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Clippers Beat Mavericks for Third Win in Row

January 23, 1986|From Times Wire Services

Marques Johnson scored 22 points, and ex-Maverick Kurt Nimphius added 21 Wednesday night to lead the Clippers to a 131-118 victory over Dallas before 16,141 fans at Dallas.

Nimphius has enjoyed some of the best nights of his professional basketball career in Reunion Arena before appreciative Texas crowds, and a change in uniform didn't mean the good times had to end.

"It's still special. This is my home court away from home," he said after also contributing 14 rebounds to the Clipper win. "It means a lot for me to play well here."

Nimphius, who was traded by the Mavericks for James Donaldson in a November exchange of centers, received a huge ovation during pregame introductions. From there on, however, he made certain that his old fans would have little more to cheer about as he played what he called "my best game of the year."

Nimphius tied his season-high point total as the Clippers won their third straight game and their fourth in the last five. However, it was only their sixth win on the road in 24 games this season.

Dallas lost its second consecutive game and has dropped four of its last five.

Donaldson's 10 points and 8 rebounds helped Dallas take a 29-18 lead entering the second quarter.

The Clippers, who shot 53.3% from the field, went on a 16-6 spurt at the start of the second quarter and pulled within 35-34 with 7:41 remaining. The Mavericks rebuilt their margin to 43-36 a minute and a half later, but a 19-8 run by the Clippers put them in the lead for good.

Benoit Benjamin contributed eight points to the rally, ending it with a slam dunk with 3:55 remaining. Benjamin finished the night with 14 points.

Dallas never drew closer than eight points the rest of the way. The Mavericks, who shot 48% from the field, were led by Derek Harper with 26 points. Mark Aguirre had 25 and Rolando Blackman 24.

Cedric Maxwell added 18 points for the Clippers, who return home to face the Lakers at the Sports Arena Friday night. The Lakers handed the Clippers their only loss in the last five games, a 112-96 defeat last Thursday night at the Forum.

Said Maverick Coach Dick Motta, whose team was booed loudly in the second half: "If I had paid $20 to watch this game, I don't know if I would have been particularly pleased. The fans had a right to be upset with us tonight."

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