Skip to content

Mavericks beat Clippers, move close to playoffs… and a shave

Mar 27, 2013, 3:01 AM EST

Dirk Nowitzki, Matt Barnes AP

One more win and the Dallas Mavericks will reach .500 — and they can shave their beards. You remember, the ones they were going to grow until they got their record even, a process that has taken so long the team starting to look like a young ZZ Top? It’s almost time for razors soon, they earned it.

More importantly, Dallas is now one game back of the Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West (the Mavs and Utah are exactly tied for that spot). Dallas’ streak of a dozen years in a row in the playoffs is not dead yet.

All that comes after a gritty 109-102 overtime win against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night. While the Lakers and Jazz stumble to the finish line, the Mavericks have won three in a row, 9-of-12 and suddenly it may be time to fear the beards out West.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 8 of his 33 points in the overtime to push Dallas to the win. It came on a night the best European player the NBA has ever seen passed Patrick Ewing to move into 17th on the NBA all-time scoring list. Dirk was Dirk again, knocking down one-legged fade-aways and generally being indefensible.

Chris Paul was Chris Paul, too — and then some. He was amazing, scoring the Clippers last 10 points in regulation despite Dallas starting to double him 30 feet from the basket. He was making plays all night on his way to 33 points (on 12-of-15 shooting).

And it wasn’t enough, because in the clutch the Clippers didn’t get enough defense, enough threes (the Clippers missed their 13), and CP3 didn’t get enough help.

This game was pretty close most of the way, one team would make a run them the other, but neither side could really pull away. And all that set up a dramatic last few minutes of regulation.

Inside three minutes left the Clippers were up three after Paul hit a pull-up 18 footer over Mike James. Then after Blake Griffin drew a charge the Mavericks tried to take the ball out of Chris Paul’s hand by doubling hin 30 feet from the basket, so he found the open man — but Matt Barnes and Caron Butler missed threes. Next trip down Butler missed another three. Barnes would later airball a three. The Clippers had their chances and didn’t grab them.

So O.J. Mayo did, getting the and-1 bucket to tie the game at 93-93 with 1:15 left in regulation. Dallas took the lead on some Vince Carter free throws but Paul tied it again with a floater in the lane. And now we are inside 40 seconds.

With time getting close Paul gave the Clippers the lead when he drove around Shawn Marion (6’7”) and shot over Elton Brand (6’8″) putting the Clippers up by two. Mayo answered, looking trapped on the baseline but he held his dribble, found and opening and put up a nice lefty layup from behind the backboard.

Then came the last play, where with 0.6 Matt Barnes threw a three-quarter court strike to Griffin who hit an impossible faller — except the refs blew Griffin for pushing off Nowitzki to create room for the shot. Borderline call. At best. Dirk helped draw the whistle by selling it with a little flop.

Then came overtime and a lot of Nowitzki.

Dallas is in the middle of their tough stretch, beating a quality team like the Clippers is a huge step toward the playoffs.

For the Clippers, this is the kind of game that has you asking about changes they need to make this summer — role players, coach and system — to take the next step and do more than just win a round in the playoffs. We’re all asking that because right now we’re not even sure they can match last season’s results and get out of the first round in the postseason. Not when they play like this. And if they are out before the conference finals, expect changes to follow.

Latest Posts
  1. Flip Saunders says Minnesota fans will not forgive Kevin Love for leaving them

    Dec 22, 2014, 6:59 PM EST

    Kevin Love, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee Kevin Love, Alan Anderson, Mason Plumlee

    Love will be booed more vehemently on Tuesday than LeBron will on Thursday.

  2. Brook Lopez wants to play a Wookie in next Star Wars film

    Dec 22, 2014, 6:17 PM EST

    2014 Brooklyn Nets Media Day Getty Images

    Well, it would be better than more Jar Jar Binks.

  3. PBT Extra: Where might Josh Smith end up after Pistons’ bold stroke?

    Dec 22, 2014, 4:35 PM EST

    Josh Smith AP

    The Rockets are the frontrunners to land him.

  4. Report: Jameer Nelson and Celtics discuss future, no buyout discussions yet

    Dec 22, 2014, 3:05 PM EST

    Jameer Nelson, Mario Chalmers AP

    Boston might try to re-trade point guard acquired in Rajon Rondo deal

  5. Knicks Samuel Dalembert fined $15,000 for elbowing Jonas Valanciunas in face (VIDEO)

    Dec 22, 2014, 1:01 PM EST

    Phoenix Suns v New York Knicks Getty Images

    Maybe Dalembert wanted to get ejected so he didn’t have to watch any more of the Raptors easy win over the Knicks.

  6. Pistons release Josh Smith. WHAT?

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:21 PM EST

    Brooklyn Nets v Detroit Pistons Getty Images

    Pistons use stretch provision on forward owed more than $35 million

  7. Victor Oladipo, focused on effort and defense, still finds time to raise offense

    Dec 22, 2014, 10:29 AM EST

    Toronto Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 95-82 Getty Images

    Magic guard avoiding sophomore slump of other top 2013-14 rookies

  8. 76ers were third team in Corey Brewer trade, send Alexey Shved to Rockets

    Dec 22, 2014, 9:39 AM EST

    Atlanta Hawks v Houston Rockets Getty Images

    Philadelphia will waive Turiaf, who’s injured and out for season

  9. Lakers may give Kobe Bryant some nights off to rest. If he wants them.

    Dec 22, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    Los Angeles Lakers v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

    Byron Scott can tell Kobe to rest, but it will be Kobe’s decision. Kobe has the power in that relationship.

  10. PBT’s Sunday Night Winners/Losers: Anthony Davis is playing like an MVP

    Dec 22, 2014, 1:43 AM EST

    Anthony Davis, Chris Kaman AP

    Quality win for LeBron James and the Cavaliers as well.

  11. Rudy Gay dunks on all the Lakers (VIDEO)

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:39 AM EST

    Rudy Gay Rudy Gay

    The seas part and Rudy Gay had a path to the rim.

Featured video

Jabari Parker injury latest for disappointing rookie class
Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. K. Durant (7903)
  2. K. Martin (7521)
  3. C. Bosh (7020)
  4. R. Rondo (6969)
  5. T. Parker (6962)
  1. D. Rose (6910)
  2. T. Jones (6793)
  3. M. Smart (6678)
  4. A. Bogut (6373)
  5. B. Lopez (6328)