The Mavericks are amongst one of the pleasant surprises in the NBA this season. A year after they made the playoffs as the eighth seed in the West, they are fighting for one of the four top spots in the conference right now. The trade of Rajon Rondo has elevated them to the level of the elite teams in the West. But despite their improved defense with Rondo and Tyson Chandler, the Clippers owned this one, winning, 120-100. Two of the five highest scoring teams in the league lived up to the hype in this one. Dallas fell short of their 109.1 average on the season, good for second in the league; while the Clippers sprinted past their 106.5 average (5th in the NBA).
The depth of the Clippers made the difference in this one, as the Clippers had six players in double figures, led by Blake Griffin with 22. DeAndre Jordan had a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds. J.J. Redick got the start in this one and scored 16 points, including four threes. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas in points with 25. He and Monta Ellis scored 48 of the team’s 100 points. Chandler Parsons was the only other Maverick to score in double figures with 12.
The Clippers outscored the Mavericks in every quarter of the game. They led 30-24 after the first quarter and 56-48 at intermission. They had a 16-point lead at 88-72 after the third quarter and padded their lead in the fourth to give themselves a 20-point win. The Clippers led most of the way, but the Mavericks kept it close in the first half. The first seven minutes were close, then the Clippers pulled away toward the end of the first quarter. The Mavericks fought back and took a lead in the second, but once again the Clippers closed the quarter hot and then pulled away for good in the third.
In some aspects, this game was fairly close. The turnovers, fouls, and assists were all fairly close, sometimes it just comes down to putting the ball in the hole, and that was the bottom line in this one. The Clippers shot over 52 percent from the field and almost 42 percent from beyond the arc. The Mavericks lagged behind in both categories, shooting 44.2 percent overall and 40 percent from three-point range.
Since the Rajon Rondo trade, the Mavericks have a record of 7-4 and have averaged over 105 points per game. But Chris Paul got the better of him in this one, as Paul got a double-double with 17 points and 13 assists. It is a huge win for the Clippers, as they bring the middle of the playoff field in the West even closer — the battle for home court in the West will be intense. While Golden State and Portland are comfortably in the top two spots for now, any number of teams could get hot and challenge for those top two spots.
Dallas is now 26-12, and the Clippers are 25-12. Dallas plays next at Sacramento on Tuesday, while the Clippers will host the Heat on Sunday afternoon.