Mavericks-Clippers Preview

Not only will the Dallas Mavericks be bringing some former Los

Angeles Clippers into this matchup, they’ll see some familiar faces

as well.

The Clippers can stretch their win streak to four Wednesday

night and hand the Mavericks a third straight road loss.

Dallas (8-9) features a pair of former Clippers big men in Elton

Brand and Chris Kaman. While Brand has faced Los Angeles (11-6) six

times since leaving the club following the 2007-08 season, this

will be Kaman’s first road game against the team he spent his first

eight seasons with before being traded to New Orleans in the

blockbuster deal that brought Chris Paul to the Clippers before

last season.

Kaman is fifth on the franchise’s all-time list in games (493)

and rebounds (4,109), while Brand is first in rebounds (4,710) and

sixth in games (459).

Dallas will see Lamar Odom for the first time since sending him

to Los Angeles this offseason in a four-team trade. Odom averaged

career lows of 6.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in a tumultuous 50-game

stint for the Mavericks last season during which he had an argument

with owner Mark Cuban in a 94-89 loss at Memphis on April 7.

The Mavs probably have warmer feelings toward reserve forward

Caron Butler, who is in his second season with Los Angeles after

signing as a free agent following an injury-plagued tenure with

Dallas. Butler earned a championship ring with the Mavs in


One Dallas player looking forward to this contest is top scorer

O.J. Mayo, averaging 20.2 points. This is Mayo’s first game against

the Clippers since last year’s playoffs when he played for the

Grizzlies in a seven-game, first-round series loss to Los


“It just makes me want to go that much harder, obviously,” Mayo

said. “You remember those games, those losses. You remember Game


The Clippers trailed by as many as 14 points before rallying for

Monday’s 105-104 victory at Utah. Blake Griffin had 30 points and

11 rebounds and Jamal Crawford added 20 points off the bench.

“In the first half, it was almost a waste of time because no one

showed up,” coach Vinny Del Negro said. “Our defense was weak, we

were soft and we had no toughness. … But I was very pleased with

the way we responded … and made plays down the stretch.”

The Clippers scored 25 points off 17 turnovers. They lead the

Western Conference in forcing 18.4 turnovers per game.

Dallas coach Rick Carlisle has warned his team of that while

also noting that the Clippers are allowing an average of 26.1 free

throw attempts for one of the NBA’s worst marks.

“We’ve got to be good with the ball, they’re great at forcing

turnovers and we’ve got to be aggressive and get to the free-throw

line,” Carlisle said. “They’re a team that fouls.”

Carlisle’s team also fouls a lot, yielding a league-worst 27.9

free throws per game.

The Mavs will also have to be wary of Paul, who is averaging

21.8 points against them in the regular season for his

third-highest mark versus any opponent.

Dallas is starting a three-game trip after ending a three-game

slide with Saturday’s 92-77 victory over Detroit behind Mayo’s 27