The Los Angeles Clippers rolled into Dallas and avoided their first five-game losing streak since February 2011 with a 115-98 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul led the way and picked up the slack by filling in the void of their All-Star power forward Blake Griffin.
The Clippers came into this contest off the heels of Blake Griffin undergoing successful surgery on his right elbow to remove a staph infection that'll sideline line him for a minimum of three weeks. J.J. Redick made his return after missing the last couple games with a back injury.
The Mavericks were without Rajon Rondo for their fifth straight game and pretty soon lost their starting center, Tyson Chandler, and leading scorer, Monta Ellis, in the first quarter due to injuries. Chandler suffered a left ankle sprain, while Ellis sustained a left hip injury, both occurring in the first four minutes of the game that would force both players to miss the rest of the game.
With the absence of Tyson Chandler, DeAndre Jordan had a field day on the boards, racking up a career high 27 rebounds to go along with 22 points. Jordan was virtually unstoppable around the rim against the Mavericks thin frontcourt. Chris Paul led the Clippers in scoring with 25 points and dished out 13 assists, 11 of those coming in the first half.
Without the Mavericks two best defenders in Rondo and Chandler, the Mavs simply had no answer defensively. Charlie Villanueva kept Dallas in the game early on as he scored 13 points in the first quarter, pulling the Mavs within one by the end of the quarter, 32-31. The Clippers responded in the second quarter with Chris Paul leading a 14-0 run that pushed the lead to 66-53 at halftime. The Clippers wouldn't relinquish the lead for the rest of the game from that point on.
Looking for answers at center, the Mavericks started Al-Farouq Aminu at the five spot to start the second half, but the result was more of the same with DeAndre Jordan absolutely dominating inside the paint. With Devin Harris still hobbled by an ankle injury and an undersized J.J. Barea at point guard, Chris Paul continued to facilitate an offensive attack in the second half to put the game away early. The Mavericks made a 10-0 run behind the shooting hand of Dirk Nowitzki at the end of the third quarter to cut the lead down to six before the Clippers swelled the lead back up to 94-80 to start the fourth quarter.
Charlie Villanueva ended up with a game and season-high of 26 points off the bench on 9-of-13 shooting and 5-of-7 from three-point land. Nowitzki added 18 points and seven boards to go along with Chandler Parson's 16 points and season-high 12 boards.
Paul finished with 25 points, six rebounds, and 13 assists. Jordan added 22 points and an NBA-high 27 rebounds. The Clippers also finished the game outshooting the Mavs, 44.6 percent to 40.7 percent, in addition to a 53-47 rebounding edge and 17 points off 12 Dallas turnovers.
The Mavericks will look to rebound Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz, as they head into the All-Star break. The severity of Tyson Chandler and Monta Ellis' injuries were unknown as of the conclusion of the game.