The reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks hope to salvage end of a two-game stop in Los Angeles when they meet a Clippers team that could be without star point guard Chris Paul for a third straight night.
The Mavs dropped a heartbreaker at Staples Center on Monday when Derek Fisher knocked down a three-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining, lifting the Lakers to a 73-70 victory over Dallas. Fisher's go-ahead shot, from the right side over Dirk Nowitzki, was the only three-pointer the Lakers made in the game.
Vince Carter's three-point try at the buzzer for Dallas clanked off the back of the rim, and he limped off the court after grabbing his left foot.
Which is about how ugly much of the game was for both teams in their first meeting since Dallas swept the Lakers in last year's Western Conference semifinals.
The Lakers extended their home win streak to nine games since a season-opening loss to Chicago despite shooting just 38.2 percent from the floor, including 1-of-10 from three-point range.
Dallas was even worse. Nowitzki was 8-of-17 for 21 points, but the Mavs shot 35 percent and made only four of their 26 three-point attempts to have a five- game winning streak snapped. Jason Terry made a game-tying shot in the last 10 seconds for the Mavs.
"We didn't get to Derek in time. That's tough," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. "We had a lot of opportunities we didn't cash in. (But) we battled our butts off and I like that."
Monday was also former Laker Lamar Odom's first trip back to play in Los Angeles since being traded to the defending champions in the offseason. He scored 10 off the bench for the Mavericks.
The Mavericks, who are in the midst of a four-game road trip that will finish with trips to Utah and New Orleans, are 2-4 as the visitor this season.
The Clips, meanwhile, were trounced, 108-79, in Salt Lake City on Tuesday without Paul for the second consecutive game. Ex-Mav Caron Butler, who signed with LA as a free agent after the lockout, led the Clippers with 14 points while Courtney Fortson added 13 and Randy Foye chipped in 11.
Blake Griffin scored 10 on 5-of-12 shooting and added 11 rebounds as the Clippers dropped their 16th straight in Salt Lake City.
Entering Tuesday, the Clippers had won three straight, including Monday's win over the Nets -- their first since Paul was sidelined with a strained left hamstring.
The four-time All-Star will be a game-time decision tonight. Meanwhile, Carter has been ruled out by the Mavs with a sprained foot.
The Mavericks have owned the Clippers for years, winning 10 straight in the series and 19 of the last 22 meetings overall. The last time that the Clips got the best of Dallas was on Nov. 9, 2008.