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Game 76: Mavs at Clippers presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Mavericks vs. Clippers

Dirk Nowitzki's clutch fourth quarter led the Mavs past the Clippers in a huge win Thursday night.

LOS ANGELES — After admittedly expressing their disappointment with a 4-4 mark during a franchise-record eight-game homestand, the Dallas Mavericks turned their attention to a new challenge.

Beginning a pivotal four-game road trip Thursday, the Mavericks looked to put their lackluster play during their homestand behind them while entering the night tied with Phoenix and Memphis for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference. But, before finishing their road trip against the West’s three worst teams, the Mavs faced a daunting task, looking to avoid a season series sweep against a Los Angeles Clippers team that had won the previous three meetings.

And after relinquishing fourth-quarter leads in each of the three previous matchups between the two teams, the Mavericks (45-31) exacted a bit of revenge while holding on late for a 113-107 victory to begin their road trip.

“It’s really important because of the race to make the playoffs. I think it’s even more important on our minds that we can beat a good team like the Clippers,” Mavs point guard Jose Calderon said of the win. “It’s been three tough ones for us, losing the three games like we lost to them, so we were coming into this game like this is not only about winning and making the playoffs. It’s about making a little statement to say, ‘OK, we can beat this team.’ It’s a great win for us.”

Still stunned following their last-second 122-120 overtime loss Tuesday to Golden State, the Mavericks hoped to get off to a fast start against a Clippers (54-23) team that took the court on the second night of a back-to-back after a 112-108 victory Wednesday in Phoenix. Calderon then came out the gate looking for his own shot, stroking the hot hand to help the Mavs sprint to an 11-4 run after the opening tipoff.

Mavs center Samuel Dalembert also asserted himself inside early. But, after leading by eight in the first quarter, the Mavericks would fall victim to Blake Griffin’s assault on the rim. Still, thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers by sixth man Vince Carter in the midst of an 8-0 Dallas run, the Mavs slid into the second stanza with a 32-26 lead.

“We knew they were on a back-to-back. They had an emotional win last night in a comeback against Phoenix, so we wanted to attack them early,” Mavs leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki said. “We started off the game well and we were all in the game, and that’s usually a plus for us. We didn’t have to chase them and I thought we set the tone well.”

Receiving a boost from backup big man Brandan Wright and second-year standout Jae Crowder off the bench, the Mavericks quickly opened up a double-digit advantage early in the second period. The Mavs also benefitted from an aggressive Nowitzki as the 12-time All-Star began to go to work.

However, Griffin continued to put his team on his back. And after leading by as many as 11, the Mavericks took a 58-56 edge into the halftime intermission.

Scoring 11 of his 16 first-half points in the second quarter, Nowitzki did his best to pace the Mavs to the lead while hitting seven of his 12 shots. Meanwhile, the Mavs’ 49 percent from the field as a team just bettered the Clippers’ 46.8 percent while adding a 25-20 rebounding edge.

Following a steal and transition layup by former Mav Darren Collison to open the second-half scoring, it didn’t take long for the visiting Dallas team to find itself on the downside of the scoreboard during the early stage of the third quarter. Mavs 2-guard Monta Ellis then began to come to life after overshadowing his 1-of-6 start with nine assists. But it would be Calderon that would boost the Mavericks to a slight lead, before Carter and backup point guard Devin Harris caught fire from behind the 3-point arc to take the visitors into the fourth with an 86-81 edge.

Receiving a spark from Glen Davis off the bench, the Clippers remained within an arm’s reach during the early stage of the final 12 minutes of play. But Nowitzki would have an answer, jumping back into the scoring with two long-range bombs to put the Mavs up 99-89 with 6:35 left to hold on.

Carter lent some assistance from there, swishing his fourth trey of the night to keep the Clippers at bay and then connecting on a fadeaway jumper to put the Mavericks up 109-97 with 2:46 remaining on the game clock. But once again the Mavs wouldn’t be able to coast after Collison led a 10-0 L.A. run to inch within two with 1:26 left to play, leading to a Dallas timeout.

