Game 33: Mavs vs. Clippers

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Clippers vs. Mavericks

DeAndre Jordan scores a career-high 25 points to match Blake Griffin, and the Clippers rally to beat the Mavericks 119-112.

DALLAS — Returning home from an unbeaten three-game road trip, the Dallas Mavericks hoped to continue trending in the right direction Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Kick-starting a three-game homestand, the Mavericks attempted to claim a fourth straight win overall while continue their dominance over the Clippers at American Airlines Center. However, after capturing 11 wins over the Clippers in their previous 12 home matchups, the Mavs faced some adversity with 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki battling a left ankle injury suffered in the first quarter of Wednesday’s 87-78 win over Washington.

And despite seeing their go-to scorer battle through his injury, the Mavericks (19-14) would have their win streak snapped, falling to a 119-112 defeat as they suffered a third straight home loss.

“I think we’ve been doing decent protecting our home court, even though we had some tough losses around Christmas time, but this is another one we’ve just got to have,” Nowitzki said after the Mavs fell to 11-5 this season at home. “We can’t afford to give games away, and that’s what we did.”

With Nowitzki still hobbled, the scoring responsibility early on slid to starting shooting guard Monta Ellis. The two teams then exchanged long-range bombs from behind the 3-point line as four-time All-Star Shawn Marion began to assert himself, becoming the 82nd player in NBA history with 17,000 career points in the process.

The Dallas defense then stiffened, helping the Mavericks surge ahead by as much as 13. However, with ex-Mav Darren Collison attacking relentlessly against his former squad off the Clippers’ bench, the home team took just a 39-33 edge into the second period.

After connecting on 16 of 26 in the opening quarter, the Mavs would begin to get a boost from Nowitzki as he rebounded from a 3-of-14 performance Wednesday night. Backup big man Brandan Wright would lend a helping hand soon afterwards, matching the Clippers’ aerial theatrics.

Postgame: Monta Ellis

Mavs G Monta Ellis talks about how disappointing Friday's loss to the Clippers was, and how the team needs to get in a good practice and get ready for Sunday's game against New York.

But the Clippers (23-12) would come charging back once again, however, as All-Star point guard Chris Paul caught fire from 3-point range. And with Clippers coach Doc Rivers switching to a three-guard lineup of Paul, Collison and Jamal Crawford, the visitors would tie the game before finding themselves down by three, 70-67, at the halftime intermission.

Scorching the net while scoring their most of any half this season, the Mavericks outshot the Clippers through two quarters, 60.4 percent to 56.1 percent. Meanwhile, Nowitzki did his best to match Paul’s 19 first-half points, connecting on six of his seven shots to lead the Mavs with 14 points at the midway mark.

Coming out of the break, the Clippers wouldn’t take long to seize the advantage on the scoreboard, claiming their first lead of the night on Blake Griffin’s dunk to make it a 71-70 score with 10:31 remaining in the third period. Marion quickly provided a response, matching the Clippers score for score as he took matters into his own hands.

Down two at the time, the Mavs would then receive a little bit of fortune as Paul landed hard on his right shoulder and headed to the locker room with 6:43 left in the third.

“It was a tough play,” Nowitzki said of the sequence. “I was actually right there. He said he heard it pop, and so I knew it didn’t look good at all the way he was grimacing on the court.”

Still, even with Paul ruled out the rest of the way due to a right shoulder sprain, Nowitzki and the Mavs entered the fourth down two, 89-87.

In need of a spark, the Mavericks would get it as rookie point guard Shane Larkin brought the home team within one after beating the shot clock with a 3-pointer early in the final period. Nowitzki followed suit, draining a trey to put the Mavs up 94-93 as Clippers center DeAndre Jordan fouled Larkin away from the ball.

Larkin’s contribution didn’t end there, converting a tip-in into a three-point play as the Mavs attempted to pull away in the final 12 minutes. And after Mavs sixth man Vince Carter’s jumper made it a 101-95 advantage in Dallas’ favor, the Clippers were forced to regroup while calling for a timeout with 8:47 remaining.

The timeout wouldn’t stop the Mavs’ momentum as slams by Wright and Ellis continued to keep the Clippers at a safe separation on the scoreboard. Still, with Jordan having his way inside, the Clippers crept within two, 110-108, on the big man’s three-point play with 3:08 still on the clock. Crawford soon tied it with a jumper in the lane, only to be matched by Nowitzki at the other end.

But the Clippers again had an answer as Griffin converted a three-point play of his own with 1:37 remaining to put the L.A. team up one. And after a foul by Ellis, the former Rookie of the Year nailed two free throws to extend the Clippers’ lead to three, 115-112, with 1:11 left to play.

The Dallas offense then grew stagnant as Ellis turned it over and Nowitzki was unable to convert in the last minute. Free throws by Crawford with 11.9 ticks left to extend the L.A. lead to five then provided the finishing touches for the Clippers before they eventually left the Mavs’ floor with a win thanks to a 16-2 run to close the game.

