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Nowitzki’s late push helps Mavs hold off Clippers

Feb. 14, 2012 - 20:39 By Korea Herald
DALLAS (AP) ― Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, 11 in the final 6-plus minutes, Shawn Marion added 16, and the Dallas Mavericks held on to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 96-92 on Monday night.

Jason Terry, Vince Carter and Brendan Haywood all contributed 10 points for the Mavs, who’ve won 10 in a row at home against the Clippers and extended their overall winning streak to four games.

Caron Butler of the Clippers scored a season-high 23 points against his former team, and Blake Griffin added 20 points.

Chris Paul had 16 points and nine assists for the Clippers, but Griffin’s problems from the foul line cost his team as he missed seven of nine free throws.

The Clippers, who completed a 4-2 road trip, haven’t beaten the defending NBA champs in Dallas since April 19, 2006.

Dallas took control with a 7-0 fourth-quarter run capped by Marion’s layup with 4:48 remaining for an 86-83 edge.

Griffin had a chance to get the Clippers closer, but missed five straight free throws until connecting with 2:15 to play to pull his team within two points at 86-84.

Jason Kidd set up Terry for a layup with 2:02 left, and Nowitzki intercepted Griffin’s pass with 1:47 showing, and drained two free throws to extend Dallas’ edge to 90-84.

Griffin’s three-point play with 1:24 remaining and Kenyon Martin’s layup with 1 minute left narrowed the Mavericks’ lead to 90-89.

Nowitzki drained a 19-footer from the right wing and, after Marion stole the ball from Martin, converted two free throws with 21.2 seconds left for a 94-89 advantage. Paul’s 3-pointer with 17.8 seconds got the Clippers within two points, and Butler missed a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left.

Delonte West made two free throws with 2.9 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

The Clippers carried a 76-74 advantage into the final quarter.

Haywood worked inside for 10 of Dallas’ first 22 points and the Mavs carried a 27-19 lead into the second quarter.

Orlando 102, Minnesota 89

Philadelphia 98, Charlotte 89

New Orleans 86, Utah 80

Miami 114, Milwaukee 96

Golden State 102, Phoenix 96