The Dallas Mavericks visited the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night while locked in a playoff battle with the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns, all three having 44-31 records.
In a game that felt like Dallas should yield the lead again and again, they held off a later Clippers run and emerged 113-107 victors.
Dirk Nowitzki led all scorers with 26 points, and he pulled down 11 rebounds. Jose Calderon had his mojo working and shot his way to 19 points. Vince Carter added 16 timely points off the bench.
Blake Griffin tallied the fourth triple-double of his career with 25 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. Griffin also rolled his ankle (or tweaked his back) on a final-minute possession and exited at the next break in play.
DeAndre Jordan racked up 21 points and 15 rebounds. Darren Collison added 22 points, and Chris Paul brought 17 points with nine dimes.
Dallas led by 12 points with under three minutes to play, but a 10-0 Clippers run kept things interesting. The Mavericks persevered and emerged with a crucial win to buoy their playoff prospects.
The Mavs move a half-game ahead of the Suns and Grizz for now and remain in seventh place. They continue the road trip on Friday night with the L.A. Lakers, followed by the Sacramento Kings on Sunday and Utah Jazz on Tuesday.
The Clippers fall to 2.5 games behind the Oklahoma City Thunder for second place. They play the Lakers on Sunday afternoon and can rest up before hosting a big game with OKC on Wednesday.
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