Mavericks-Clippers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 18, 2012
Nba_spurs_vs_a150
The Los Angeles Clippers aren't catching many breaks. Coming off their worst shooting effort of the season, the Clippers, who could again be without Chris Paul, now face the difficult task of completing a back-to-back-to-back stretch Wednesday night against a defensively-sound Dallas Mavericks team that has been waiting for them in Los Angeles. The Clippers (7-4) didn't seem to miss Paul (left hamstring) in Monday's 101-91 win over New Jersey, but his absence was clearly noticeable in Tuesday's 108-79 loss in Utah. Los Angeles came out flat, falling behind 13-2, and finishing with season lows in scoring and shooting (36.5 percent). Blake Griffin finished with a season-worst 10 points - 11.9 less than his team-leading average. "I didn't like our approach," coach Vinny Del Negro said. "I didn't like our focus. I didn't like our toughness. I didn't like our energy to start the game." If there was one positive, the score was so lopsided Del Negro got to rest his starters in the fourth quarter in anticipation for their third game in as many days. "There's no excuse," he said. "We got to bounce back (Wednesday) and play much harder." That seems like a tall order against a Dallas team that has been clamping down on the defensive end. The Mavericks (8-6) have been in Los Angeles since losing to the Lakers 73-70 on Monday, snapping a five-game winning streak. Jason Terry's basket tied the score at 70 with 10 seconds remaining, but the Lakers responded with Derek Fisher's 3-pointer with 3.1 seconds to play. Dallas' defense couldn't be blamed for the loss, as it limited the Lakers to 38.2 percent shooting. The Mavericks are allowing an average of 76.8 points on 37.8 percent shooting in their last six games. The offense couldn't get going, however, shooting a season-worst 35.0 percent and 15.4 percent from beyond the arc (4 of 26). "I thought we were competing at both ends, but sometimes you've got to make shots in this league, and we just couldn't do it," said Jason Kidd, who missed 8 of 9 shots. "It was one of those NFC kind of games - just hand off the ball and run. It was just an ugly game.'' Dirk Nowitzki finished with 21 points, and the only other Maverick to reach double figures was Lamar Odom. He scored 10 - his second-best output of the season in what has been a disappointing start with Dallas. Odom was playing in his first game against his former team after being traded from the Lakers to the Mavericks on Dec. 11. Odom demanded a trade after learning the Lakers wanted to include him in a trade to New Orleans for Paul. The NBA nixed the deal, and the Lakers shipped him to Dallas the next day. A few days later on Dec. 14, Paul was traded to the cross-town Clippers. Paul's addition to the Clippers has the franchise poised to end years of frustration. The Mavericks have been giving Los Angeles fits for the last decade having won 39 of the last 48 meetings. Dallas has won 10 straight over the Clippers since a 103-92 loss on Nov. 9, 2008. Paul, averaging 18.0 points and 8.4 assists, isn't the only newcomer for the Clippers this season, as Chauncey Billups and former Maverick Caron Butler signed as free agents in December. Butler has started all 11 games and is tied with Billups for third on the team in scoring, averaging 16.0 points.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Best athlete by state all time
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Russell Westbrook leads NBA in scoring, averages a triple-double… and will not start in All-Star Game

John Tortorella challenges LeBron: “Not a chance” he could play hockey

Orioles, Mark Trumbo close to agreeing on 3-year deal

Report: Khris Middleton could return before All-Star break

Over a dozen Steelers players dealing with the flu

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mike Mularkey: Marcus Mariota ‘should be ready’ for 2017 season

WATCH: Angry fan interrupts Chargers Los Angeles presser

Serena Williams forced a reporter to apologize for saying she played poorly

Pablo Sandoval has 'reshaped himself' this offseason, John Farrell says

Report: Seahawks could lose second-rounder for not disclosing Sherman injury

Kemba Walker on if he should be an All-Star: ‘Not really,'

Box Score 1/20: 37 years ago today, Carter said no to Moscow

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

Box Score 1/19: Happy anniversary to the 'Tuck Rule' game

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Was Jack Capuano the right person to blame for Isles' woes?

Ten NBA players who need a change of scenery

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

QUIZ: Name the owners of these 50 famous NFL nicknames

NFC & AFC Championship preview: We love scoring

Roger Goodell is a coward, but then we knew that

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

TailGreater: Picking the conference champions by their signature cocktails

The 'What's a Romo worth these days anyway?' quiz

Clarification Please: Why college basketball needs to ditch the possession arrow

QUIZ: Name every NCAA men's and women's basketball team with perfect regular seasons

NBA hotline bling: Derrick Rose gets disconnected

Melo out: How the Knicks can move on from their superstar

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker