Clippers overcome Paul injury to top Mavs
Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan picked up the slack when Chris Paul went down with an injury, carrying the Los Angeles Clippers to a rousing 119-112 road victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Paul exited with a shoulder injury midway through the third quarter, but Darren Collison filled in admirably and got plenty of help from LA's talented frontcourt of Griffin and Jordan, who each scored 25 points and combined for 33 rebounds.
Griffin converted a go-ahead 3-point play with under two minutes remaining, and the notoriously bad free throw shooter added two from the foul line the next time down to give the Clippers a 115-112 lead with 1:11 on the clock.
Dallas turned it over and had Dirk Nowitzki miss a jumper its next two times with the ball, and Collison capped the scoring with two free throws in the closing seconds to cap a 20-point night.
Nowitzki finished with 24 points, while Shawn Marion added 20 in Dallas' third straight home loss.
It was an offensive showcase throughout the first half, as both teams shot better than 56 percent from the field and combined for 17 makes from 3-point range.
Dallas had the upper hand early and led by as many as 13 in the opening quarter, but the Clippers pulled within 39-33 at the end of one period and stayed close throughout the second, which was highlighted by Jordan's tomahawk alley-oop slam over Samuel Dalembert.
The Mavs led 70-67 heading into the third quarter and the shootout suddenly became a defensive chess match, with the Clippers holding Dallas to 17 points in the frame and taking a slim 89-87 edge into the final stanza.
Jordan's point total was a career high ... Paul totaled 19 points and six assists before suffering what the Clippers are initially calling a right shoulder sprain ... Marion eclipsed the 17,000 career point mark and joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone and Kevin Garnett as the only players in NBA history with at least 17,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals and 1,000 blocks ... Griffin, who pulled down 15 rebounds, posted his 25th double-double of the season ... The Clippers stay in Texas on Saturday to take on the Spurs.
01/03 23:25:53 ET