THE FACTS: Dirk Nowitzki scored eight of his season-high 33 points in overtime to lift the surging Dallas Mavericks to a 109-102 victory Tuesday against Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks (35-36) have won three straight and nine of their last 12 to pull within one game of the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth seed in the West.
Paul also scored a season-high 33 points, but turned the ball over seven times as Los Angeles (48-23) began a stretch of four games in five nights with a tough loss. The Clippers still need one more win to match the franchise's single-season record and one more road victory to clinch a winning road record for the first time in team history.
QUOTABLE: "It was grit and guts. It was like Russian roulette out there because when you go chasing Chris Paul around you leave a lot of guys open for shots. We had guys flying at them, but they had some looks and they missed them. We gambled and won."
-- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
THE STAT: The Mavericks got just their second win in overtime (2-8) this season and only their second win (2-13) against one of the top five teams in the Western Conference (San Antonio, Denver, Oklahoma City, Memphis and the Clippers).
TURNING POINT: Trailing 103-100, Los Angeles squandered a great chance to tie when Matt Barnes' wide-open 3-point try from the top of the key missed everything with 22.9 seconds left. The Mavericks controlled the rebound and Nowitzki drained two free throws.
HOT: Paul, who was a game-time decision with a sore left knee, was 12-for-15 (3-for-5 3-pointers) with six rebounds, five assists and two steals. He scored the Clippers' last 10 points of regulation and gave them a brief 99-97 lead to start the overtime.
NOT: Blake Griffin tallied 14 points on 4-for-12 shooting. After the 6:58 mark of the first quarter, he did not make another field goal until hitting a jumper with less than 10 seconds remaining in OT. ... Los Angeles missed its last 14 attempts from 3-point distance.
GOOD MOVE: Dallas guard O.J. Mayo forced the extra session with a baseline drive and left-handed layup with less than a second remaining.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and scored eight points on 3-for-3 shooting.
INSIDE THE ARENA: The Florida Gators men's basketball team attended. They are in town for this weekend's NCAA Tournament South Regional at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. ... Fans booed former Dallas forward Lamar Odom every time he touched the ball, but gave teammate Caron Butler a huge ovation to start the game. Butler played hard for the 2010-11 title team, while Odom played with no passion here last season. ... Former Texas Rangers catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett and New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton were in the crowd.
NOTABLE: On a baseline jumper with 8:52 left in the first quarter, Nowitzki passed Patrick Ewing (24,815) for 17th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Next on the list is Jerry West (25,192). ... Nowitzki was 12-for-21 and also passed Elgin Baylor (8,693) for 20th place in field goals made. ... L.A. guard Chauncey Billups (strained right groin) missed his third straight game, but is expected to return this week. ... The Mavericks are 17-2 at home when leading at halftime (50-48). ... The Clippers fell to 37-3 when leading after the first quarter (27-22). ... There were 14 ties and 14 lead changes.
UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Thursday vs. Indiana, Saturday vs. Chicago, Tuesday @ L.A. Lakers. For the Clippers, Wednesday @ New Orleans, Friday @ San Antonio, Saturday @ Houston.