HARRISON Barnes nailed the go-ahead runner and Seth Curry sealed the win with a steal as the Dallas Mavericks welcomed back Dirk Nowitzki with a 90-88 victory over the undermanned Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on Friday (Saturday, Manila time).
The Mavs and the Clippers went back and forth in the first half, with Nowitzki showing fine form after missing the past 14 games due to a strained Achilles tendon in scoring 17 points before the break and sat out the rest of the game.
Dallas, though, trailed 51-50 at the half and the Clippers led by as much as eight points in the third quarter before the Mavericks rallied back in the fourth, tying the match at 80-all with over five minutes left to set up a thrilling endgame.
After Wes Matthews sank a pair of free throws to keep the game tied at 88 with 27 ticks left, Dallas gambled in fouling DeAndre Jordan, who missed two free throws. On the next play, Garrett Temple found Barnes for a 10-footer that forged the final score, before Curry stole the ball off Austin Rivers to complete the upset.
Barnes finished with 24 points and Matthews added 16 to help the Mavs win their second straight game and improve to 9-21. Deron Williams also chipped in 12 markers and nine assists.
The Clippers played without Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, who injured his hamstring in their win against the Spurs Thursday. The bench stepped up as Jamal Crawford led the team with 26 points, while Rivers added 16. JJ Redick was the only starter in double figures with 11 as the Clippers fell to 22-9.