Dallas, TX – Dirk Nowitzki scored eight of Dallas' 12 points in overtime, as the Mavericks kept their playoff push going with a crucial 109-102 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at American Airlines Center.
Nowitzki finished with 33 points and nine rebounds in leading the Mavericks to their third straight win, putting them one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth seed in the Western Conference standings.
Vince Carter followed with 14 points as Dallas had six players score in double figures.
Chris Paul certainly didn't play like someone who had a swollen knee, as the All-Star point guard scored 33 points in a losing effort.
The Clippers, who already know they're headed to the postseason, had won three of four coming in.
There were six lead changes in the last five minutes of regulation, as well as three ties, one coming after O.J. Mayo ended a string of three straight Dallas turnovers with a three-point play to even things at 93-93 with 1:22 remaining.
After blocks at both ends, Carter was fouled by Paul going after a loose ball and hit both at the foul line, though Paul quickly answered with a runner with 45.9 seconds remaining.
Carter threw an ill-advised pass directly to Paul on the ensuing possession, and Paul drove past Shawn Marion and got a floater to fall over Elton Brand for the go-ahead bucket with 5.9 ticks left.
That left just enough time for Mayo, who drove the baseline and spun in a tying layup to the delight of the home crowd.
"I thought we had (Mayo) sealed up on the baseline, but that's the NBA -- guys are going to make tough shots sometimes, and it's just one of those things," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said.
The basket left sixth-tenths of a second on the clock, and the Clippers nearly pulled off a miraculous win at the buzzer, but Blake Griffin was whistled for an offensive foul before banking in a shot with his back to the basket following a full-court pass.
Nowitzki hit a go-ahead jumper with 3:28 remaining in the extra session and added two free throws later on for a 103-100 lead.
It stayed that way heading into the final minute, and the Clippers got the ball back with 30.4 seconds to go after Paul forced another Carter turnover.
Paul, who had made Los Angeles' previous five field goals, didn't attempt the critical shot. Instead it was Matt Barnes, who airballed an open 3-point attempt from the top of the key.
"We just tried to get the ball out of (Paul's) hands some and make the other guys beat us and that was good for us," Nowitzki said. "I thought that really won the game for us down the stretch."
Nowitzki drained two free throws with 22.2 ticks to play, and the Mavs held on from there.
Paul, who was a game-time decision coming in, scored 10 points in the first quarter, including the final six as the Clippers jumped out to a 27-22 lead.
The Mavs made a late run in the second quarter to take a slim 50-48 edge into the locker room, and erased an eight-point deficit in the third by scoring the final nine points of the frame for a 74-73 advantage.
Dallas improved to 2-8 in overtime games, while the Clippers fell to 0-2 ... The Clippers have lost 14 of their last 16 in Dallas ... Both Nowitzki and Paul's scoring efforts were season highs ... The Mavs outscored the Clippers in the paint by a 48-32 margin ... There were 14 lead changes and 14 ties.