Five things to take from Clippers’ 98-91 victory over Mavericks

The Clippers' Blake Griffin, left, passes the ball against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on Sunday.         
Stephen Carr - Staff Photographer

Blake Griffin passes the ball during the Clippers’ 98-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday at Staples Center/Staff photo by Stephen Carr

 

– It’s interesting to note that the Clippers won this game while shooting a horrendous 40.5 percent (15 of 37) from the free-throw line. Not surprisingly, DeAndre Jordan had a lot to do with that as he was just 6 of 23. Almost shockingly, Jamal Crawford was just 4 of 7. He’s shooting 90.4 percent this season.

Chris Paul shot poorly in this one, making just 2 of 10 from the field, 0 of 4 from 3-point range in just over 35 minutes. He did dole out 11 assists and committed zero turnovers, so he was able to help while not having a good offensive game. He scored just five points.

Blake Griffin started very slowly, making just two of his first 11 shots. But Griffin shot 5 of 7 in the second half to finish with 17 points on 7 of 18 from the field. He also had 11 rebounds and seven assists in his best game since returning from a 45-game absence. He played 33 minutes and 18 seconds, his longest stint since in four games since coming back. He also had two steals and four turnovers.

Jamal Crawford had another nice game. The 36-year-old sixth-man scored a game-high 22 points on 7 of 13 shooting – 4 of 6 from beyond the arc.

– The most proficient offensive performance of the night came from shooting guard J.J. Redick. He scored 20 points while making 8 of 10 from the field and all four of his shots from distance. Redick is now shooting a league-best 47.5 percent (197 of 415) from 3-point range.

VIDEO: Blake Griffin comes through with strong scoring plays

Blake Griffin is slowly but surely rounding into shape. After shooting 2 of 11 in the first half Sunday, he shot 5 of 7 in the second to finish with 17 points on 7 of 18 from the field during the Clippers’ 98-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center. Check out two rather impressive baskets:

Blake Griffin starts slowly, but has best game since return

Clippers forward Blake Griffin dunks against the Mavericks Sunday. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Blake Griffin throws down a dunk during Sunday’s 98-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center/AP photo by Mark J. Terrill

 

Blake Griffin shot a combined 3 of 12 his first two games back after missing the previous 45, then shot 5 of 10 during a 91-81 victory over the Lakers on Wednesday. Griffin sat out Friday at Utah, then began Sunday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks by shooting 2 of 11 in the first half.

Certainly, the Clippers are going to need Griffin to shoot well in the post-season, so this could be worrisome. Well, Griffin rebounded to shoot 5 of 7 in the second half to finish 7 of 18 in the Clippers’ 98-91 victory. Griffin scored 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and doled out seven assist in his best game since his return.

Griffin was philosophical about his overall effort during 33-plus minutes, his longest stint since coming back to the fold.

“I definitely want to better from the field,” he said. “But the great thing about it is that now is a good time to get that out. I always want to pass the ball, rebound, play defense. So hopefully, when the shot is not falling – because it will – even when you are in great rhythm, you can lean on those other things.”

Griffin did have four of the team’s 11 turnovers, but he also had two steals.

Rick Carlisle on DeAndre Jordan after Jordan’s big game: ‘Now you know why we wanted him’

Dallas' Chandler Parsons, right, battles the Clippers' DeAndre Jordan for space during Monday's game. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

DeAndre Jordan (6) of the Clippers plays defense against the Mavericks’ Chandler Parsons during the Clippers’ 109-90 victory Monday at Dallas/AP photo by Brandon Wade

 

DeAndre Jordan on Monday night returned to Dallas for the second time since backing out of a verbal accord to sign as a free agent with the Mavericks over the summer, only to re-sign with the Clippers.

In the Clippers’ first game there this season – a 118-108 Mavericks victory on Nov. 11 – Jordan scored just nine points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had one blocked shot.

In Monday’s game, Jordan scored 23 points and grabbed a whopping 20 rebounds. He also blocked two shots and made two steals in the Clippers’ 109-90 victory.That evoked quite a compliment from Dallas coach Rick Carlisle.

“Now you know why we wanted him,” Carlisle told the Dallas Morning News.

 

Chris Paul speaks in humble tones following big game at Dallas

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

Chris Paul is demonstrative on the court, a real ball of intensity. But the L.A. Clippers’ point guard doesn’t boast much when he’s off the court, so his humility after his fine effort Monday night at Dallas wasn’t surprising.

Paul scored 27 points on 12 of 18 shooting in the Clippers’ 109-90 victory over the Mavericks. He scored 18 of his points in the third quarter when the Clippers outscored Dallas 33-16, which means Paul outscored the Mavericks by himself during those 12 minutes. Impressive, indeed. But Paul wouldn’t take all the credit. Keep in mind that Paul made 8 of 9 from the field in the third.

“I think when (the game) is going like that, I’m just trying to force the action,” he said. “(Coach) Doc (Rivers) is always talking about finding a play and sticking with it. So it wasn’t about me making shots. It was about finding help, finding Wes (Johnson) for a shot and finding J.J. (Redick) for a shot. I think when we’re playing like that, it helps our defense.”

Paul also had seven assists, three steals and committed just one turnover in 28 minutes.

As for Redick and Johnson, one of them shot well. Redick scored 22 points on 9 of 14 from the field – 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Johnson scored just three points and shot just 1 of 6, 1 of 4 from beyond the arc. Johnson is just 5 of 26 from long-distance over the past six games. That equates to a woeful 19.2 percent.

Five things to take from Clippers’ 109-90 victory at Dallas

Chris Paul

Chris Paul/Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers

 

– After stumbling against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday at Staples Center, one had to wonder how the Clippers would do on the road in a hostile environment in Dallas. No problem. Down 52-50 at halftime, the Clippers outscored the Mavericks 33-16 in the third quarter to take control.

– There was more hate directed DeAndre Jordan’s way as Dallas fans no doubt still haven’t forgiven Jordan for snubbing the Mavericks over the summer, to re-sign with the Clippers. Jordan scored 23 points, pulled down 20 rebounds, made two steals and blocked two shots. He also made 11 of 19 from the free-throw line. That’s 57.9 percent. Jordan’s season percentage is 43.2.

Chris Paul had himself a game. He scored 27 points, 18 of those coming during the third quarter. He outscored Dallas all by himself in that quarter as the Mavericks scored only 16 points. Paul shot 8 of 9 in the quarter, 12 of 18 overall. He also had seven assists and three steals and committed just one turnover in 28 minutes.

– The Clippers (41-21) helped hold the Mavericks (33-31) to 37 percent shooting overall, just 16 percent (4 of 25) from 3-point range. Of the Dallas starters, only Dirk Nowitzki shot fairly well. He shot 9 of 19 overall, but was 0 of 4 from beyond the arc. He finished with 22 points.

– On the down side – Paul Pierce (1 of 5), Jeff Green (0 of 5) and Wes Johnson (1 of 6) shot a combined 2 of 16. That’s not to mention Jamal Crawford took 15 shots – making only five – to score his 15 points.