DALLAS MAVERICKS at LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS Recap- April 3
Dirk Nowitzki saves his best when the time is right. With seven games remaining in the regular season and the Mavericks fighting for their playoff lives, Nowitzki led five players with his sixth double-double of the season, 26 points and 11 boards, as the Mavs overcame another blown double-digit-fourth-quarter lead to the Clippers for a 113-107 victory, avoiding the season sweep and earning sole possession of 7th in the West.
The Mavericks found themselves up 109-97, their biggest lead of the entire game, with 2:50 left to play after Vince Carter‘s 16-foot jumper, but the Clippers scored the next 10 points in a span of nearly 1:30 to cut the deficit to 109-107 with 1:25 left.
Nowitzki and Shawn Marion hit four free throws while holding LA without a point to earn their first victory of the season against the Clippers.
Blake Griffin led the Clips with his fourth triple-double of his career with 25 points, 11 dimes and 10 rebounds. Chris Paul and Darren Collison combined for 38 points and 10 assists while DeAndre Jordan added 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Dallas came into its match up having lost the previous three to LA this year. The Mavericks had a seven-point lead with 3:50 left in the first meeting before losing by seven at home then had a 17-point lead with 4:35 left in the second meeting before losing by two on the road. In the third meeting, the Mavs again had a 10-point lead with under nine minutes to play before falling by six at home on March 27.
Milestone Watch: With 59 points scored in his last two games, Nowitzki now sits 18 points away from passing Dominique Wilkins for 11th in all-time scoring. He has a chance to do so on April 4 against the Lakers. Nowitzki also needs 60 points, 10 per game in final six, to pass Oscar Robertson for 10th all time.
10. Big-O: 26,710
11. Highlight Reel: 26,668
12. BIG GERMAN: 26,651
Dirty In The Clutch: It’s not playoff time, but for the Mavericks, every game left is like a playoff game and Nowitzki saves his best for the playoffs. Nowitzki has averaged 29.5 points and 11 rebounds in the last two games, both double-doubles, the first time this year he recorded back-to-back double-doubles. He had 33 points and 11 boards against the Warriors. He now has 381 double-doubles in his storied career. He’s also shooting 59 percent from the floor and has gone 10-of-15 from downtown in the two-game span. In his previous six games, Nowitzki shot 43 percent from the field and was a mere 4-of-26 from three (15.3 percent).
Bench Comes Through: Carter scored 16 points which matched the Clippers’ bench total. J.J. Redick returned after missing 25 games and led the Clips’ bench with 12 points. Glen Davis added four. The Mavericks got 37 points from five players off the bench. Brandan Wright scored eight points, including a ferocious dunk over Griffin early in the second quarter…
Wild West: The Mavs have six games left on their schedule, but with the big road win in LA, they sit alone in 7th and 1.5 games back of the Warriors for 6th.
6. Golden State Warriors (46-29): Seven games left (Next- vs SAC Fri)
7. MAVERICKS (45-31)- 1.5, Six games left (Next- at LAL Fri)
8. Memphis Grizzlies (44-31)- 2, Seven games left (Next- vs DEN Fri)
9. Phoenix Suns (44-31)- 2, Seven games left (Next- at POR Fri)
Three Ball: Dallas’ season-high for 3-pointers made in a game is 15. Against the Clippers on Thursday, the Mavericks made 14 out of 29 (48 percent). The Mavericks rank third in the league in the category. LA was +6 in free throws, +20 in points in the paint and +23 in fast-break points. The Clippers also had five fewer turnovers than Dallas, but the Mavericks came away with 24 more points coming from the 3-point line. LA shot just 6-of-27 (22 percent). Four players knocked down two or more threes, led by Nowitzki and Carter, both who went 4-of-7. Jose Calderon went 3-of-5 while Devin Harris was 2-of-4.
En Fuego: Calderon caught fire in the third quarter. The Spaniard scored 10 of his 19 points in the quarter in a span of three minutes. He hit all four of his shots in the quarter. Calderon is knocking down 53 percent of his threes since going down with a face injury against Brooklyn. He’s also hit two treys or more in 12 of the last 14 games, going 35-of-68 (51.4 percent) in that span.