National Basketball Association
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                === Paul, Clippers bounce back against Mavs ===
 Dallas, TX ( - Chris Paul scored 31 points with nine assists
 to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 109-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks on
 Paul made amends for his shooting struggles in LA's last game, a 98-96 loss at
 New  Orleans, where  the point  guard shot  a career-worst  0-for-12 from  the
 "It was big for us," said Paul on the outcome of the game. "This would have
 been a tough loss especially after last night. Going into Houston is a big
 game, but it feels good to get a win on this trip."
 The Clippers have a meeting on deck with the Rockets that pits No. 3 against
 No. 4, respectively, in the Western Conference. LA owns a slim one-game lead
 over Houston in the standings entering the matchup on Saturday.
 Blake  Griffin  and  DeAndre  Jordan  each  recorded  double-doubles  for  the
 Clippers,  with Griffin  scoring 18 points with 13 rebounds and Jordan netting
 16 with 15 boards.
 Los  Angeles has  now taken seven of  its last nine in the series with Dallas,
 including all three meetings this season.
 Vince  Carter  paced Dallas with a season high-tying 23  points off the bench,
 while Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points with nine rebounds in defeat. Monta Ellis
 scored  12  points on a paltry  4-for-19 shooting in the Mavericks' third loss
 over their last five games.
 Mavericks forward Jae Crowder shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field for 13
 points off the bench in 18 minutes of action.
 With  the loss, Dallas fell a half-game behind Phoenix for eighth place in the
 Western Conference playoff picture.
 The  game was tied at 81-apiece entering the fourth quarter and Brandan Wright
 scored  the final four points of a 10-0 quarter-opening spurt to help the Mavs
 to a 91-81 advantage.
 Los  Angeles used  an 8-0 run to  pull within three, 93-90 after a jumper from
 Paul.  A  Jordan slam then cut  the deficit to  one with 3:37 remaining in the
 Nowitzki,  a  92 percent shooter from  the free throw line, missed 2-of-3 from
 the  stripe before  Ellis knocked down a  jumper to make it a 101-97 game with
 1:46 to play.
 The Clippers would then end the game on a 12-2 run to secure the victory.
 With  the score  tied at 101-101, Griffin  took a feed from Paul at the elbow,
 dribbled to his left, then spun to his right and hit a layup with 33.9 seconds
 left to give the Clippers the lead that they would not relinquish.
 The  Mavericks ran  down the clock on the ensuing possession and Ellis' jumper
 with  15.9  seconds to go was  long. DeAndre Jordan grabbed the rebound before
 quickly  passing it  to Paul, who converted  two from the line to increase the
 cushion and the Clippers maintained their recent dominance over the Mavs.
 "We didn't get stops in the clutch," said Crowder. "Going into the fourth
 quarter, we didn't score the ball when the chance was given to us in the
 clutch so we came out on the bad end of it tonight."
 Earlier,  the  game was tied  at 29-apiece after  12 minutes and the Mavericks
 brought a slim 60-58 lead into the halftime break.
                                   Game Notes
 The  Mavs shot 37-for-79 (46.8 percent) from the field, while Los Angeles made
 38-of-82  (46.3 percent) attempts from the floor ... The teams combined for 38
 turnovers, with the Clippers leading the way with 20 ... Dallas shot 10-for-20
 from  beyond the arc  ... There were 13 lead changes and seven ties ... Samuel
 Dalembert ripped down 11 rebounds in the loss.
 03/28 01:26:49 ET