Dallas At L.A. Clippers
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Friday, December 23, 2016
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Clippers gained plenty of experience playing without Blake Griffin last season and must move forward without their star forward for the next four to six weeks after he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. Griffin missed 47 games in 2015-2016 and the Clippers have won both contests without him this week as they prepare to host the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night.
“You don’t want to go through injuries this season and there is no way we can replace (Griffin), but guys just step up,” Los Angeles center DeAndre Jordan told reporters before the Clippers beat red-hot San Antonio on Thursday. “This year, I feel like we have some firepower off the bench.” The Mavericks took a big lead and held off a furious rally to edge Portland 96-95 on Wednesday for their fourth victory in eight games after a demoralizing 4-17 start. “I think slowly but surely we’re starting to put together games and starting to get it,” Dallas’ leading scorer Harrison Barnes told the team’s website. “Now, it’s about getting over the hump. I think (Wednesday) was a great example of that, especially on the road.” Future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles) could return to the lineup as early as Friday.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV, FSN Southwest (Dallas), Prime Ticket (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (8-21): Guard J.J. Barea, averaging 14.5 points, returned from missing 13 straight contests with a calf injury Monday but left Wednesday’s game with sore Achilles and is doubtful. Barnes (20.4 points) scored 28 in the victory against Portland while point guard Deron Williams (13.9) is averaging 19 points in the last five games. Wesley Matthews helped win Wednesday’s game with his defense on star Damian Lillard and averages 15.6 points overall, but is shooting 34.4 percent the last five games.
ABOUT THE CLIPPERS (22-8): The Clippers received more points from their bench (58) than their starters (48) in the 106-101 victory over San Antonio on Thursday, holding the Spurs to 40.2 percent shooting. Point guard Chris Paul (hamstring) was considered questionable before Thursday’s contest, but had 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 23 minutes before leaving the game in the third quarter. Jordan fell one rebound shy of his fifth straight double-double in the game and Marrese Speights scored 14 off the bench to reach double figures for the third straight game.
1. The Clippers have won six of the last eight meetings, including a 124-104 triumph in Dallas on Nov. 23.
2. Dallas G Seth Curry has strung together four straight double-figure contests to push his average to 10.2 overall.
3. Los Angeles G J.J. Redick has drained 10-of-13 from 3-point range over the last two contests.
PREDICTION: Clippers 106, Mavericks 92
Stats and Records
L.A. Clippers Off vs
109.8 Points For
100.0 Points Against