Los Angeles (26-44) at Dallas (46-24)

Cloudy Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EDT Tue Mar 23, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Dallas Mavericks have hit a rough patch since going almost a month without a loss. A visit from the Los Angeles Clippers could help them get back on track.

Looking to avoid a third consecutive defeat, the Mavericks try to bounce back with a seventh straight home win over the Clippers on Tuesday night.

Dallas (46-24) won 13 straight games from Feb. 17-March 10, and appeared ready to challenge the Los Angeles Lakers for the top spot in the Western Conference. However, after a 115-99 loss at New Orleans on Monday, the Mavericks have dropped two in a row and three four since that winning stretch.

Now third in the West and six games behind the first-place Lakers—Dallas hasn’t lost three straight games since Jan. 28-Feb. 1.

“I think the big thing is we’re being inconsistent,” Mavericks guard Jason Kidd(notes) said. “Maybe a little bit too relaxed. It’s something we have to look at.”

The Mavericks have a chance to turn things around against the Clippers (26-44), who’ve lost four in a row and 10 of 11 between the teams. Losers of 10 straight on the road overall, Los Angeles hasn’t won in Dallas since April 19, 2006.

Still, Dallas likely needs to play a more complete game than it did against the Hornets to get back to its winning ways.

Jason Terry(notes) scored 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki(notes) added 16 for the Mavericks, who shot 51.9 percent but blew an early 16-point lead and committed 18 turnovers, which New Orleans converted into 35 points.

After holding its opponents to 97.1 points per game on 45.0 percent shooting during the extended winning streak, Dallas is giving up an average of 112.8 points on 53.8 percent shooting over the last four.

“It’s disappointing, (the players) clearly have a focus problem that we must look at and fix before the postseason,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. “And we have the ability to do it. We have a quick turnaround and everyone has to bounce back We are going to have to do a lot better than we did (Monday).”

The Mavericks haven’t had much trouble stopping the Clippers at home in recent years. Los Angeles has averaged 91.3 points during its last six trips to Dallas.

Nowitzki’s averaged 30.0 points in his last four games against the Clippers. He had 24 with nine rebounds in Dallas’ 93-84 win at Los Angeles on Oct. 31.

Chris Kaman(notes) had 27 points and 11 rebounds in that contest for the Clippers, but the veteran center was held to 12 points in a 102-89 home loss to Sacramento on Sunday.

After snapping an eight-game losing skid with a 101-93 win over Milwaukee on Wednesday, the Clippers allowed the Kings to shoot 50 percent while being held to fewer than 90 points for fifth time in nine contests.

“There is no explanation for our performance. It was just a lack of effort,” said guard Baron Davis(notes), who had 13 points but two assists. “On a given night, not everyone is going to have it offensively. But I think there are other things that can be done on the court.”

Second-year guard Eric Gordon(notes) had 23 points Sunday, and 32 in Los Angeles’ 107-102 loss in its last trip to Dallas on Jan. 6, 2009.

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Tuesday, Mar 23