Dallas (1-1) at Los Angeles (0-3)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 57° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EDT Sat Oct 31, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Dallas Mavericks emphatically ended their struggles at Staples Center against one of Los Angeles’ teams.

On Saturday night, they’ll look to maintain their strong play against the arena’s other NBA tenant.

Dallas tries to win its fourth straight against the Los Angeles Clippers, who are hoping a matchup with the Mavericks will again end their season-opening losing streak.

The Mavericks (1-1), who had lost four straight overall and 33 of 36 visiting the Lakers, hit 25 of 32 free throws and routed the defending champions 94-80 on Friday.

It was Dallas’ first road win against the Lakers since a 108-72 victory March 11, 2007.

“We haven’t won in this building in what feels like forever,” Dirk Nowitzki(notes) said. “We took that home loss pretty hard (Tuesday’s 102-91 loss to Washington), almost felt embarrassed we came up flat in the season opener.”

Nowitzki had 21 points and 10 rebounds, first-year Maverick Shawn Marion(notes) added 18 and six and Jason Kidd(notes) handed out 11 assists Friday as Dallas avoided its first 0-2 start in three seasons.

“When you have a point guard like J-Kidd running the show … it makes it that much easier,” said Marion, who is averaging 17.0 points on 51.9 percent shooting.

Kidd averaged 6.0 points, 7.5 assists and 5.5 boards as the Mavericks and Clippers split two games in Los Angeles last season.

Dallas, though, has won nine of 10 in this series, including five of seven at Staples Center.

In the teams’ last game in Los Angeles, the Mavericks won 98-76 on Dec. 28, despite Nowitzki serving a one-game suspension for a flagrant foul.

Nowitzki had 33 points and seven rebounds in a 103-92 loss at the Clippers on Nov. 9 when Los Angeles won its first game of the season following six losses.

Baron Davis(notes) had 22 points and 10 assists and Chris Kaman(notes) scored 10 points with nine rebounds in that matchup as the Clippers snapped a six-game skid to Dallas.

Davis and Kaman had 21 points apiece and second-year guard Eric Gordon(notes) scored 22 in Friday’s 111-98 loss at Utah.

The Clippers and Jazz were tied at 60 at halftime, but Los Angeles scored 14 points in the fourth quarter to fall to 0-3.

“I think it was three quarters of good basketball for us,” said Kaman, who missed the last three games against Dallas last season due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot. “The fourth quarter obviously was a struggle. They kind of took it to us.”

The Clippers are among the league leaders, hitting 48.7 percent from the field, but they’ll face a Dallas defense that’s limiting opponents to 43.0 percent shooting. The Mavericks held the Lakers to 39.5 percent from the floor with 35 second-half points Friday.

“I liked the way we played from start to finish,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “We had a real determined collective mindset and it showed how we played. We were very aggressive and it showed in the number of times we got to the line. This is going to be key to our success, if we’re persistent, especially at the defensive end.”

Gordon had 32 points and six assists in the teams’ last meeting - a 107-102 loss in Dallas on Jan. 6.

The Mavericks are 13-6 versus the Clippers at Staples Center.

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Saturday, Oct 31