Clippers cruise past Mavs
AP Sports Writer
DALLAS (AP) — DeAndre Jordan delighted the Dallas crowd booing his every move with an air ball on a free throw in the first half.
Most of those fans were gone by the middle of the fourth quarter.
Chris Paul scored 18 of his 27 points when Los Angeles took control in the third quarter, Jordan had 23 points and 20 rebounds and the Clippers blitzed the Mavericks in the second half of a 109-90 victory Monday night.
Limited to four points and five shots because of foul trouble in the first half, Paul outscored the Mavericks by himself in the third while going 8 of 9 from the field. He punctuated the dominant stretch with a leaning one-handed shot in the lane before the buzzer for a 33-16 advantage in the quarter for the Clippers, who trailed by two at halftime.
"He was not happy with the fouls," coach Doc Rivers said after Paul got three in the first 18 1/2 minutes. "He thought he should have been on the floor. So, I just like when he’s aggressive."
The boos were still strong for Jordan’s second game in Dallas since he spurned the Mavericks in free agency after agreeing to join them. The 6-foot-11 center from Houston responded with a season high in points and even made most of his free throws (11 of 19) despite the air ball.
Jordan had at least 20 points and 20 rebounds for the first time this season and the fifth time in his career.
"It’s a lot better than how I felt last time here," Jordan said, referring to Dallas’ 118-108 win in November in his first visit. "We won."
Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points to lead the Mavericks, who missed 17 consecutive 3-pointers and shot 35 percent in the second half while matching a season high with their third straight loss.
After his hot third quarter, Paul hit consecutive jumpers early in the fourth, including a 3-pointer, to push the LA lead to 19. And the Clippers kept rolling with a 45-12 run over both quarters to turn a 65-64 deficit into a 109-77 lead with 4:14 remaining.
The Mavericks faded in the second half a night after giving away a win in Denver with a botched inbounds play in the final seconds of regulation in an overtime loss.
"We should have had that game twice and playing this team tough for three quarters or whatever," said Wesley Matthews, who missed all six of his shots and scored two points. "We’ve got to be a defensive team. How many easy points do we give up? Because our points aren’t coming easy."
Jordan gave fans plenty of fodder in the first half, first missing a dunk that wouldn’t have counted after a whistle. Then he brought some fans to their feet with the air ball while missing 6 of 8 free throws following intentional fouls.
But he still had his 38th double-double before halftime, and the NBA leader in field-goal percentage made six of seven shots. Jordan was at 58 percent on free throws — 16 percent better than the average for one of the league’s worst at the line — and that set a career best for Jordan in games when he’s had at least 15 free-throw attempts.
BACK OUT THERE
The Mavericks played all their starters on a back-to-back in a season in which coach Rick Carlisle has been known to rest all five on the second night. But they weren’t around long in the second half once Paul took over.
Chandler Parsons had nine points of 3-of-12 shooting, and Nowitzki was the only starter in double figures. Deron Williams had nine points on 2-of-7 shooting.
J.J. Redick scored 10 points of the Clippers’ first 14 points and finished with 22. He was 9 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 6 from long range. Redick was coming off a 4-of-13 showing in a loss to Atlanta, when the Clippers blew a 17-point lead.
Clippers: Rivers said Blake Griffin still hasn’t been cleared for contact. He’s been out since Dec. 26 with a broken right hand and torn right quadriceps tendon. The Clippers improved to 24-8 without him. … Jordan had at least 10 rebounds for the 19th straight game, longest streak in the NBA this season.
Mavericks: Dallas finished 4 of 25 from beyond the arc, with Nowitzki and Matthews combining to miss all nine of their attempts. … The Mavericks matched a franchise record with an NBA-high 11th overtime game in Denver. The Mavericks fell to 7-4 with the 116-114 loss. The seven wins are a club record. … David Lee had 13 points and eight rebounds.
Clippers: At Oklahoma City on Wednesday night.
Mavericks: Host Detroit on Wednesday night.