The Los Angeles Clippers, playing without Chris Paul for the entire fourth quarter, stole a win in Dallas, 119-112. Paul, who scored 19 points in the first half, sprained his right shoulder in the third quarter and did not return.
Without their primary playmaker on the floor, the Clippers' offense was noticeably more stagnant, as the team settled for tougher shots. They did make some of those shots, thanks to the creativity of Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison, but the ball didn't zip around the perimeter as much as it did with Paul in the game.
It didn't matter in the end, though. Los Angeles outscored Dallas 18-5 in the game's final six minutes. The Mavericks hit just 2-of-10 from the field during that stretch, while the Clippers netted 42 percent of their shots and all eight of their free throw attempts.
The game featured a high-scoring first half, and the Mavericks went to the locker room up three points, 70-67. In all, six players -- three Mavericks and three Clippers -- scored in double figures in the contest's first 24 minutes and each team shot better than 56 percent from the field.
Paul led the way, as he often does, with 19 points, sinking 5-of-6 shots from behind the arc. Nowitizki led Dallas with 14 points, netting six of his first seven shots from the field.
Midway through the third quarter was when Paul suffered the injury. Collison filled in at point guard for the remainder of the game.
Crawford tied the game with just over two minutes remaining at 110 with a deep runner, then Nowitzki retook the lead for the Mavs with a one-footed fade away. Griffin overpowered Dallas down low on Los Angeles' ensuing possession, giving the team a one-point lead on an and-1 finish and free throw. Missed shots from Dallas down the stretch led to its demise.
Dallas will host the Knicks on Sunday and the Clippers will finish up a Texas road trip in San Antonio Saturday night.