Before the Clippers played the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, J.J. Redick said the game could be a good barometer for the team.
“There’s certain games during the season where you can kind of guage where you’re at as a team,” Redick said. “This is probably one of those games.”
Or so the Clippers hope.
The Clippers led by as many as 26 points in their 120-100 victory over the Mavericks at Staples Center. In the ultra-competitive Western Conference, very little space separates the top eight teams. Dallas entered the game in third place, only 1-1/2 games ahead of the sixth-place Clippers.
After six lead changes and eight ties in the first half, the Clippers took control of the game at the top of the third quarter by going on a 14-2 run.
Six Clippers scored in double digits, while only two Mavericks finished with that many points. Blake Griffin had 22 points on 11-for-15 shooting, seven rebounds and six assists, Chris Paul finished with 17 points and 13 assists while DeAndre Jordan contributed 13 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Clippers. Matt Barnes and Redick contributed 18 and 16 points, respectively, while Jamal Crawford came off the bench to add 19 points.
The Clippers outshot the Mavericks, 52.3% to 44.2%, and outrebounded them, 47-40.
There was a game-ending injury, but it didn’t happen to a player. Referee Joey Crawford sustained a right knee injury in the second quarter while slide-stepping across the court and immediately left the court. Mavs’ Coach Rick Carlisle also left the game early, getting ejected in the third quarter after receiving his second technical foul.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 25 points and six rebounds while Monta Ellis finished with 23 points and six assists.
With this win, the Clippers improve to 8-10 against teams with winning records. This was their fifth win in their last six games.
The Clippers host the Miami Heat on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.