National Basketball Association
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                   === Clips, Mavs set to tussle in L.A. ===
 (SportsNetwork.com)  - The  Los Angeles Clippers haven't missed a beat without
 star  point  guard Chris  Paul and look  to keep the  momentum going when they
 close out a three-game homestand Wednesday versus the Dallas Mavericks.
 Paul  went  down with  a shoulder  injury Jan.  3 in  a win  at Dallas and the
 Clippers  are 3-1 since. They are 4-1 without Paul this season and 13-10 since
 2011-12 when he does not play. Paul will be sidelined the next several weeks.
 Darren  Collison has been running the point with Paul out and is shooting 66.7
 percent  from  the field in his  last six games.  The Clippers are 5-1 in that
 time  and posted their third straight win Friday in a 123-87 demolition of the
 rival  Los  Angeles Lakers. Blake  Griffin led the charge  in that one with 33
 points on 12-of-15 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds.
 Collison  and J.J. Redick scored 20 and 19 points, respectively, while DeAndre
 Jordan  ended with 13 points, 10 boards and seven blocks. It was the Clippers'
 largest  victory  over the Lakers in  team history. Redick returned from a 21-
 game  absence because of  injury for L.A., which has seven wins this season by
 20 or more points. Minnesota leads the NBA with eight.
 "I  was obviously  out a long time, so  the worry was that I would just take a
 little  bit  of time to find  a rhythm; and to  get into a rhythm in the first
 four minutes was surprising, but very nice," said Redick, who scored 10 points
 in the first quarter.
 Collison  has scored 20 points or more in three of the last five games for the
 Clippers,  who  are 10-4 since  Dec. 16. Griffin  is averaging 26.2 points per
 game  in  that time. Jordan  has grabbed  at least 10  rebounds in his last 16
 games, a career high. Elton Brand did it in 17 straight games back in 2002 and
 Michael Cage had a 19-game run from Dec. 10, 1986 - Jan. 16, 1987.
 The  Clippers  have won four in  a row at home  and sport a 17-3 ledger as the
 host this season. The Clippers, sitting one game ahead of Golden State for the
 Pacific  lead, are first  in the NBA in points per game as the host, averaging
 110.0. They also have the second-best start after 39 games at 26-13, while the
 2012-13  squad opened with a 30-9 record. The best record in franchise history
 after 40 games is 31-9, also held by the 2012-13 team.
 After  hosting Dallas, the Clippers, who are 17-7 against the West and 11-2 at
 home  in  conference play,  will head  east for seven  games against New York,
 Indiana, Detroit, Charlotte, Chicago, Toronto and Milwaukee.
 Dallas  will play two  straight and five of six games on the road, and is 9-10
 outside of Big D this season.
 The  Mavericks have  won three  in a  row and  seven of  their last  10 games,
 including  Monday's 107-88  rout of  the Orlando  Magic. Monta  Ellis led  six
 Mavericks  players  in double figures with  21 points, Vince Carter totaled 17
 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 15 and Jose Calderon had 13 points.
 Jae  Crowder  and Wayne Ellington tallied  14 and 12 points, respectively, for
 the  Mavericks,  who shot  50.6 points  per game  and scored  19 points off 15
 Orlando turnovers. The Mavericks, who are averaging 103.1 ppg, will now face a
 Clippers team posting an average of 105.3 ppg.
 "I  think our  mindset is  different heading  into this  game on  a three-game
 winning  streak,"  Ellis said of  the upcoming challenge against the Clippers.
 "Hopefully we continue with it."
 Dallas  is  seven games  above .500  for the first  time since  the end of the
 2011-12  campaign.  Carter has scored 10  or more points in six straight games
 and Nowitzki is averaging 26.3 ppg in his last three games.
 Mavs  forward Shawn Marion  has missed the last four games with a shoulder and
 rib  issue, and is questionable Wednesday. Marion is averaging 11.3 points and
 7.2 rebounds this season.
 The  Mavericks lost  the first of four meetings with the Clippers, 119-112, on
 Jan.  3 at American Airlines Center, where Paul sustained his shoulder injury.
 Griffin  and Jordan  each scored 25 points  in that one for Los Angeles, which
 has won five of the last seven matchups between the teams.
 Dallas  has lost three  straight games as the visitor in this series. The Mavs
 and Clips will meet again March 27 and April 3.
 01/15 10:29:47 ET

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