The Los Angeles Clippers ride a three-game winning streak into Wednesday night's game with the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center.
The Clips had lost four in a row before the recent winning spell. During this stretch, Los Angeles has averaged 107.3 ppg and held the opposition to just 93.3 ppg.
Their last win came on Monday when they handed the Utah Jazz their first home loss of the season, a 105-104 victory. The Clippers overcame a 14-point second-half deficit and snapped a three-game road losing streak, despite the Jazz shooting 56.8 percent from the floor.
"The first half looked like we wasted a bunch of jet fuel trying to get up here because no one showed up and it was just a waste of time," said head coach Vinny Del Negro. "I didn't like our approach in the first half, but I was very pleased with how we responded in the second."
Blake Griffin had a game-high 30 points and Jamal Crawford chipped in 20 off the bench. Chris Paul netted 14 points, including two huge layups late in the fourth quarter, and the returning Chauncey Billups went 2-for-3 from the foul line with less than 90 seconds on the clock.
Del Negro is mixing and matching his lineup and Lamar Odom of all people played a pivotal role in the fourth quarter. Odom, who played almost 18 minutes, scored seven points, pulled down six boards, took a charge and recorded a block and a steal.
The Mavs head to L.A. with a new point guard. Derek Fisher, no stranger to Los Angeles after multiple championships with the Lakers, signed with Dallas on Thursday and was immediately inserted into the starting lineup Saturday at home against the Detroit Pistons.
Fisher played a little more than 24 minutes and showed signs of rust. He went 1-for-8 from the field en route to two points. Fisher handed out three assists, but also had three turnovers.
Darren Collison continued to come off the bench and only managed five points on Saturday. But the reserves totaled 42 points, led by 17 from Vince Carter.
"To be our best, we've got to have a collective approach and it's got to be one for all and all for one," said head coach Rick Carlisle. "It doesn't matter who starts. It matters in a lot of cases who finishes and did we win the game. That's the biggest thing. That's the way it's gonna be going forward, too. That's the way it's got to be."
The Mavericks snapped a three-game losing streak with the home win against Detroit. The stop home was a brief one as the Mavericks are back out for three consecutive road contests.
The Clippers won two of three last season against the Mavs, but Dallas has owned this series in recent history. Dallas is 20-5 in their last 25 against the Clips, although Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki played a prominent role in achieving that fantastic mark.