Saturday, January 4
DALLAS (AP) — DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin found a way to win without Chris Paul.
The big men for the Los Angeles Clippers are going to have to keep it up because their star guard will be out at least a few weeks.
Jordan scored a career-high 25 points to match Griffin, and the Clippers rallied to beat the Dallas Mavericks 119-112 Friday night after losing Paul when he separated his right, shooting shoulder.
Jordan and Griffin combined for 10 points on a 16-2 game-closing run to wipe out a 110-103 deficit in the final 4 minutes. Jordan was 11 of 14 from the field and had 18 rebounds, while Griffin added 15 boards.
Then they found out that Paul, who had 19 points at halftime, will be out three to five weeks.
Coach Doc Rivers said Paul could be out longer and will go to Los Angeles for evaluation while the Clippers head to San Antonio to face the defending Western Conference champion Spurs on Saturday night.
"It changes for everybody," said Darren Collison, who figures to start in Paul's place and had a season-high 22 points in his first game against the Mavericks after playing one season in Dallas. "Everybody's got to step up and play big. But we'll be fine."
Dirk Nowitzki was a game-time decision with a sprained left ankle but hit six of his first seven shots and had 14 points at halftime on his way to 24 for the Mavericks, who were up 13 in the first half and didn't trail until the third quarter.
After Shawn Marion put the Mavericks up 110-103, Griffin had an alley-oop dunk on an assist from Jordan, and Jordan followed with a three-point play.
Nowitzki broke a 110-all tie with a jumper, but Griffin sent the Clippers back in front for good on a three-point play. He was 11 of 13 on free throws.
"They've got those two big guys and I know it's a load, but we've got to do a better job," said Dallas guard Monta Ellis, who had 13 points and nine assists. "That was a tough one."
The Mavericks missed six of their last seven shots and had two late turnovers, including one when Ellis dribbled off himself with Jordan guarding him and the Clippers up 115-112.
"As hard as we worked to get the lead back up to seven in the fourth, we just gave it up too easy," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "Defensively, they went right through us, and offensively, without getting stops, the shots get harder."
With the Clippers leading by two, Paul was tripped by Ellis while dribbling around a screen. He rolled over and stayed on the floor holding his shoulder while being attended to by trainers.
Paul stayed down for about a minute before going to the locker room with 6:43 remaining in the third quarter.
"I don't think you could find one guy in the league, maybe LeBron or whoever, but besides that there's no one guy who can make up with what Chris brings," said backcourt mate Jamal Crawford, who had 15 points and a jumper that pulled the Clippers even at 110. "For us we have to lean on each other."
The Mavericks had a season high for points in a half but led just 70-67 at the break. Paul made his first five shots — all from 3-point range — before a miss from beyond the arc in the final seconds of the first half.
Jordan had three of the Clippers' five dunks in the first half, but Los Angeles kept giving up easy slams to a Dallas team that doesn't make a habit of them. Marion, who finished with 20 points, had two of the Mavericks' five first-half dunks.
NOTES: Marion passed the 17,000-point mark and joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone and Kevin Garnett as the only players with at least 17,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals and 1,000 blocks ... Collison had five steals in the New Year's Day win over Charlotte. It was his first five-steal game since Nov. 27, 2012, in his only season with Dallas ... With their recent 3-0 trip, the Mavericks swept at least three games on the road for the first time since February 2011, their championship season. ... Nowitzki scored in the first quarter for the first time in four games.