(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the Western Conference's elite collide Saturday afternoon at Staples Center, where the Dallas Mavericks kick off a three-game western jaunt against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Mavericks will also visit Sacramento and Denver, and have a 13-5 ledger outside Big D this season. They won all three games on a recent east coast trip against Boston, Cleveland and Brooklyn.
Dallas had a six-game winning streak stopped by red-hot Detroit in Wednesday's 108-95 decision, as the Pistons scored 34 points in the fourth quarter and dominated the boards to the tune of 60-43. Detroit, which led by as many as 17 points, raced out to a 12-4 lead and outscored Dallas, 56-44, in the paint.
"The rebounding problem caught up with us tonight in a big way because we turned it over quite a bit and our shot-making wasn't great," said Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. "When you can't mitigate a rebounding deficit with those two things in your favor, then it's going to be tough. I give Detroit a lot of credit. We just weren't good enough tonight."
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 19 points, Monta Ellis scored 16 and Chandler Parsons posted 15. Tyson Chandler ended with nine points and 15 rebounds for Dallas, which made 43.7 percent from the floor and hit on 6-of-22 3-pointers.
Nowitzki is five 3-pointers (1,513) shy of passing Mike Bibby (1,517) for 22nd on the all-time list.
The Mavs are averaging 109.1 ppg and making 47.6 percent of their shots.
Los Angeles is right up there with Dallas in points (106.5 ppg) and field goal percentage (47.2), and will resume a nine-game homestand Saturday.
The Clippers are 5-2 on the residency and demolished the rival Lakers, 114-89, on Wednesday thanks to Blake Griffin's 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in less than 31 minutes.
"We had a good mindset coming into the game," said Griffin, whose Clippers team rebounded from a 107-98 loss to Atlanta on Monday.
Chris Paul tallied 24 points and 11 assists, Matt Barnes scored 19 points and DeAndre Jordan ended with 10 and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who improved their home record to 16-5 and have won five in a row against the Lakers.
LA is 10-2 at home versus Western Conference opponents and will close the homestand Sunday versus the Miami Heat.
The Clippers went 3-1 against the Mavericks in 2013-14 and will play the first of three matchups this season. Los Angeles has won seven of the past 10 games in this series and four of five as the host.