Los Angeles, CA - The Clippers have already clinched a playoff berth and secured the third spot in the Western Conference standings. The Dallas Mavericks are still in a fight but gave themselves some breathing room after defeating Los Angeles 113-107.
It was a desperation win for the Mavericks who were in a three-way tie with both the Memphis Grizzlies and the Phoenix Suns. Dirk Nowitzki led his team with 26 points and 11 rebounds. They won their third straight road game while trying to secure a spot in the playoffs.
"It was a big win for us against a very good team, a team we hadn't beaten yet this year and a team that hasn't lost much on their home floor," said Nowitzki.
"Great win," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said. "I'm not really looking at the standings, I just know that it's important. It's great for us, guys showed a lot of character."
The Mavericks wasted no time dominating early with open shots from the 3-point range. The Clippers fought their way back into the game but it was Dallas that built a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles went on a 10-0 run to cut that lead by two points behind Darren Collison.
Despite five players in double digits, the Clippers ran out of gas early. Blake Griffin had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in his first triple-double of the season. DeAndre Jordan added 21 points and 15 rebounds. Los Angeles rallied a comeback to start the third but Dallas outscored them 21-12 to end the quarter.
"Penetration," said Griffin. "They got into the lane a little bit too easily and then we kind of scrambled around. I thought it started too early. We can't be a team like that with off-and-on defense for three quarters.
"We ran out of miracles," Clippers head coach Doc Rivers said.