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Clippers Vs. Mavs: Caron Butler Has LA Close With Defending Champs

The Los Angeles Clippers trailed earlier, but have pulled back within striking distance of the defending champion Dallas Mavericks with the halftime score . Caron Butler lead all scorers with 13 points, and the Clippers hit seven three pointers. However, it was early foul trouble that gave the Mavericks the advantage with Dallas getting to the line eight times in the first half.

Dallas got out to an aggressive start, and built a 10 point lead after the first quarter. The Clippers were able to close the gap as close as two points, but let it slip back to an eight point deficit at halftime. Caron Butler and Maurice Williams both had three three pointers in the first half, and the Clippers shot 45% from the field. Defensively they've done nothing to slow the Mavericks down, who are shooting almost 60% from the field.

The Clippers are winning the rebound battle, but losing the turnover battle. Along the arc and inside the paint the Clippers have been fine, but their perimeter shooting has been lacking. Dallas meanwhile is living inside the paint, only taking two long jumpers in the second quarter.

LA needs to increase the paint presence on defense in the second half, and with better ball control the gap between the teams should shrink. Chris Paul leads the team with six assists, but the team needs more than the five points he's currently put on the board.

For more on this game, sail on over to Clips Nation.