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Clippers catapult over Mavs for character win

Down 17 points with just over five minutes left in the final quarter, the Los Angeles Clippers mounted a comeback that many felt would not be possible.

JJ Redick w/ the hot hand for Clippers
JJ Redick w/ the hot hand for Clippers
Andrew D. Bernstein

The Clippers determination, patient play, and solid defense propelled them to a 129-127 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night.

J.J. Redick finished with a career high 33 points, and Blake Griffin had 23 points and 7 rebounds.

The Mavs kept Griffin scoreless for over six minutes in the opening quarter, yet had no answer for the hot hand of Redick in the first quarter.

The Clippers lost focus in the third quarter after leading 100-91, the Mavs went on an impressive 15-0 into the fourth quarter. Matt Barnes split the defense down the middle for the basket that ended the run.

Down by 17 points, the Clippers looked done, and the Mavs would look to be victorious.

The referee's prevented an altercation when both Griffin and Samuel Dalembert fought to grab the rebound under the basket. The two players were immediately separated as Griffin and Dalembert were jawing with each other. Dalembert was assessed a technical foul, which Griffin made. The Clippers received the ball and Griffin knocked down a shot and trailed the Mavs 125-118.

"Some calls were suspicious, and it was just one of those games. So many things happened in those seven minutes", said Dalembert.

Down by nine, Barnes hit a clutch three pointer, then Jamal Crawford who struggled most of the night was fouled by Dirk Norwitzki. Crawford made two of three free throws bringing the Clippers within four, 127-123 with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter.

Redick who was relatively quiet in the second half emerged again, with a huge three pointer with 33 seconds left as the Clippers trailed 127-126. Crawford was fouled and made two free throws. After hot shooter Jose Calderon missed a crucial three pointer, DeAndre Jordan grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Jordan made one of two that gave the Clippers a nice lead, and would force the Mavs to shoot a three for the win.

DeJuan Blair attempted to inbound the ball, but was quickly stolen by Jordan who held on for the win.

Dirk Norwitzki scored 27 points and Samuel Dalembert added 20 points in the loss.

The Mavs blew a 17 point lead, and the Norwitzki was dumbfounded at what happened.

"There's no way we should lose this game," Nowitzki said. "We've got to do a better job of protecting a lead. We made some bad decisions and gave up some 3s."

The key to the Clippers victory according to Blake Griffin, "We just locked in. We made the plays down the stretch, they tightened up and got a little too comfortable."

The Clippers begin their seven game Grammy road trip on Friday in New York against the Knicks.