Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 3)

Series starts 1/20

Game 1: Thursday, January 20th
Game 2: Monday, January 24th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 2nd

Clippers 77

(18-21, 5-11 away)

Mavericks 99

(25-12, 15-7 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    7:30 PM ET, January 20, 2005

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 29 19 20 977
    DAL 20 22 31 2699

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles: E. Brand 24 Pts, 14 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Blk

    Dallas: D. Nowitzki 28 Pts, 8 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl

    Terry sparks Mavs' dash in third quarter

    DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks are used to hearing Avery Johnson yell at them about bad defense, even when Don Nelson is around.

    With Johnson in charge, the Mavs certainly responded after a sluggish first half Thursday night.

    Dallas turned up the defense after halftime, and Jason Terry scored 11 of his 15 points in the decisive third quarter, to give the Mavericks a 99-77 comeback win over the suddenly struggling Los Angeles Clippers.

    "Our big adjustment was paying attention to offensive rebounds. Second shots were killing us," Terry said. "Avery got us focused. ... We got in our tempo."

    Johnson's forte is defense, a good complement to the offensive-minded Nelson. But Nelson will miss 10 games or more over the next two or three weeks after shoulder surgery Thursday.

    "A.J. is a little more vocal, but he's calling the same plays Nellie calls," guard Devin Harris said. "We made a conscious effort in the fourth quarter to pick it up defensively. We forced them out of what they wanted to do."

    The Clippers, who led by as many as nine points in the first quarter, had their last lead when Corey Maggette's long jumper with 3 minutes left in the third quarter made it 64-63.

    Terry then hit a 3-pointer, and after Elton Brand made two tying free throws, the Mavericks went ahead to stay on Terry's short floater in the lane with 1:24 left in the third quarter.

    There were 12 lead changes to that point, but the score got lopsided when the Clippers had an 8-minute stretch in the fourth quarter without a field goal. Los Angeles' nine points were the fewest in any quarter by a Dallas opponent this season.

    "The defense in the second half is the type of defense I know this team can play," Johnson said.

    "They played good defense and we may have run out of gas late," said Brand, who had 24 points and 14 rebounds for his fifth straight double-double.

    Los Angeles has lost four straight games, and six of eight. The Clippers (18-21) are three games under .500 for the first time this season.

    "In the second half, we missed some easy shots, made some mistakes on defense, and we're down 15 in a heartbeat," coach Mike Dunleavy said.

    After Terry's go-ahead basket, Dirk Nowitzki added a 3-pointer and Jerry Stackhouse a breakaway dunk after his steal to put the Mavs ahead 73-66. That ended a 14-6 run in which Terry had half the points.

    Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 28 points. Josh Howard added 13 points and Erick Dampier had 11 rebounds.

    Bobby Simmons had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who made just 11 of 38 field goals after halftime and shot 35 percent for the game. Maggette had 14 points.

    The Mavericks are 4-1 in games coached by Johnson, who is being groomed to eventually succeed Nelson. That includes one win in which Nelson was ejected less than two minutes into the game.

    Nelson was recuperating at home Thursday night after the long-needed surgery to repair an almost completely torn right rotator cuff.

    "Coach is coming back," Stackhouse said. "He's getting the tape and watching it. We want him to be proud of how we're playing when he's out."

    Brand scored six points in a 10-0 run late in the first quarter that gave the Clippers a 25-16 lead. After the Mavs scored the first eight points of the second quarter, the game was back-and-fourth until the Terry-led run.

    Game notes

    Dallas is 22-0 when leading after the third quarter. ... The announced crowd was 19,576 and listed as the team's 134th straight sellout. But there were huge blocks of empty seats throughout the arena. ... Two nights after scoring an NBA-high 137 points, including 73 in the first half, Dallas trailed 48-42 at halftime.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 77 99
    FGM-FGA 28-80 (.350) 40-82 (.488)
    3PM-3PA 0-6 (.000) 8-18 (.444)
    FTM-FTA 21-24 (.875) 11-14 (.786)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 20-47 13-41
    Assists 18 23
    Turnovers 17 10
    Steals 3 11
    Blocks 4 6
    Fast Break Points 10 18
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (1/0) 21 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 9 22

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 24
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 28
    Reb: 8
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0