“We gave up a 16-2 run to end the game. As hard as we worked to get the lead back up to seven in the fourth, we just gave it up too easy,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle concluded. “Defensively, they went right through us. Offensively, without getting stops, the shots got harder. It’s on every one of us — the coaches and players — and it’s very disappointing. It was an opportunity lost.”

“That’s a game we can’t lose. We can’t afford to lose that one. With Chris Paul out, we just didn’t take advantage enough. Defensively, we weren’t very good down the stretch,” Nowitzki added.

Despite playing with an aching ankle, Nowitzki led the Mavs in defeat with 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting.

“I felt good. Obviously, I’m on some anti-inflammatories and they always seem to work fine for me,” Nowitzki explained. “I tried it out before the game, got my ankle taped and got some treatment, went down and got some shots up, and I felt fine. I felt like I was able to do a lot more than in the Washington game, where it was pretty painful. But today I felt a lot better, so I gave it a go. And it’s a game we should have won.”

Marion added 20 points and Ellis scored 13 points and dished out nine assists in the first unit. Off the bench, Wright added 12 points. Meanwhile, starting point guard Jose Calderon pitched in 11 points and five assists.

Leading five Clippers in double figures, Jordan matched Griffin’s game-high 25 points while the two big men added 33 combined rebounds. Collison also pitched in 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting against his former team.

“I just think Blake and DeAndre just killed us on the boards,” Ellis declared. “I think both of them had 20-something (points) and 15 (rebounds). They’ve got those two big guys and I know it’s a load, but we’ve got to do a better job. That was a tough one. I thought we had a good chance of winning it. Even in the second half we started out with a lot of aggression. They made their run and they won the ballgame.”

“Collison I think to me was the key to this game,” Nowitzki added. “You know, he played well, he played within himself and he got to the basket some. I mean, if you look at their numbers, obviously DeAndre had a lot and Blake, but you can live with that. You can’t give up 22 to Collison, so I thought he was the difference tonight.”

The Mavs finished the night outshooting the Clippers, 51.1 percent to 48.8 percent, but couldn’t overcome L.A.’s 46-39 rebounding margin. The Mavs also allowed 18 points off their 12 turnovers, converting the Clippers’ 10 giveaways into just six points at the other end of the floor.

Note: The Mavs will now continue their homestand Sunday against the New York Knicks. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting


All Stats

J. Dudley, F 36 3-9 1-3 0-2 1 3 4 3 0 0 0 1 -11 7
B. Griffin, F 41 7-18 0-1 11-13 5 10 15 5 0 1 0 3 17 25
D. Jordan, C 41 11-14 0-0 3-7 6 12 18 1 1 3 2 2 7 25
J. Crawford, G 34 6-17 1-6 4-4 0 1 1 2 1 0 3 2 13 17
C. Paul, G 21 5-8 5-6 4-4 0 3 3 6 1 0 1 1 7 19
M. Barnes 19 2-4 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 2 0 6
D. Collison 35 6-10 0-3 8-8 1 2 3 4 1 0 4 4 14 20
W. Green 9 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 -12 0
R. Bullock 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R. Hollins 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Jackson 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Jamison 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B. Mullens 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Redick 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Wayns 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   40-82 9-23 30-38 13 33 46 21 5 4 10 16   119
    48.8% 39.1%                      

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All Stats

S. Marion, F 30 8-16 2-4 2-2 2 4 6 2 2 0 2 1 -9 20
D. Nowitzki, F 32 10-17 4-5 0-0 0 4 4 4 2 0 1 0 2 24
S. Dalembert, C 20 2-5 0-0 5-6 2 3 5 0 0 1 1 3 -14 9
M. Ellis, G 37 6-12 0-2 1-2 0 2 2 9 2 0 2 4 -13 13
J. Calderon, G 33 4-10 3-8 0-0 0 6 6 5 0 0 0 3 -14 11
D. Blair 7 3-5 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 1 1 5 6
V. Carter 24 3-10 2-7 0-0 0 3 3 5 0 0 2 5 -4 8
B. Wright 22 6-8 0-0 0-0 3 2 5 1 0 0 1 4 -4 12
J. Crowder 16 0-1 0-1 1-2 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 2 4 1
S. Larkin 13 3-4 1-1 1-2 3 1 4 3 1 0 1 2 12 8
W. Ellington 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Harris 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B. James 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R. Ledo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
G. Mekel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   45-88 12-28 10-14 11 28 39 29 8 1 11 25   112
    51.1% 42.9%                      

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Shootaround: Jae Crowder

Mavs F Jae Crowder talks about his role on offense, how big the road trip was and the matchup Friday night against the Clippers.

DALLAS — If the Dallas Mavericks are going to successfully run their winning streak out to four with the Los Angeles Clippers in town then they might have to do so without their franchise player.

Turning his left ankle early in the first quarter of Wednesday’s 87-78 win over the Washington Wizards to complete a sweep of the Mavericks’ three-game road trip, 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki would exit the contest to have his ankle re-taped. He then returned to the floor but clearly wasn’t at 100 percent, finishing the night just 3 of 14 from the field while being held below double figures for the first time this season.

