Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and pulled down six rebounds, as the Dallas Mavericks held off the Los Angeles Clippers, 106-100.
J.J. Barea added 22 points and six assists for the Mavericks, who have won five in a row.
Peja Stojakovic and Shawn Marion donated 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Dallas, which sits a half-game behind the two-time defending champion Lakers for the second spot in the Western Conference. The two teams will meet on Thursday night.
"Our defense has been stepping up," Mavericks guard Jason Kidd said. "We're starting to take better care of the basketball and our bench has been huge for us."
Blake Griffin finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds for the Clippers, who have lost nine straight against the Mavericks. Griffin set the franchise rookie record for most points in a season.
Mo Williams had 19 points and five assists before being ejected in the fourth quarter. Eric Gordon tallied 15 points and five assists.
The Clippers led by as many as 13 in the first quarter, but only took a 28-23 lead into the second period.
Down by eight, 35-27, with 9 1/2 minutes left until half, Dallas went on a 9-2 run. Barea recorded two three-point plays during the flurry, which Brian Cardinal capped with a trey to cut the gap to 37-36.
Dallas closed out the quarter on a 10-2 surge to go in front. Rodrigue Beaubois tallied six points during the stretch, including a layup to give the Mavs a 48-46 margin at the break.
A tight third stanza resulted in Dallas taking a 75-70 lead into the fourth.
Holding an 83-79 margin with eight minutes to play, the Mavericks went on a 13-1 run to create some distance. Barea's three-pointer with 5 1/2 minutes left made it a 96-80 game.
But LA scored the next 11 points to make things a bit interesting. Griffin tallied the final six points of the spurt to pull the Clippers within five, 96-91, with 3:19 remaining.
Barea responded with a three-pointer and a layup to essentially put the game away.
"They're one of the best teams for a reason," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said. "We have to learn how to handle the referees. At times we get caught up with the referees and it takes us out of our game."
Dallas improved to 3-0 on a six-game road trip...The Mavs went 9-of-21 from three-point range...LA went 25-of-31 from the foul line...Griffin has 1,682 points this season.
For more news and information on the Clippers or tonight's game, be sure to read Clips Nation.