Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Jason Terry finished with a game-high 28 points in a reserve role, and the Dallas Mavericks used a strong second half to top the LA Clippers, 112-105, at American Airlines Center.
“I didn’t like our defense overall,” Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. “I didn’t think our mental toughness was good enough. We turned the ball over way too many times.”
Blake Griffin scored 22 to go along with 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost two of three as well as three straight on the road. Baron Davis finished with 21 points and six assists while Randy Foye added 15 points for LA, which played without guard Eric Gordon.
The Clippers announced before the game that Gordon will miss the next 3- to-4 weeks as he deals with a sprained right wrist and a small bone chip fracture.
Gordon sustained the injury during the Clippers’ victory over Golden State on Saturday.
The Clippers took a 62-54 lead into the half, but a strong third quarter from the Mavericks changed the pace of the game. Dallas grabbed a big lead in the fourth quarter and cruised down the stretch.
“We started the game a little slow and all the bench guys were talking that we had to come out with a lot of energy tonight and change the tempo,” Barea said. “We did that and it worked out for us,”
An 8-2 Dallas run, capped by a DeShawn Stevenson three-pointer 5:33 into the third cut the Clippers lead to 72-71. Davis responded with a three of his own less then 30 seconds later to put the Clippers back up four, but after both teams missed shots from beyond the arc, the Mavericks started a long run to take control.
“In the second half we really picked it up and kept the momentum going,” Barea continued. “We did a good job of coming from behind to get the win.”
Terry began the spurt with a pullup jumper at 3:22, and after a Jason Kidd technical free throw, Shawn Marion converted a putback dunk to give Dallas a 76-75 advantage. Terry continued the run with a long three with 59.9 seconds remaining and the Mavericks took an 81-78 lead into the final stanza.
Terry opened the fourth quarter with a triple, but after a Davis jumper and a DeAndre Jordan three-point play, the Mavericks lead was trimmed to 89-86.
Marion connected on a pair from the line on the far end to start a 14-0 run, capped by a Nowitzki three-pointer to push Dallas’ lead to a game-high 17, 103-86.
The Mavericks lead remained above 10 until the final minutes.
Dallas has won the last eight meetings in the series, including a 99-83 victory on October 31 at the Staples Center…Marion finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds in a reserve role…Dallas forced 22 turnovers that turned into 34 points…The Mavericks shot 93.3 percent from the foul line…Dallas’ 112 points was a season-high…Ryan Gomes scored 14 points for the Clippers.
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