The two teams would then grow stagnant before Griffin’s foul sent Nowitzki to the line with 17.9 seconds left on the clock. The future Hall of Famer then calmly connected on two clutch free throws to extend the lead to four. And after a defensive stop at the other end, four-time All-Star Shawn Marion put the final touches on the win with a 2-for-2 trip to the charity stripe of his own.

“We finished the game,” Marion said. “We were able to get some stops when we needed to, hit some free throws and that was it. They went on a 10-0 run in basically two minutes, and I don’t even know what happened. But we were able to pull it out.”

“The win was nice. Not so much the last couple of minutes,” Nowitzki matter-of-factly added after handing the Clippers just their sixth home defeat of the season. “We started to give the ball up again and Redick had some shots to actually give them the lead, which is unbelievable after we had just had a 10-point lead. But I’m glad we survived. It’s definitely a big win for us against a very good team, against a team that we hadn’t beaten this year and against a team that hasn’t lost much on their home floor. It’s a big win, especially after Phoenix and Memphis lost last night.”

Scoring 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to complete a 10-of-18 shooting performance, Nowitzki led five Mavs in double figures while also pulling down a team-high 11 rebounds. Calderon finished with 19 points of his own, hitting eight of his 13 shots from the field and three of five from behind the 3-point line. Meanwhile, Carter scored 16 points in a reserve role as the Mavs ended the game with a 37-16 advantage in bench scoring. Dalembert and Ellis also scored 12 points apiece in the first unit.

Recording a triple-double, Griffin led five Clippers in double figures with 25 points, adding 10 rebounds and 11 assists. But the Mavs’ 50 percent shooting bettered the Clippers’ 42.9 percent, adding a 46-41 rebounding edge to overcome a 50-30 disadvantage in points in the paint.

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their final back-to-back of the regular season, playing the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night. Dallas leads the season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 9:30 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Thursday, April 10, to host the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Dallas Mavericks
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Shawn Marion, F302-50-03-43692033037
Dirk Nowitzki, F3410-184-72-20111112124226
Samuel Dalembert, C283-40-06-633610224-712
Monta Ellis, G364-121-53-404490120-412
Jose Calderon, G268-133-50-002210014-1519
Vince Carter256-124-70-002211003816
Devin Harris232-62-40-003370001176
Brandan Wright164-70-00-003311103168
Jae Crowder132-30-11-214510112135
DeJuan Blair30-20-02-210100000-32
Wayne Ellington00-00-00-00000000000
Bernard James00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Gal Mekel00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
41-8214-2917-208384624491121 113
50.0%48.3%85.0%
Los Angeles Clippers
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Matt Barnes, F382-91-61-215620122-56
Blake Griffin, F399-230-07-74610111115-525
DeAndre Jordan, C389-120-03-85101502203121
Darren Collison, G377-142-66-602213013522
Chris Paul, G397-141-72-223591013-117
JJ Redick233-102-64-402210000-1512
Glen Davis92-40-00-001100012-104
Jared Dudley100-40-10-00002000110
Reggie Bullock20-10-10-000000001-10
Jamal Crawford00-00-00-00000000000
Danny Granger00-00-00-00000000000
Willie Green00-00-00-00000000000
Ryan Hollins00-00-00-00000000000
Hedo Turkoglu00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
39-916-2723-291229412674620 107
42.9%22.2%79.3%

Play of the Day: Brandan Wright

Brandan Wright goes up and over Blake Griffin for the big one-handed slam off the pretty assist from Jae Crowder.

 

Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk says this is one of the biggest wins of the season and the Mavericks first victory against the Clippers this season.

 

Block of the Night

Brandan Wright comes across the lane to swat away Jared Dudley's shot.

 

Wright Over Griffin

Brandon Wright goes up and over Blake Griffin for the big one-handed slam.

 

Wright Swats Dudley

Brandan Wright comes across to swat away Jared Dudley's shot.