And after being relegated to riding an exercise bike during the team’s Friday morning shootaround, Nowitzki’s playing status against the Clippers (22-12) is now in question as Mavs coach Rick Carlisle ruled the 7-footer a game-time decision.

“He’s doing OK,” Carlisle said of his hobbled superstar. “He’ll be a game-time decision. He rode the bike during shootaround, so we’ll see.

Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on Friday night's matchup against the Clippers, Jae Crowder's role on the team, Dirk Nowitzki and Devin Harris' injuries and more.

“It’s just going to be a game-time decision,” he echoed. “You know, I don’t have a lot of specifics. I don’t think there’s swelling. I think we’ll see.”

With Nowitzki averaging just 14.3 points during the team’s unbeaten road trip and shooting 34.8 percent from the field, the Mavericks (19-13) utilized a scrambling defense to carry them away from home. And regardless of if Nowitzki is able to go or not, Carlisle says the Mavs will need the same formula for winning against the likes of All-Stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

The Mavericks have won 11 of their last 12 home matchups against the Clippers as the two squads square off for the first time this season. Still, with the L.A. team looking to build off its 112-85 victory over Charlotte on Wednesday, the Dallas defense will be tested as it tries to contain Paul and Griffin for 48 minutes.

“The whole road trip in seven days we were the No. 1 team in defense with teams scoring against us, so we know we’re capable of doing it,” second-year standout Jae Crowder explained. “We’ve just got to put it together every night. First, make it a priority, like we have been doing, and put it to work on the court.”

“I watched our game with them last year and watched their recent games. That’s all I’m looking at, but they’re a much different team this year. Their personnel has changed a lot and they got a new coach, who is a great coach, so all that past history stuff I don’t really look at that. We’ve just got to play whistle to whistle, we’ve got to play efficiently and we’ve got to defend and rebound. You know, the last week we’ve really done good things defensively and we’ve just now got to look to sustain that.”

Note: The Mavs will now return to American Airlines Center Friday night, playing host to the Los Angeles Clippers to begin a three-game homestand. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

DALLAS — Attempting to make up ground in the ever-changing Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks embarked on a three-game road trip with high hopes. They return home with their hopes fulfilled.

After galloping to wins in Chicago and Minnesota, the Mavericks (19-13) welcomed in 2014 by grinding out an 87-78 victory in the nation’s capital Wednesday over the Washington Wizards. The Mavs now return to American Airlines Center to begin a three-game homestand Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“We came on this road trip with a goal of going 3-0 and we did that,” starting shooting guard Monta Ellis said following Wednesday’s win while leading the way with 23 points on 7-of-18 shooting. “We did whatever was necessary the whole road trip, and it’s just showing that we’re getting better and we’re starting to play together and helping each other out on defense. That’s the biggest thing for us.”

“We really felt we could gain some ground on this trip,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle added, “but we knew we had to play the right way, we had to play together, we had to play hard, and that there were going to be a lot of tough stretches where we would have to play through some tough calls and shot-making binges by the opponent and all that stuff. And we did, so now we get to go home for a few games and we’ll reconvene there and get ready for the next one.”

Reconvening on their home hardwood, the Mavericks will now attempt to contain the Clippers’ high-octane attack led by All-Star point guard Chris Paul and big man Blake Griffin.

Griffin has been a handful for opposing teams of late, scoring at least 30 points four times in his last six outings. His 31 points on 14-of-20 shooting and 12 rebounds also led the way as the Clippers (22-12) sprinted to a 112-85 victory over Charlotte on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Paul tallied 17 points and 14 assists as the L.A. team responded to three losses in its previous four games.

The Clippers have lost their last two on the road at Golden State and Portland by a combined six points. They’ve also dropped 11 of their last 12 trips to Dallas. However, with both Paul and Griffin coming off big nights, the Dallas defense will have to be on high alert if the Mavs are to improve on an 11-4 record at home this season.

Note: The Mavs will now return to American Airlines Center Friday night, playing host to the Los Angeles Clippers to begin a three-game homestand. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting




Shawn Marion has 16,999 career points and needs just one point to become the 82nd player in NBA history to reach 17,000 points.

Dirk Nowitzki has 9,012 field goals and needs five baskets to pass Jerry West (9,016) for 18th place on the NBA’s all-time field goals made list. San Antonio’s Tim Duncan ranks 17th all-time with 9,374 career field goals.

Nowitzki ranks 24th all-time in career minutes with 40,993. He needs 19 minutes to pass Michael Jordan (41,011) for 23rd place on the NBA’s all-time list for minutes played. Scottie Pippen ranks 22nd all-time in career minutes with 41,069.

Nowitzki has 996 career steals and needs four thefts for 1,000. He will become the second player in Mavericks history to record 1,000 steals with the franchise (Derek Harper is Dallas’ all-time leader with 1,551 steals).

Marion ranks 20th all-time in career steals with 1,684. New York’s Metta World Peace ranks 19th all-time in career steals with 1,688 and Ron Harper ranks 18th with 1,716.