Dirk goes for 34 in Mavs win over Clips

Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points, including the go-ahead jumper with 37 seconds left right after he blocked a shot, and the Dallas Mavericks survived for a 107-102 victory over the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

The Mavericks needed a game-ending 11-1 run to avoid being upset at home by Los Angeles, which had only eight players in uniform because of injuries and a suspension.

Los Angeles, two days after a one-point loss to Detroit, overcame an 18-point deficit before halftime and led in the fourth quarter. The Clippers have lost eight consecutive games.

Rookie Eric Gordon led the Clippers with 32 points, but he was blocked driving for a layup with 48 seconds left by Nowitzki, who then hit a high-arching 11-footer at the other end for a 103-102 lead.

Gordon, who finished with his fifth consecutive 20-point game, then had a turnover on the next Clippers possession. He followed his 31 points against Detroit with another career-high scoring night.

The Clippers have gone multiple games without the injured Baron Davis (bruised tailbone), Zach Randolph (left knee), Mike Taylor (right thumb) and Chris Kaman (left knee). Plus, Ricky Davis served the second of his five-game NBA suspension for violating the league’s drug policy.

Still, Los Angeles led for the first time since the opening 2 minutes of the game when Mardy Collins hit a 3-pointer to make it 95-93 with 6:38 left.

Jose Barea then made a 3-pointer to put Dallas back in front, but Al Thornton made three consecutive baskets, two layups before his 24-foot jumper put the Clippers up 101-95 with 2:39 left. That was Los Angeles’ last field goal.

Nowitzki hit a 3-pointer, then Josh Howard scored before Nowitzki blocked Gordon’s shot.

Howard had 22 points, while Brandon Bass had 13.

Thornton finished with 25 points and Collins had 17. Gordon and Collins both played more than 45 minutes.

Dallas got started with its highest-scoring quarter of the season, going up 37-22 when Jason Terry and Howard hit consecutive 3-pointers at the end of the first to cap a 15-2 spurt.

Nowitzki scored 10 in an early 12-0 run that push the Mavericks in front to stay until late.

Gordon scored the final nine points for the Clippers in the first half, including two free throws in the final second after being fouled on an inbound play to get Los Angeles within 64-54 after being fouled on an inbound play.

Dallas threw the ball away on an inbound play with 0.8 seconds left. Devean George, put in for defense and making his only appearance of the game, wrapped his arm around Gordon and was called for a foul.

The Clippers got within 76-75 after scoring eight straight points in the third quarter with baskets from four different players. That stretch started when Collins had a steal and turned that into a layup.


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