Finishing up a homestand before leaving town for the annual two-week Grammy Awards Road Trip, the Los Angeles Clippers made a monumental fourth quarter comeback – trailing by 17 points with just under five minutes left in the game – and beat the Dallas Mavericks, 129-127 to run the table on the four-game homestand.
The Clippers were behind 123-106 and seemingly dead in the water. But led by Jamal Crawford’s nine points in the quarter and some clutch three-pointers by Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick, Los Angeles outscored Dallas 23-4 to earn its fourth win in its last five.
“We had J.J. guarding Dirk on one play and it worked.” Said Clippers head coach Doc Rivers referring to the 6-feet-4-inch Redick guarding the seven-foot Dirk Nowitzki in that furious five-minutes at the end of the game. “I can’t explain that game, it was one of those games where you threw the kitchen sink and tried everything.”
“We made some really bad mental mistakes which gave them a chance and they took advantage of it.” Said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. “It’s as hard of a lesson as you’re going to have in this league, but you’ve got to play the entire 48 minutes to win in this league.”
“I was thinking we might be the only team trying to find a way to lose this one.” Said Nowitzki about those last five minutes. He only made one of six shots in the quarter good for just three of his team-high 27. “We’ve just got to find a way to win it. Get a couple of stops here and there. I’ve got to make a couple of shots. There’s no way we should lose this game.”
“A character game was exactly what it was, being down 17 with five minutes left.” Said Jamal Crawford who finished with 16 points. “We had every reason to throw it in at that point. We became the aggressors. It seemed like they backed up a little bit, and we continued to apply pressure.”
Blake Griffin finished with 23 points and continues to be the target of “extra-curricular activity” by opposing teams getting into a bit of a tussle with Dallas center Samuel Dalembert resulting in a six point possession for L.A.
“It got really chippy there at the end of the 4th quarter.” Said Griffin. “Really the entire game, but in the 4th quarter that’s when we really buckled down, so that was huge for us.”
“It was a physical, physical game.” Said Dalembert who finished with 20 points. “They hit us. We hit them back. It was one of those games.”
In his second game back since being on the disabled list with a broken right wrist, J.J. Redick knocked down a career-high 33 points to lead all scorers.
“I feel confident out there.” Said Redick who had 23 at halftime and hit a three that brought the Clippers to within one at 127-126. “I wouldn’t be out there if I weren’t confident in my skill level and my wrist coming back from injury.”
Matt Barnes had 25 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with seven points and 13 rebounds.
The Clippers (27-13) ended the Mavericks (23-17) modest three-game win streak while registering their fourth consecutive win.
Los Angeles now hits the road for seven games in eleven days beginning with the New York Knicks - winners of five of their last six games - in Madison Square Garden Friday night.