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Mavericks Fall Behind Again – Same Story, Different Result

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This one looked all too familiar through the first three quarters. Except it had a different ending.

The Dallas Mavericks trailed 83-70 after three during their 111-101 overtime win against Portland Saturday night. They were able to tie it at the end of regulation after a 26-13 fourth-quarter run.

Tonight wasn’t far from that performance after Dallas (35-19) lost to the Blake Griffin-less Los Angeles Clippers 115-98 Monday night.

But for a team that seems to struggle against opponents playing without key pieces, it really showed in this one – despite Charlie Villanueva scoring a season-high 26 points. He shot 9-of-13 (season-high in makes) and 5-of-7 from downtown. Chandler Parsons finished with 16 points and also grabbed a season-best 12 rebounds, but the Clippers still managed a 53-47 advantage off the glass.

“I liked Charlie’s offense, but our defense came up short. We’ll have to do better Wednesday,” Rick Carlisle said.

It didn’t help that Tyson Chandler (ankle) and Monta Ellis (hip) left early and never returned. Consider them doubtful for Wednesday’s contest with Utah. Without Chandler, DeAndre Jordan was an absolute beast inside, finishing with 22 points and 27 boards (11 offensive) to lead the Clippers (34-19).

“Yeah, that obviously hurt, losing two main guys and DeAndre played very well, very active, but Tyson would have been an equalizer battling with him but we have a lot of guys that need to step up to the challenge,” Parsons said. “DeAndre was great all game, but they have a lot of guys that made big plays and we shot ourselves in the foot, silly fouls and a lot of bad turnovers.”

The Mavs found themselves down eight in the first before cutting it to 32-31 heading to the second. Dallas got the second quarter off right and led 40-38 after Raymond Felton’s 3-pointer with 8:52 left before half, but the Clippers really distanced themselves by using a 14-0 run in a 3 ½ minute stretch. By that point, it seemed like Dallas couldn’t recover.

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Even though the Mavericks made it a five-point game, Los Angeles ended the half with a 13-5 run – taking a 66-53 lead into the break. Villanueva led with 17 points, already three shy of that season-best mark, knocking down three of the team’s six first-half treys.

Greg Smith tried to fill that void inside the paint, but picked up three quick fouls in just five minutes of play.

“It was a problem, [DeAndre] had 27 rebounds – looked like Wilt Chamberlain in 1963,” Carlisle said. “We didn’t have good answers, everyone got quick fouls.”

And every time Dallas tried to make a push, LA was right there to answer. The Mavericks never got closer than seven points in the third and were down 13 with one quarter to play.

The Clippers would go out to their biggest lead of 20 (102-82) with 8:52 remaining and Dallas just couldn’t get back in it, losing any momentum it had from its win over Portland. LA’s win snapped its four-game skid – it was close from losing five straight for the first time in four years.

Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and seven rebounds while J.J. Barea had 15 points on 6-of-10, coming in having shot 34 percent since Rajon Rondo went down.

Chris Paul 25 and 13 assists; J.J. Redick 15 after missing the last three with back spasms and Jamal Crawford added 22 in 35 minutes off the bench.

We have a lot of guys that need to step up to the challenge. DeAndre was great all game, but they have a lot of guys that made big plays and we shot ourselves in the foot, silly fouls and a lot of bad turnovers,” Parsons said.

The Mavericks return to the American Airlines Center to host Gordon Hayward and the Utah Jazz Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. It will be their final game before the All-Star break.

“We have a lot of veteran guys, lot of capable defenders that need to step up and we need to get this win [Jazz] to go into the break,” Parsons said.

QUOTABLE (Villanueva)

I just got the opportunity to make some shots and took advantage of it. My team did a good job finding me, but fell short. Two guys going down, especially two starters – Monta creates other opportunities for other guys – just have to bounce back from this.”

“We ask a lot from those guys – what Tyson and Monta bring to the game, it’s hard to replace but now other guys have to step up, just have to be ready for the opportunity.”

“It’s tough because when you play a guy like DeAndre it’s tough. Greg and Dwight, Al-Farouq at the five have to step up, no excuses. We have to finish this last game against Utah strong and going into the break and hopefully have those guys back.”

My confidence has always been there. Just went out there, made some shots, but my teammates were the ones that found me – I just made the shots I was suppose to make.”

“I’m a professional at the end of the day, been in this league for 10 years now. Just keep working, have to stay sharp and just make the most of it whenever my name is called and seize the opportunity. Tonight was a night I took advantage of that but still I would rather score two points and get the win then to do it the way I did it.”

WEST STANDINGS

1

Golden State

41

9

.820

23-2

18-7

8-3

25-7

110.9

99.8

+11.1

Won 2

7-3

2

Memphis

38

13

.745

3 ½

22-5

16-8

6-5

23-8

100.9

95.7

+5.2

Won 1

9-1

3

Houston

35

16

.686

6 ½

18-8

17-8

5-4

20-11

102.8

99.2

+3.6

Lost 1

7-3

4

Portland

35

17

.673

7

22-5

13-12

7-1

17-11

102.6

97.5

+5.1

Won 1

4-6

5

Dallas

35

19

.648

8

16-9

19-10

4-6

17-14

106.7

101.3

+5.4

Lost 1

5-5

6

LA Clippers

34

19

.642

8 ½

20-7

14-12

7-2

21-8

106.7

100.8

+5.9

Won 1

5-5

7

San Antonio

33

19

.635

9

20-7

13-12

4-6

18-14

100.6

96.9

+3.7

Won 1

7-3

8

Phoenix

29

24

.547

13 ½

16-10

13-14

6-6

14-18

105.7

104.3

+1.4

Lost 1

4-6

Next: Mark Cuban Wants Durant's All-Star Spot

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