Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) is fouled by Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Clippers won 109-103. Photo by Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
All-Star point guard Chris Paul bounced back from his worst shooting performance of his career to pop the Dallas Mavericks for 31 points and nine assists as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied late in the final two minutes in a 109-103 victory.
Dallas led 101-97 with 1:46 to go but were out-scored 12-2 over the remainder of the game, capped by two Paul free throws with 12.6 seconds left.
The loss represents the third consecutive painful defeat to Los Angeles for Dallas this season but this one could ultimately cost the Mavs (43-30) a playoff berth with nine games left in the regular season.
The defeat put the Mavs out of the playoff picture, half a game behind the Phoenix Suns and a full game behind the Memphis Grizzlies.
They wasted a vintage, 23-point performance from guard Vince Carter.
The Clippers (51-22), who are fighting for the third seed with the Houston Rockets, got nine points from Paul in the final quarter.
Forward Blake Griffin finished with 18 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.