Notebook: Clippers 112, Mavericks 90



Posted Dec 6, 2012 1:49 AM

By Dan Arritt, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: It's safe to say the Clippers are firmly entrenched in another groove. After a four-game losing streak last month put some doubt in the minds of their long-suffering fans, the Clippers continued to erase that memory with another all-around dominant performance Wednesday night, leading to their fourth consecutive victory. Blake Griffin totaled 19 points and 13 rebounds and Jamal Crawford paced the bench with 20 points, leading to a 112-90 wire-to-wire victory over the Mavericks at Staples Center.


THE STAT: The Clippers continue to use their defense to score easy baskets on offense. They came into the game averaging a league-leading 10.5 steals, the only NBA team averaging in double figures. They produced a season-high 18 against Dallas, turning 22 total turnovers into 26 points. It marked the fourth time this season the Clippers finished with 13 steals or more.

QUOTABLE: "It was a good step forward for us." -- Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro.

TURNING POINT: The Clippers scored the game's first seven points and led by as many as 11 in the opening quarter. They extended their lead to 20 in the second quarter and Dallas never climbed back within single digits.

HOT: Crawford delivered his team-leading ninth 20-point game this season, three more than the next-closest teammate. He also produced the 34th four-point play of his career, extending his NBA record, and extended his franchise-record for made free throws to 51.

NOT: Dallas forward Jae Crowder may have hit the wall a little sooner than most rookies. He went 0-for-6 from the field and scored two points. In the last four games, he's 3-for-26 from the floor. That could be why Elton Brand started the second half at power forward instead of Crowder, or it could be Brand was the only Dallas forward with any shot at guarding Griffin.

GOOD MOVE: The Clippers delivered a number of highlight-reel dunks during the game. One of the best came in the first half, when veteran forward Caron Butler pump-faked a 3-pointer from the baseline, then drove to the basket and threw down a tomahawk dunk. Crawford got into the act as well, driving baseline then dribbling the ball behind his back as he cut toward the free-throw line. He threw up a no-look jump-hook lob pass to a trailing DeAndre Jordan, who spiked the ball through the hoop with enough force to rattle the backboard.

QUOTABLE II: "Turnovers triggered basically all the problems tonight."
-- Dallas coach Rick Carlisle.

BAD MOVE: The Clippers disclosed before the game that veteran guard Chauncey Billups had inflammation in a tendon in his left foot, the same foot that required surgery to a torn Achilles last February, sidelining him for nine months. Clippers coach Del Negro created some confusion during his pre-game chat with reporters when he said the injury was to his ankle. The injury was officially diagnosed as peroneal tendinitis in his foot, which could sideline Billups for a few games. He had played in three games since returning from the Achilles injury.

NOTABLE: The Clippers have scored 29 points or more in eight of their last 11 quarters. ... Clippers reserve forward Lamar Odom continues to progress. After scoring a season-high seven points in a 105-104 victory Monday in Utah, he finished with a season-high 11 rebounds against the Mavericks. .... Dallas guard O.J. Mayo came into the game second in the NBA in 3-point shooting efficiency at 52.7 percent (49-93), but finished 0-for-4 against L.A., the third time in the last five games he went without a 3-pointer. ... The Mavericks came into the game second in league in bench scoring at 41.5 points and the Clippers fourth at 40.4. L.A. finished with a 47-34 edge, only the fourth time this season the Dallas reserves have been outscored by their counterparts. ... The Mavericks shot 40.5 percent from the field, improving the Clippers to 9-0 when the opponent shoots 43 percent or less.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Saturday vs. Phoenix, Sunday vs. Toronto, Tuesday @ Chicago. For the Mavericks, Thursday @ Phoenix, Saturday @ Houston, Monday vs. Sacramento.