It was much closer than last time when the Clippers thrashed the Mavericks 112-90, but in the end, it was the same result. The Clippers overwhelmed the Mavericks with their talent and half-court pressure defense, and Dallas couldn’t capitalize on their opportunities down the stretch. With the win L.A. maintained its half-game lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is the most important stat of all. Without further ado, here’s Last Call:
Recap | Box score
MVP: Chris Paul. Darren Collison looked like the best point guard on the floor in the first half, but Paul wouldn’t let that last long. A few big steals and scores and a whopping 16 assists steadied the Clips through a turbulent night offensively.
Defining moment: Caron Butler’s offensive rebounds late were huge, but the Mavs still had a chance down four with 23 seconds left. Unfortunately, Collison dribbled out about 15 seconds of the clock, and Vince Carter missed a contested two. Not ideal.
X factor: The Clippers nearly coughed up the game with 21 turnovers, but O.J. Mayo and the Mavericks couldn’t capitalize on some wide-open looks towards the end of the game.
– D.J. Foster
Tweet of the Game
Lamar Odom said the vibe in the Clippers’ locker room is “S—-s and giggles and cake”
— J.A. Adande (@jadande) January 10, 2013
Eric Bledsoe Per36 Stat o’ The Night
ClipperBlogLive’s Best Moment
The fact that Andrew ran a one-man show tonight… or his hat.
Check Your Messages
When Dallas Comes To Town
You’ll let Dallas come to town,
They’ll play their game and beat you down
With Collison shots from three-point land,
With great D from Crowder and Brand.
You’ll let Kaman hit mid-range shots
And Marion will board getting to his spots.
Mayo will create and get to score
And all this happens with DeAndre looking bored.
It happens with turnovers from Blake.
It happens with Lamar’s daydreams about cake.
It happens with a Crawford sore foot,
Running around like his lungs are filled with soot.
But one way to come out with a win
Is have Chris Paul on your team. Then, you’re in.
- Fred Katz
Lamar Odom: Crunch Time Center
In the past, I’ve questioned Vinny’s reluctance to play DeAndre Jordan in crunch time. But Lamar Odom continues to earn big minutes in big spots.
On the Mavs’ final set, Lamar put on a one-man clinic in defending the pick and roll. As Dirk sets the screen, Lamar uses his hip to edge Dirk towards the basket, then nimbly reverses direction, and shows hard, forcing Collison back up-court, eliminating the passing angle.
Now switched onto a driving Collison, Odom not only shows the agility to move with a speedy guard, but maintains a wide-bodied, shuffling, diagonal posture that cuts off the lane between ball and Dirk at all times. Unable to force the ball in to their superstar, the Mavs settled for a long Vince Carter two-pointer.
It doesn’t happen every night, but more and more frequently, Lamar Odom is showing off the least talked about aspect of his game: the preternatural feel he showed so often in the Laker championship runs.
- Jordan Heimer
Jamal Crawford, finding a conscience
Jamal Crawford’s majestic crossover and smooth jumper off the dribble don’t always appear in tandem. When he fails to recognize his offensive hiccups, Crawford’s licensed to mercilessly shoot his team out of a game. However, this season he’s seemed increasingly aware of the natural peaks and valleys of his offensive rhythm.
Coming off a foot injury that kept him out of the Clippers last two games, Crawford started the second quarter with a made free throw and a made three pointer, only to follow it up with four consecutive bricks. Instead of continuing his barrage of errant outside shots, Crawford deferred to his teammates the rest of the quarter. He took no shots, handed out an assist (!), while playing solid defense through the end of the half.
But don’t be fooled. If you think Jamal’s done shooting, think again. He came to play in the fourth, but did so with a mature conservatism. He tied the game up at 78 with a floater in the key, made both his free throws, and followed them up with rangy three-pointer to put the Clippers up by 7. The chucker is still in there somewhere, but its a more patient, responsible chucker. Here’s how Jamal described his approach on the offense to the New York Times:
“I honestly have a conscience,” the soft-spoken Crawford said in reference to his reputation as a player who has never encountered a shot he didn’t like. “But once I miss one, I believe the next one is going in. I’ve shot that shot a million times and I believe it’s going in.”
Crawford was a loaded pistol most of the night. He surveyed his target and didn’t miss when he finally pulled the trigger.
- Michael Shagrin