Sports

Clippers visit struggling Mavs

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers enjoyed their previous visit to Big D just over a month ago and look to duplicate that success against the Dallas Mavericks Friday night at American Airlines Center.

The Clippers invaded Dallas on Feb. 9 and left with a 115-98 triumph thanks to DeAndre Jordan's 22 points and career-high 27 rebounds. Chris Paul had 25 points and 13 assists, while Dallas was led by Charlie Villanueva's 26 points.

Los Angeles has won nine of the last 12 games against Dallas and is unbeaten in each of the past three encounters in the Lone Star State.

The Clippers are fifth in the Western Conference standings, 1 1/2 games ahead of the seventh-seeded Mavericks. The Clippers are only three games out of the second spot and the Mavs sit 2 1/2 games behind the fourth seed.

LA recorded a 120-108 victory over Oklahoma City its last time out on Wednesday and was led by Paul's 33 points and nine assists. Jordan posted 18 points and 17 rebounds, and is averaging 15.4 points and 19.2 rebounds since that monster effort against Dallas (13 games).

"(DeAndre Jordan) is having a great year, probably the best defensive big in the game," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

J.J. Redick provided 25 points, seven assists and five boards, while Matt Barnes netted 22 points for the Clippers, who grabbed an 86-66 lead midway through the third quarter on a Paul 3-pointer. They have won five of seven and nine of their last 13 games.

"We just did a great job overall crowding the paint," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "They killed us in the paint last time we played them, so I thought our guys did a great job."

The Clippers are 18-14 away from home and will host Houston and Charlotte next at Staples Center.

Los Angeles is second in the NBA in scoring with 106.2 ppg and Dallas sits fifth with 104.3 ppg.

Paul is listed as questionable Friday with an ankle sprain and the Clippers are already without Blake Griffin (elbow) and top reserve Jamal Crawford (calf). Griffin could make his return this weekend and underwent surgery weeks ago to remove a staph infection from his right elbow.

The Mavericks haven't been at their best of late with five losses in the last seven tries and will resume a five-game homestand Friday night.

Dallas was dealt a lopsided 127-94 defeat on Tuesday at the hands of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. James was one of four players with more than 20 points and finished with 27 on 10-of-14 shooting. Kyrie Irving (22), Kevin Love (21) and J.R. Smith (21) were the other top scorers for the Cavs.

The Mavs led by a 31-26 score after the first quarter and allowed 41 in the second period. Cleveland shot 50.6 percent and made 15-of-32 3-pointers.

"After the first quarter, it was our worst performance of the year, just flat out," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said.

Chandler Parsons and Monta Ellis scored 18 and 17 points, respectively, for the Mavericks, while Amare Stoudemire added 15 off the bench.

"We should be a much better team than what we showed out there," Stoudemire said afterward. "This is a team that's competing for a championship that we played against. We should have stepped up to the challenge of competing with these guys and we backed down."

The Mavs are 21-11 at home and still have Oklahoma City, Orlando and Memphis scheduled to visit American Airlines Center.