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Mavericks Can’t Take Depleted Clippers Too Lightly

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The Mavericks have plenty of momentum to ride on after their come-from-behind overtime extravaganza Saturday against Portland and without one of the best power forwards tonight, they’ll need to take all the advantage in the world as the Los Angeles Clippers come to town at 7:30 p.m.

Blake Griffin is set to miss time for surgery due to a staph infection on his right elbow. He is out for the All-Star game and could miss any where from 2-6 weeks.

Griffin, averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and five assists, leaves a void in the Clippers’ lineup while Spencer Hawes will take his place. J.J. Redick could also miss his fourth-straight game with back spasms, but is listed as a game-time decision. If he can’t go, Austin Rivers or Jamal Crawford will make the start.

“Well J.J. is a great shooter and they spread the floor for him and Griffin, I think is their best player, he gives them the power. He’s making the outside shot now – rebounding wise, it hurts them so we have to take advantage of that,” J.J. Barea said.

Glen Davis‘ status is also unclear after leaving with back issues yesterday against Oklahoma City.

Dallas (35-18) was 2-11 against the West’s other seven teams currently in playoff position before Saturday’s game, well on its way to being 2-12, but the Mavericks stormed back, using a 28-7 run and 10 overtime points from Chandler Parsons to defeat the Blazers 111-101.

“This was huge because we had not beat a very good team that’s been at full strength all year long,” Parsons said. “So to be the team that we want to be, we need to have wins like this.”

The Clippers (33-19) come in with a four-game skid and Dallas could give them their fifth for the first time since February 2011, the season before Chris Paul.

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“It’s a great team in the Clippers, even though they have a couple guys down, but they’re still a great team that’s playing good and we have to come off our big win the other night and keep it rolling,” Barea said.

Even though the Clippers will miss Griffin’s offensive output, the team’s defense has really taken a hit. After holding Toronto to 19 first-quarter points in building an early 15-point lead Friday, Los Angeles has allowed 235 points in its last seven quarters (33.5 per). They’ve also been outrebounded 148-102 in the last three games.

Los Angeles was fully healthy last time it played the Mavericks, on its way to a 120-100 home victory as six players scored 13+ points.

DeAndre Jordan has averaged 16.4 points and 15.2 rebounds in his last five against the Mavericks, four of which the Clippers have won.

Barea has struggled offensively, shooting 34 percent since taking over for Rajon Rondo.

Paul, who’s averaged 27.7 points in his last three trips to Dallas, figures to be guarding Monta Ellis. In the four games he’s faced Paul since joining the Mavericks, Ellis has been held to 15.0 points per game and shot 39.7 percent.

Next: Mavericks Explode Late to Down Blazers

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