Baron Davis has the innate ability to anticipate things on the court other players can’t. He probably didn’t expect to see his new team being winless nearly two weeks into the season.
The Clippers will try to snap their six-game slide on Sunday at Staples Center against the Dallas Mavericks, who haven’t lost to Los Angeles in more than two years.
In Friday night’s 92-83 defeat to Houston, Los Angeles (0-6) shot a season-best 43.4 percent from the field and committed a season-low 11 turnovers, but couldn’t take the lead after cutting a 15-point deficit to one with 7:35 left in the third.
“Offensively, we just weren’t able to finish,” said Chris Kaman, who had his fourth double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds. “And until that starts to happen, I don’t see us winning a game. Defensively we are doing better and having a stronger effort as a team.”
After falling by an average of 20.8 points in their first five games - including a 117-79 loss to the Lakers on opening night - Friday’s defeat was the Clippers’ first by fewer than 10 points.
Davis scored a season-high 23 against Houston. In four games against Dallas last season while with Golden State, Davis averaged 22.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists.
Fellow first-year Clipper Marcus Camby had a season-best 13 rebounds against the Rockets. He’s averaging 10.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 25 career games against Dallas.
So far this season, Davis has missed one game with hip pain, and Camby has sat out three with a heel injury. Tim Thomas was the latest Clipper to fall after spraining his left ankle in the first quarter on Friday, and he is not expected to face the Mavericks.
While Los Angeles couldn’t complete its second-half rally on Friday, neither could Dallas as it lost 108-105 in Denver.
Trailing the Nuggets 82-72 with 10:57 remaining, the Mavericks (2-3) went on a 19-9 run with 11 points coming from first-year reserve Gerald Green.
“I’ve been told to stay ready to play - all the time,” said Green, who scored all 13 of his points during a 4:53 stretch of the fourth. “I was ready. I just try to provide energy and take what the game gives me.”
Jason Kidd nearly had his 101st career triple-double with 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 21 seconds left with Dallas down 103-102.
“I missed a free throw, we turned the ball in some key situations when we got a stop,” said Kidd, who is third in the NBA with 8.8 assists per game. “This was a lesson learned.”
Dirk Nowitzki posted his first double-double of the season with 23 points and 10 rebounds. He is averaging 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds in 33 career games against the Clippers - he missed the final two meetings with Los Angeles in 2007-08 with ankle and knee injuries.
Dallas swept the four-game season series with the Clippers in 2007-08, and has won six straight against Los Angeles since Nov. 8, 2006.