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Clippers waste efforts of Chris Kama

The center has a record-high 27 points as the Mavericks finish a two-night sweep of Los Angeles teams.

November 01, 2009|LISA DILLMAN

Dirk and Friends barely hit the pause button.

The Mavericks and Dirk Nowitzki completed their two-night sweep through Staples Center, picking apart the Lakers via pick and roll and then bookending it with a 93-84 victory over the Clippers on Saturday night.

No Halloween jokes are necessary here.

The Clippers' early record speaks for itself, and they failed to score in the final 4:42 of the game. They are 0-4 and two losses from matching their woeful start of last season. They are the only team in the NBA with four losses.

(The Knicks and Nets are both 0-3, which drives home the point that some pretty miserable basketball is being played in the New York metro area and not-so-great hoops is going on in California, also.)

But in the not-so-bad-news department are the coming attractions, upcoming games against lesser lights Minnesota (on Monday) and Golden State (on Friday).

Sadly, for the Clippers, they wasted an especially inspired performance from Chris Kaman, and in fact, a career night for the center.

The oft-injured Kaman has shown what he can do when he remains healthy, and his 27 points against Dallas was a career high. Kaman was 12 for 19 from the field and he had 11 rebounds. Eric Gordon had 16 points.

For the Mavericks, Nowitzki had 24 points and nine rebounds and Shawn Marion had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Jason Terry, coming off the bench, had 16 points.

Kaman's previous career night was 26 points at Sacramento on Dec. 7, 2007.

"Obviously the biggest question for us tonight was the third quarter," Clippers Coach Mike Dunleavy said. "I just thought we came out and we took some bad shots. Offensively we didn't come out and attack. We were doing some good things in the first half.

"We weren't moving the basketball like we were moving it in the first half. We weren't getting the same good shots.

"We took some bad shots and they got in the open court and got some easy buckets, put us behind."

Before the game, Dunleavy had spoken about the lack of focus seeming to hit his team at the most inopportune times. The meltdown in Utah happened in the fourth quarter, which the Jazz opened with a 10-0 run.

On Saturday, the Clippers faltered in the third, scoring only 16 points. Then again, they had only 29 points in the second half.

Lack of focus, Part II?

"You know, I don't know what to call it," Dunleavy said. "Coming off and taking shots, early in the shot clock, without real good board coverage. Ultimately, putting us in the situation where we are shooting under duress."

Then there were the turnovers. The Clippers had 21 to 12 for Dallas.

Clippers point guard Baron Davis had four of those turnovers and had nine points and six assists. He played a mere 19 seconds in the fourth quarter and his backup Sebastian Telfair (12 points) helped the Clippers rally with Davis on the bench.

"I just felt he got us back into the game and was making plays and making shots," Dunleavy said. "BD was getting some treatment on his leg anyway."


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