NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, March 27th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Clippers (50-22) at Dallas Mavericks (43-29), 8:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - There should be no shortage of points when the Los
Angeles Clippers and Dallas Mavericks engage in battle Thursday evening from
American Airlines Center.
The Clippers lead the NBA with 107.4 points per game and the Mavericks are
eighth thanks to a 105.0 ppg clip.
Los Angeles failed to reach 100 points the last time out in a 98-96 loss at
New Orleans Wednesday. Blake Griffin scored 21 points and pulled down eight
rebounds, while Jamal Crawford did the best he could off the bench with a
game-high 31 points.
Crawford made 7-of-15 3-pointers, but missed on a desperation heave to win it
at the buzzer.
"I wanted to see better execution. We didn't execute the play, but the game
didn't come down to the final play. I really thought they deserved the win. I
felt like that all game," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
The Clippers are 2-2 in their last four games after ripping off 11 wins in a
row. They opened a five-game trip in the loss to the Pelicans and are winless
in the past two games as the visitor. Los Angeles will also visit Houston,
Minnesota and Phoenix, and has a 19-17 road record.
L.A. is third in the West -- just one game ahead of the Rockets.
Griffin, meanwhile, has scored 20 or more points in each of the past 30 games
and is averaging 27.0 points and 9.1 rebounds in that stretch.
Dallas is even with Phoenix for the final postseason spot in the West, but is
also just two games out of the fifth spot (Portland).
The Mavericks improved to 3-2 on their franchise-high eight-game homestand
with Tuesday's 128-119 overtime victory versus the Oklahoma City Thunder. The
Mavs had an early 15-7 lead, but the Thunder later went ahead by nine at 57-48
late in the first half. Dallas then evened the score on 3-pointers from Jose
Calderon and Vince Carter.
Oklahoma City had a 73-67 advantage in the third quarter and carried an 94-89
edge into the fourth. Calderon buried a big 3-pointer to send the game into
overtime at 111-111 and the Mavs took over in the extra period, posting a 17-8
difference to win for the seventh time in 10 games.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 32 points on 11-of-23 shooting and added 10 rebounds, six
assists and four steals to the stat sheet. Nowitzki netted eight points in the
fourth quarter and seven in overtime.
"He played great, he played great. He carried us. His emotion and his attitude
carried the team," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said about Nowitzki.
Calderon scored 22 points, Monta Ellis netted 17 and Carter chipped in 16
points for Dallas, which made 50 percent from the field and has scored 100-
plus points in each of the last four games. The Mavs also forced 21 turnovers.
The Mavs are 24-12 in Big D and still have Sacramento and Golden State
scheduled to visit.
Dallas is 0-2 against the Clippers this season and will visit Los Angeles
April 3. The Clippers have won five of the last six matchups with Dallas, but
are only 2-11 in the past 13 trips to Big D.
03/27 10:37:17 ET