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     === Nowitzki, Mavs keep playoff push going with win over Clippers ===
 
 Dallas,  TX (Sports Network) - 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.
 
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 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.
 
 
 03/27 01:50:41 ET