Billups Hits Game-Winning 3 To Beat Defending Champs Mavs
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LOS ANGELES (AP) Chauncey Billups hit a winning 3-pointer with 1 second left as the Los Angeles Clippers stunned the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks 91-89 on Wednesday night.
Mo Williams made his first seven shots and finished with 26 points off the bench in his return to the lineup from a sore right foot, and DeAndre Jordan had 19 points and nine rebounds for the undermanned Clippers, playing their third game in three days.
Blake Griffin had 17 rebounds along with 14 points and seven assists – the last one setting up Billups’ rainbow from the right of the key.
Clippers point guard Chris Paul missed his third straight game because of a left hamstring strain. Brian Cook sat out his third in a row with a sprained left ankle.
Dirk Nowitzki and Delonte West each scored 17 points for Dallas. Jason Kidd, playing his third game after missing the previous four because of back spasms, played 15 scoreless minutes in the first half and finished with five points and 10 assists. The 17-year veteran was 1 for 9 from the field against the Lakers, including 0 for 8 from 3-point range.
Jason Terry made his only two 3-point baskets of the game in the final 37 seconds, the second coming with 5 seconds to play after losing Jordan on a switch and getting himself all alone at the top of the lane.
The Mavericks played without Vince Carter, who sprained his left foot on the final play of Monday night’s 73-70 loss to the Lakers when he tried to position himself for a 3-point shot that he missed at the buzzer. The team’s second-leading scorer off the bench returned to Dallas to get examined by team doctors.
The Clippers snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Mavericks, beating them for only the second time in their last 18 meetings.
Jordan’s dunk and Griffin’s layup gave the Clippers an 88-33 lead with 1:29 remaining. Dallas’ Ian Mahinmimissed both free throws at the other end, but Terry’s first 3-pointer to cut the margin to 88-86. Billups missed a 12-footer, and Griffin forced a jump ball with Nowitzki on the ensuing rebound with 14.9 seconds to play.
Griffin got the tip to Billups, who caught it off-balance and lost it out of bounds. Terry hit his second 3 on Dallas’ next possession, and Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro called a timeout to set up what proved to be the winning basket.
Neither team led by more than six points until Jordan completed a three-point play to give the Clippers a 64-57 advantage with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. They led by as many as nine before Dallas used a 14-5 run to pull into a 71-all tie heading to the fourth.
Williams, who sat out the previous three games, was the first player off the Clippers’ bench and scored 18 points to help Los Angeles take a 52-51 halftime lead. Jordan, who hadn’t taken more than six shots in any of his first 11 games this season, was 5 for 8 from the field in the half with 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Billups scored 10 points in the first 10 minutes, matching his total through 24 minutes in a rout Tuesday at Utah. Williams replaced him with 5:26 left in the first quarter, scoring 11 points to help the Clippers take a 31-27 lead into the second. The Mavericks opened the quarter with a 9-0 run before Williams stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer.
Caron Butler missed his first seven shots over 27 scoreless minutes before ending the drought on an 18-footer that gave the Clippers a 68-62 lead with 3:05 left in the third.
Notes: Since moving to Los Angeles for the 1984-85 campaign, the Clippers are 17-69 against teams that won an NBA title the previous season. The franchise was 20-46 against defending NBA champs during the Buffalo and San Diego years. … Jordan reached double digits in field-goal attempts for the fifth time in 215 NBA games. His previous career high was 12. … The Clippers have allowed fewer than 100 points in each of their eight victories, and more than 100 in each of their four losses. This was the sixth time they held an opponent under 90. … With 23,050 career points, Nowitzki is 90 away from overtaking Hall of Famer and former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor for 22nd place all-time. The only active players with more points than Nowitzki are Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. … Kidd played in his 1,278th regular-season game, tying A.C. Green for 15th place all-time, and is 15 steals shy of Michael Jordan’s total of 2,514 for second place in that category. … Dallas is 0-7 when allowing 90 or more points and 8-0 when holding its opponent under 90.
Updated January 19, 2012
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