Mavs Beat Clippers

By Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange

LOS ANGELES — Harrison Barnes told himself not to rush. The worst-case scenario would be the Dallas Mavericks play overtime.
“It’s different when the score is tied,” Barnes said. “It’s like, look, just give me the last-second shot. You just want to try to get a clean look and go from there.”
Barnes hit a floater in the lane over Luc Mbah a Moute with 3.7 seconds remaining and the Mavericks defeated the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers 90-88 on Friday night at Staples Center.
Barnes finished with 24 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field to lead the Mavericks (9-21), who improved to 3-13 on the road with their second consecutive win. Dirk Nowitzki (right Achilles strain) returned to the Dallas lineup for the first time in almost a month. Nowitzki finished with 17 points and four rebounds in 15 minutes, all in the first half.
“It’s good to be back,” said Nowitzki, who was 7 of 12 from the floor and 2 of 3 on 3-pointers. “Great win by the boys. (Barnes) was fantastic.”
Wesley Matthews added 16 points and Deron Williams collected 12 points and nine assists for Dallas.
Jamal Crawford paced the Clippers (22-9) with 26 points, Austin Rivers scored 16 and J.J. Redick contributed 11 points.
The Clippers played without point guard Chris Paul (left hamstring strain) and Blake Griffin (right knee surgery).
Although their bench came through with another solid effort for the second night in a row, outscoring the Mavericks’ reserves 54-21, the Clippers still came up short.
“Every 50-50 ball they got; every hustle play they got,” said Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who finished with 17 rebounds to go with seven points. “It was two different teams from (Thursday night), but we can only learn from it, take it on the chin and get ready for Sunday.”
The Clippers were coming off a 106-101 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night when their bench came through with outstanding fourth quarter that allowed them to prevail.
Dallas, though, was a different story.
A free throw by Matthews knotted the score again at 88 with 33.9 seconds remaining.
Jordan missed two foul shots with 27.4 seconds left that would have given the Clippers the lead.
After Barnes converted, Austin Rivers turned the ball over to seal the win for Dallas.
“We had a play, so right when they made the shot, we had running lanes to go, and we didn’t take it out quickly enough,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers, whose club was forced to go the length of the court since it had no more timeouts.
The two teams traded leads nine ties in the first half. A fadeway jumper by Barnes capped a 9-0 Mavericks’ run with 2:02 left in the second quarter for a 45-40 lead.
Consecutive treys by Redick and Raymond Felton, who started in place of the injured Paul, allowed the Clippers to go back on top by one, but Matthews’ 3-point jumper gave the advantage back to the Mavericks.
Rivers’ 3-pointer just before the horn lifted the Clippers to a 51-50 edge at the break. The Clippers’ 3-point shooting bolstered them in the first half, connecting on 10 of 16 attempts (62.5 percent) to 5 of 12 (41.7 percent) for the Mavericks.
Overall, the Clippers converted 13 of 29 (44.8 percent) from behind the arc to 7 of 29 (24.1 percent) for the Mavericks.
However, the Clippers committed 20 turnovers (leading to 20 points) to 12 (six points) for the Mavericks.
“We can’t have 20 turnovers ever,” said Jordan, who was responsible for four of them. “I don’t care if it is the best team in the league or the worst team in the league.”

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