoop to put Dallas ahead 64-57.
Nowitzki hit a jumper to extend the lead to nine. After a Kaman basket, Josh Howard scored five straight points to put Dallas on top 71-59.
"We're not flying high and mighty right now," Dallas coach Avery Johnson said. "We know we still have our game to work on, and that keeps us on our toes."
Cuttino Mobley had 13 off the bench for the Clippers.
The Clippers have been one of the worst offensive teams in the NBA. They came into the game averaging less than 94 points and shooting 42 percent.
"Offense has been a problem for us," Kaman said. "We don't move well, we don't execute well. Something is wrong and we've got to figure it out on our own."
Harris scored 10 in the second quarter, including a driving layup to put the Mavericks ahead 54-42 at halftime.
Clippers reserve center Paul Davis left the game with 8:53 left in the first half with a sprained right knee. Davis landed awkwardly on his right leg trying to get back on defense.
Davis wasn't putting any pressure on his right leg as needed the help of two teammates to assist him off the floor.
Johnson, a former San Antonio point guard, will have his jersey retired by the Spurs on Saturday night. Johnson is the team's all-time assists leader and his jumper in Game 5 of the 1999 NBA Finals clinched the title. ... Mobley was back in the lineup after missing Wednesday's game against Toronto with a stomach virus.