HARRISON Barnes hit the go-ahead basket and got the game-saving steal to lift the Dallas Mavericks over Los Angeles Clippers in a thrilling win, 97-95, at American Airlines Arena on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Dallas came out steadier down the stretch in a back-and-forth battle that saw four lead changes and four deadlocks in a tight fourth quarter.
The Mavericks led by 10 early in the second before the Clippers closed the half strong and took a 54-48 lead at the half. Dallas retook the edge in the third and got up by five late in the period before a 7-0 start in the fourth gave the Clippers the lead, 82-79, with 10:10 to play.
Blake Griffin got hot with nine straight points for the Clippers to keep the Mavs at bay, and DeAndre Jordan’s slam gave them a 95-92 edge with 2:30 remaining. Seth Curry countered with a jumper, before Barnes scored the go-ahead basket after a Chris Paul turnover to give the Mavs the lead for good, 96-95, with 1:08 to play.
Both teams traded misses in the ensuing plays, before Barnes made up for a turnover in getting a steal off Griffin. Wes Matthews split his charities to give the Clippers some hope to steal the win or force overtime. But JJ Redick’s buzzer-beating attempt went long as the Mavs held on to end the Clippers three-game win run.
Curry led all scorers with 23 points, while Barnes scored 21. Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 14 markers for the Mavs (31-40).
Griffin had 21 points to lead the Clippers (43-30), while Paul added 15 markers. Jordan scored 14 points and grabbed 18 boards as well.