for this game

Mobley, Clippers send Mavericks to fourth straight loss

Nov 9, 2006 - 6:19 AM LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Cuttino Mobley continued the NBA Finals hangover for the Dallas Mavericks.

Mobley scored 28 points and Sam Cassell added 21 as the Los Angeles Clippers posted a 103-85 victory over the winless Mavericks.

Elton Brand had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who shot 48 percent (40-of-83) from the field and committed just nine turnovers.

While playing nearly mistake-free on offense, the Clippers' defensive pressure was the catalyst for a stellar performance.

"(Wednesday) was one of our best games because the defense was there," Brand said. "We pride ourselves on defense and that's why we had such a great year last year. The offense is coming together but we have a lot to improve on.

"We are first in the division right now and it makes us feel great. We are in first right now and we want to keep it that way."

After losing the final four games of the Finals to the Miami Heat last June, Dallas is now 0-4 to start a season for the first time in its 27-year history. The Mavericks and Denver are the league's lone winless teams.

"We're disappointed. It's a tough start for us," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "We're not playing good defense for long stretches of the game and we are not playing good offense. (If) you play good offense in waves or good defense in waves, you're not going to be very good. We're playing about 22 to 28 minutes of a 48-minute game and that's not very good basketball."

Things could get even get tougher for Dallas, which visits Phoenix on Thursday in a rematch of last season's Western Conference finals. Phoenix is off to a 1-4 start.

"We've tried a lot of different things. It was a tough night for us," Johnson said. "Hopefully, we can be more effective as the season goes on. We need more production collectively and we'll get it."

The Mavericks led, 32-21, after the first quarter, but shot poorly the rest of the way. Dallas was 12-of-20 in the opening quarter, but shot just 33 percent (20-of-62) over the final three periods.

"This is one of the best, maybe the best win we have had here in three years," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "We knew coming in that the Mavericks at 0-3 would come in with great energy and pride and throw everything at us. We took it. That first quarter they came out at us really strong."

"It was a classic tale of two halves for the game," Johnson said. "We came out with a lot of energy, scored 50 points in the first half, then we couldn't get anything going in the second half.

"We couldn't get the ball in the basket and because of that, we couldn't get back on defense and they started burning us with a lot of isolations and post-ups, and they pretty much made all of their shots and we didn't."

Mobley was 10-of-15 from the field with seven rebounds, four steals and three assists. Cassell shot 8-of-15 from the floor with nine assists, despite battling foul trouble.

"In the second half, I was just waking up," Mobley said. "They came out in the first half bombing and moving it around, and in the second half, we played Clipper basketball. We played together."

Jason Terry netted 23 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 19 for the Mavericks, who were outrebounded, 48-38.

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!