The Los Angeles Clippers hope to tie a bow on a successful road trip by securing their first win in over five years in North Texas when they take on the reigning NBA champion Mavericks.
The Clips have lost nine straight in Big D, last tasting victory there on April 19, 2006.
But this is a much different Clippers team, one that improved to an impressive 4-1 on their current Grammy Road Trip trip in Charlotte on Saturday. Blake Griffin scored 21 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in that one as Los Angeles dominated the hapless Bobcats, 111-86, at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Each of Griffin's fellow starters also scored in double figures, with Chris Paul netting 18 points and 14 assists, Caron Butler picking up 16 points, Randy Foye adding 12, and DeAndre Jordan finishing with 11 points and 12 boards.
"I thought we got some easy plays, especially with our defense, which was good," Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro said.
The Mavs, meanwhile, won their third straight on Saturday by opening up a three-game homestand with a 97-94 double overtime win over Portland. Delonte West scored six of his 10 points in the second extra frame to fuel the Mavericks in that one.
"The coaches have shown a lot of trust in me, putting me in in tense situations like that," said West.
Dirk Nowitzki scored a team-high 20 points for the Mavericks, who led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter before allowing Portland to claw its way back into the game. Jason Terry added 19 points off the bench as Dallas improved to 10-5 on its home floor.
"We're used to close ball games and being a veteran team doing what we have to do to get the win," Terry told the Mavericks' website. "You would have liked to have seen us kind of close things out [better], but it didn't happen."
The Clippers already snapped an overall 10-game skid against the Mavs with a 91-89 win in LA back on Jan. 18 when Chauncey Billups hit his first "Big Shot" for the Clips, draining a go-ahead three-pointer with one second left in regulation.
Billups, however, has since been lost for the season with a torn left Achilles.