 

Practice Report: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki talks about the team's sense of urgency, late-game execution, the upcoming road trip and more.

 

Practice Report: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle says the team needs to focus on the positives and go out there and get ready for the next game.

LOS ANGELES — After six combined technical fouls were assessed last Thursday when the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers squared off, sparks are expected to once again fly one week later as the setting shifts to the Staples Center.

Seven days after falling to a 109-103 home defeat at the hands of the Clippers (54-22), the Mavericks (44-31) will try to exact some revenge to begin their four-game road trip. However, after dropping the first three phsyical games in the season series, the Mavs admit that a daunting task awaits them as they try to keep their emotions in check.

“We’ve got to try to maintain, but it is what it is,” Mavericks forward Shawn Marion said following the team’s Thursday morning walkthrough. “It’s almost like a rivalry now to a certain degree, and it’s kind of fun and it’s exciting. It’s a talented team and they’re really deep at every spot. You know, it’s going to be good. They’re playing very good ball, and of course the head of the snake is Chris Paul. He’s playing some unbelievable basketball, but at the same time we know what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to try to take the highlight reels out and don’t let them get going. And they’ve been knocking down a lot of threes, too, so we know what it’s going to be. It’s going to be a competitive game.”

With Paul scoring 31 points and dishing out nine assists against the Dallas defense last week, the Mavs couldn’t stop the Clippers from staging a rally after finding themselves down 11 with 8:40 left to play. The Clippers will now enter the fourth regular-season contest between the two teams still flying high after coming back from down 17 to claim a 112-108 victory Wednesday in Phoenix. And with sharpshooter J.J. Redick possibly set to return after missing 25 games due to a bulging disk in his lower back, the Mavs will once again have their hands full.

Note: The Mavericks will begin a four-game road trip on the West Coast, playing the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. The Clippers lead the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 9:30 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Thursday, April 10, to host the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

LOS ANGELES — Despite failing to make up ground during their franchise-record eight-game homestand, the Dallas Mavericks still find themselves in the Western Conference playoff picture.

Going just 4-4 on their homestand, the Mavericks (44-31) failed to move up in the West standings. However, with Memphis and Phoenix also unable to separate themselves from the pack, the Mavs still sit in a three-way tie for the final two playoff positions in the West, entering Thursday in the seventh spot.

And while trying to put the disappointment of Tuesday’s 122-120 overtime loss to Golden State behind them, after the NBA admitted a day later that a late goaltending no-call was missed, the Mavericks will try to make amends for their lackluster home-heavy stretch during a pivotal four-game road trip.

“It’s disappointing, but we’ve got to get ready for the next game now,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said following Tuesday’s loss to conclude the homestand. “I’m not big on analyzing how disappointing it is. I know how disappointing it is, and we didn’t deserve to win (Tuesday). You’ve got to make the right plays at the right time, and we did not do that.”

Looking to avoid a season series sweep at the hands of the Pacific Division champion Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night to begin their road trip, the Mavericks will try to better close out games. In all three losses to the Clippers (54-22), the Mavs held leads late before surrendering fourth-quarter runs. And after suffering four narrow losses on their homestand by six points or less, the Mavericks will try to better execute down the stretch in order to increase their playoff odds.

“It’s been a lot of (close games) we feel like this whole season and they just keep coming,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said. “Until we just execute a little bit better down the stretch and don’t make little mistakes here and there that cost us games, we’re going to keep getting them.”

Meanwhile, the Mavericks can anticipate another physical affair, after six technical fouls were handed out — three on each team — when the Clippers slid off the American Airlines Center floor last Thursday with a 109-103 victory. And while catching the Clippers following their rally from 17 down Wednesday to snatch a 112-108 win at Phoenix, the Mavs hope to take advantage of the L.A. team’s tired legs.

Note: The Mavericks will begin a four-game road trip on the West Coast, playing the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night. The Clippers lead the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 9:30 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Thursday, April 10, to host the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 3-0. The game will air nationally on TNT at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.