Stackhouse and Dampier combined for 27 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and 11 rebounds, and the Mavericks got Clippers leading scorer Elton Brand in early foul trouble in a 101-81 rout of Los Angeles on Friday night.
“I like playing with Damp,” Stackhouse said. “People make a lot about him being out of the starting lineup and coming off the bench, but I think he feels comfortable playing with me because he gets a few more shots maybe than he gets in the starting lineup. So it’s been working out well. Hopefully we can continue to get better.”
Stackhouse finished with 14 points. The two-time All-Star, who missed the first 26 games of the season because of a sore right knee, has come off the bench in all 14 games he has played and was one of six Dallas players to score in double figures.
Dampier had 13 points and 12 rebounds. He came off the bench for the fourth straight game after being demoted from the starting lineup by coach Avery Johnson. It was the first time the 10-year veteran center has scored in double figures in his last 29 games.
“It means a lot,” Johnson said. “Those are two guys who obviously can be starting. Damp’s been a starter and Stack’s been a starter, so hopefully, we can get those guys matched up on some of the other team’s second-team players. We like to go to Damp, and we went to him tonight—and he delivered. He’s been playing really hard.”
The Mavericks extended their winning streak to four games and improved their road record to 15-6, after setting a franchise record last season with a 29-12 mark. The victory kept Dallas a game behind defending NBA champion San Antonio for the best record in the Western Conference.
Sam Cassell scored 23 points for the Clippers, who went 7:06 between field goals in the fourth quarter. Brand, who came in as the only player in the league among the top 10 in scoring and rebounding, finished with 19 points and 10 boards.
“It’s embarrassing. You can’t get embarrassed on your home court like that,” Brand said. “You have to play with some pride and some intensity. We came out in the third quarter with a sense of urgency, but you’ve got to start the ballgame off like that.”
Trailing by 21 with 3:35 left in the third, the Clippers narrowed the gap to 83-70 on a three-point play by James Singleton with 10:33 remaining, but the Mavericks responded with jumpers by Nowitzki and Adrian Griffin.
Dallas guard Jason Terry received a double-technical and an ejection from referee Bill Kennedy after complaining that he was fouled on a drive to the basket against Cassell and Brand. Cassell made both free throws, but Stackhouse and Nowitzki answered with consecutive 3-pointers, triggering a 10-0 run that gave the Mavericks a commanding 97-72 lead with 4:05 remaining.
Stackhouse and Dampier combined for 19 points in the first half to help Dallas take a 63-39 lead. It was the largest point differential at halftime for the Mavericks this season, and marked the third time they led by at least 20 after two quarters.
“I was really disappointed in our focus. A team who is coming in 29-10 should be able to get our attention,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. “When you dig yourself a hole like that, it’s hard to come all the way back against a really good team. But we need to quit feeling sorry for ourselves.”
Nowitzki missed four of his first five shots, but Dallas still managed to build an 11-point lead in the first 5 1/2 minutes. Brand went to the bench with a minute left in the opening quarter after picking up his second foul on a layup by Dampier—whose three-point play triggered a 12-0 run that extended the margin to 42-21 with 11 minutes left in the half.
“They played really well, shared the ball and played defense. But I don’t think they should have punished us like that. Definitely not,” Brand said. “The last game, Cat (Cuttino Mobley) was out with foul trouble, and tonight I had to come out early in foul trouble. But we don’t have any excuses. Guys need to step up and play with a sense of pride.”
The Mavericks are 46-1 when holding their opponent under 90 points since Nov. 6, 2003, when they lost 77-71 at Toronto. The only defeat since then was Nov. 22, 2004, when Minnesota beat them 83-82 at Dallas. … Dallas G Darrell Armstrong played less than a minute late in the fourth quarter, but left with a slightly sprained left ankle. … Clippers backup C Zeljko Rebraca, who was cleared Thursday to return to action after missing 24 games because of an irregular heartbeat, is expected back in the lineup sometime next week.