Clippers roll to fourth straight win
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Blake Griffin had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Chris Paul added 14 points and 13 assists, propelling the Los Angeles Clippers to their fourth straight victory, 112-90 over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.
Jamal Crawford had 20 points, Caron Butler scored 16 and DeAndre Jordan 12 for the Clippers, who shot 50 percent and dominated the entire game, keeping Dallas owner Mark Cuban glued to his seat with his chin cupped in his left hand.
The game brought together past and present for the Clippers. Lamar Odom had four points and 11 rebounds in his first game against Dallas since he spent a lost season there that ended with Cuban cutting him loose in March. He was traded to the Clippers in June.
The Clippers' former frontline of Elton Brand and Chris Kaman, who helped them get within a game of the 2006 Western Conference finals, combined for 28 points for the Mavs.
Los Angeles' second unit came on in the fourth, with Crawford and Matt Barnes combining to score 21 of their 28 points in the period. The reserves showed they could put on a show, too, with Crawford setting up a reverse dunk for Eric Bledsoe, who then dunked on the Clippers' next possession, drawing cheers from the fans who bothered to stick around for garbage time.
The Mavs never managed a late run against a team they had won nine of their previous 12 against in Los Angeles.
The Clippers built their largest lead of 22 points early in the third. Derek Fisher, who signed with the Mavs last week, keyed a 15-5 run with three 3-pointers, reminiscent of his big shots while helping the Lakers win multiple NBA titles.
But the Mavs couldn't muster another sustained run the rest of the period and trailed 83-68 going into the fourth.
Dallas opened the second quarter on a 9-0 run, including seven by Carter that drew them within two points. But the Clippers responded with an offensive flurry, going on a 26-8 run to stretch their lead to 18 points. The spurt was punctuated by a variety of dunks from Jordan and Griffin, and three consecutive 3-pointers, two by Crawford.
Crawford made one more 3-pointer off Griffin's pass to keep Los Angeles ahead 60-42 at halftime.
The Clippers led by 11 points in the opening quarter, when they shot 50 percent and held the Mavs to 36 percent shooting.
Notes: F Dirk Nowitzki is on the Mavs' trip to LA, Phoenix and Houston, but still not close to playing games. He's been out all season after arthroscopic right knee surgery and watched the game from the bench. ... Crawford made three free throws, extending his streak to 51 straight since Nov. 3. ... Clippers G Chauncey Billups missed the game because of tendinitis in his left foot. ... The Clippers' run of 10 turnovers or less in their last three games ended when they committed 18 miscues. ... Singer Tamia, wife of Clippers F Grant Hill, scored a Grammy nomination for best R&B album.