Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks preview

Clippers vs. Dallas Mavericks preview
Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo, left, puts up a shot over Clippers forward Spencer Hawes during the Clippers' 120-100 win at Staples Center on Jan. 10. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

The Clippers play the Dallas Mavericks on Monday in their final game of an eight-game trip. They've lost a season-high four games in a row, and will try to avoid losing five consecutive games for the first time since February 2011, before they acquired Chris Paul.

Blake Griffin will have surgery Monday in Los Angeles to remove a staph infection in his right elbow. The team will have a better idea of how long he will be out after his surgery, but he's expected to miss anywhere from 10 days to six weeks.

The Clippers are very short-handed. In addition to playing without their superstar power forward, who is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game while shooting 50.1%, they've been without their starting shooting guard J.J. Redick for three consecutive games; he is averaging 14.4 points on 46% shooting. Glen "Big Baby" Davis left Sunday's game against the Thunder in the second quarter because of back spasms and Austin Rivers is struggling with a sore foot.

The Thunder beat the Clippers, 131-108, on Sunday after outrebounding the Clippers, 54-29. The Clippers are 2-5 on the road trip, most recently having lost to the Thunder, Raptors, Cavaliers and Nets.

The losing streak has dropped the Clippers to sixth place in the Western Conference with a record of 33-19. The Mavericks (35-18) are in fifth place in the West, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Clippers.

The last time these teams met, the Clippers beat the Mavericks, 120-100. In that game, the Clippers outshot the Mavericks, 52% to 44%, as Griffin led his team with 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

The Mavericks have won two games in a row, most recently beating the Kings and the Trail Blazers.

After playing the Mavericks, the Clippers return home for the first time in two weeks to host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday in their final game before the All-Star break.