LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points, Jose Calderon added 19 and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers for the first time this season, 113-107 on Thursday night.
Blake Griffin had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in his first triple-double of the season for the Clippers, who had won 17 of their previous 19, including four straight. They beat the Mavs in their first three meetings of the season, coming from behind each time.
A night earlier, the Clippers came back from a 17-point deficit to beat Phoenix on the road, clinching their second straight Pacific Division title and third consecutive playoff berth.
They nearly pulled it off again.
Trailing by 12 points, Los Angeles scored 10 in a row, including six by Darren Collison, to trail 109-107 with 1:26 left. The Mavericks missed four straight shots and had a turnover before Griffin fouled Nowitzki near mid-court.
Nowitzki made both for a 111-107 lead with 17 seconds left. Collison fouled Shawn Marion and he made both to keep the Clippers down by six.
Samuel Dalembert and Monta Ellis added 12 points each, and Vince Carter had 16 for the Mavs, who won their third straight on a road while battling Memphis for the eighth and last Western Conference playoff spot.
Dallas had the Clippers trailing for much of their last matchup of the season against each other. Los Angeles rallied to tie it 89-all early in the fourth on two free throws by J.J. Redick, who finished with 12 points in his first game since Feb. 3. He missed 25 games with a bulging disk in his back.
Nowitzki led a 10-0 run, sandwiching 3-pointers around a basket by Carter, to put Dallas back in front 99-89.
A 3-pointer by Carter extended the Mavs’ lead to 104-93. Dallas clamped down on Chris Paul and Griffin for a stretch before the Clippers got hot. Paul finished with 17 points and nine assists.
DeAndre Jordan added 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Collison had 22 points for the Clippers.
The Clippers rallied to start the third, using a 13-7 run to take a 69-65 lead. Jordan scored six points and four others scored. But their lead was short-lived.
Dallas outscored the Clippers 21-12 to end the third leading 86-81. Calderon scored 10 in a row, Dalembert and Ellis had four each, and Carter and Devin Harris hit 3-pointers to keep the Clippers from regaining the lead.
The Mavericks led by 11 twice in the first half, and were up 58-56 at halftime.
NOTES: Clippers backup G Jamal Crawford missed his third straight game with a sore left Achilles’ tendon. F Danny Granger sat out with a strained left hamstring. Coach Doc Rivers said he’d be surprised if either of them return before the playoffs begin in two weeks. … The Mavs avoided getting swept by the Clippers for the first time since 1993-94. … It was Griffin’s fourth triple-double of his career.