Mavericks 106, Clippers 100
So much for Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd trying to call it an
early night with the Lakers awaiting. The Los Angeles Clippers
wouldn’t allow it.
Both of Dallas’ stars were needed in the fourth quarter, when
the Mavericks rallied to win 106-100 Wednesday night and improve
the NBA’s best road record to 27-10.
Nowitzki scored 24 points playing nearly 37 minutes, including
almost all of the fourth, to beat back the scrappy Clippers. Kidd
was hoping to sit out the final period, but he was needed for 2 1/2
minutes to ensure the Mavs secured their fifth straight win.
”We wanted to get some momentum going into tomorrow,” Nowitzki
said. ”We had a good lead and didn’t close the game out the way we
The victory moved the Mavs within a half-game of the
second-place Lakers in the West, with the No. 2 seed up for grabs
when they play Thursday night.
”It’s not the end of the world to be (No.) 3, but we’re going
for it,” Nowitzki said.
He missed the first of two free throws midway through the
period, snapping his streak of 74 in a row – longest in the league
this season – that dated to the fourth quarter against Indiana on
Nowitzki got ample chance to make up for it, when Mo Williams
was hit with consecutive technicals and ejected with 6:02 remaining
and Nowitzki made both. Blake Griffin got a technical about 42
”We lost control of the game when we had all those technical
fouls,” Eric Gordon said. ”That gave them a good run and those
were free points we gave them. They just got a lot of calls.”
Griffin had 25 points and 17 rebounds for his 57th
double-double, and in the process set a franchise rookie record for
most points in a season. He came off the bench in the fourth to
erase most of the Clippers’ 16-point deficit, scoring six points in
an 11-0 run that left them trailing 96-91 with 3:20 left.
”It started with Jamario Moon hitting a 3. After that, they
made a layup and get to the free throw line and all the sudden it’s
under 10,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. ”Then the building is
into it and we had to answer. This is a good win for us.”
Jose Barea answered with five straight points to push the Mavs’
lead to 101-91. He finished with 22 points. Kidd had 10
”We keep pushing the tempo and keep coming. We don’t panic,”
Earlier in the fourth, Nowitzki scored six points – four on free
throws – in the Mavs’ 13-1 run that produced their first
double-digit lead of the game, 96-80. Nowitzki missed another free
throw in the final minute.
Gordon added 15 points and Williams scored 19 points, making all
nine of his free throws for the Clippers, who’ve lost nine in a row
and 15 of their last 16 to the Mavs. Dallas has won its last five
road games against the Clippers.
Down by six with 7 seconds left, Gordon airballed a 3-point
”I just couldn’t get easy baskets,” he said. ”They didn’t let
me get into the lane. When that happens, you end up with just
The teams traded leads in a tight third quarter. With the
Clippers leading by one, the Mavs outscored them 12-6 to lead 75-70
going into the fourth. Peja Stojakovic and Brian Cardinal hit
3-pointers in the spurt.
The Clippers blew a 13-point lead in the first, when Williams
scored their first nine points. Dallas tied the game at 44 late in
the second and scored the final two baskets to lead 48-46 at the
Notes: The Mavs improved to 13-1 against the Pacific Division,
with their only loss to the Lakers. … The Clippers’ franchise
record for double-doubles is 69 set by Bob McAdoo in 1974-75, when
the team was in Buffalo. … The crowd of 19,060 was the Clippers’
16th sellout of the season.