The Los Angeles Clippers close out what could be the best extended road trip in franchise history, facing the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on Monday night. Chris Paul and the Clippers are 4-1 in the first five games of their road trip, their second winning road trip of six games or more since 1990.
The 2005-2006 Clippers, the last time the franchise made the playoffs, enjoyed a 4-2 road trip, but if the Clippers win Monday they will have the best record of any road trip of six games or more in franchise history, and will also have won seven of their last eight road games.
The Clippers beat the Mavericks 91-89 in Los Angeles on January 18 thanks to a game-winning three from Chauncey Billups in the final seconds. The Clippers were without Paul in that game, as the point guard was dealing with a strained left hamstring at the time. Billups is of course gone now, but Paul is back and it doesn't take a genius to see that is a positive trade for the Clippers.
The Mavericks have beaten the Clippers nine straight times in Dallas, with their last win in Dallas coming April 19, 2006 (see again, the last time the Clippers made the postseason). But this Clippers team has made a habit of erasing such streaks in recent weeks:
January 29: Clippers beat the Nuggets 109-105, snapping a nine-game losing streak in Denver
February 1: Clippers beat the Jazz 107-105, snapping a 16-game losing streak in Utah
February 6: Clippers beat the Magic 107-102 in overtime, snapping a nine-game losing streak to Orlando
The only streak the Clippers haven't busted of late was their losing streak in Cleveland, which was extended to 10 games with their 99-92 loss to the Cavaliers on February 8. That game in Cleveland is the only road game the Clippers have lost in their last seven games away from home.
The Mavericks also lost at Cleveland, a 91-88 loss to the Cavs on February 4. But Dallas has won three straight games since then, including a double-overtime triumph over Portland on Saturday night. Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 26.4 points per game over his last five contests.
Monday's 5:30 p.m. PST game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For more news and notes regarding Clippers basketball, be sure to read Clips Nation.