Every time the Clippers would face a playoff team they would brush off any questions about the game being anything more than just one game. But their inability to beat the top teams in the league had begun to weigh on the players. A win in January wasn't going to make or break their season, but they needed to send a message that they were more than capable of holding their own against the top teams in the West.
That message was sent loud and clear Saturday as the Clippers beat the Mavericks 120-100. It was the second straight game in which the Clippers led by at least 26 points in the fourth quarter and won going away after beating the Los Angeles Lakers 114-89 on Wednesday.
Surprise of the night: The Clippers were simply hoping to beat a team in front of them in the West standings. That the game turned into a blowout in the second half and the Clippers found themselves up by 26 in the fourth quarter before emptying the bench was totally unexpected. The top scorers in the first half for the Clippers were Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick,
who each had 13 points and finished with a combined 34 points and 10 rebounds.
Missed moment of the night: Before the game, Doc Rivers said Clippers owner Steve Ballmer could beat Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in a dance-off and wanted to see it. Sadly, that never happened, as both Ballmer and Cuban were not in attendance for Saturday's game. Cuban, however, took exception to Rivers' prediction and tweeted, "Obviously Doc hasn't seen me dance. He has to go through Mark Madsen before he gets to me. Unfortunately won’t be at the game."
Stat of the night: All five Clippers starters and Jamal Crawford off the bench finished with at least 13 points. The Clippers shot 52.3 percent from the field while holding Dallas to 44.2 percent.
Players of the night: Blake Griffin had 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Chris Paul had 17 points and 13 assists. DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 15 rebounds while Crawford added 19 points off the bench.