Mavericks Clippers Basketball

Associated Press

Clippers guard Paul George (left) shoots as Dallas Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson defends during the second half on Sunday in Los Angeles. George scored 29 in the Clippers’ win.

LOS ANGELES — Paul George scored 12 of his 29 points in the third quarter and the Los Angeles Clippers ended a two-game skid with a 97-91 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.

Reggie Jackson scored eight of his 23 points in the third, when the Clippers turned a one-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead. The Clippers improved to 7-0 when Jackson has 20 or more points, all since Nov. 3.

“When he is aggressive scoring the basketball, making the right play, we are a tough team to beat,” Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said. “For him to step up and be that second scorer behind PG, we need that a lot. When he plays well, we play well.”

Kristaps Porzingis had 25 points and eight rebounds as the Mavericks played their third consecutive game without star Luka Doncic because of a sprained left knee and ankle.

Jalen Brunson scored 20 points for the Mavericks, who have lost all three games without Doncic to open a four-game road trip.

“I thought we had a lot of great looks at 3 that were just short tonight for whatever reason,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said of his team that was just 20% (6 of 30) from 3-point range. 

“In that fourth quarter, when things weren’t going well, I thought we improved to give ourselves a chance to win on the road.”

The Mavericks led by as many as nine points in a rough-shooting first half in which both teams shot under 42% from the field. The Clippers rallied to pull within 47-46 at halftime.

The Clippers shot 55.6% (10 of 18) in the third quarter, getting half of their made shots from 3-point range while taking a 71-62 lead. 

The Mavericks pulled within 78-75 on Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 3-pointer with 7:33 remaining before the Clippers went on a 9-0 run for an 87-75 lead.

“It’s been a process, honestly,” Jackson said. “There are games when we play well and there are games where we hit these lulls and are still trying to figure each other out. … I think we all just found easier shots today.”

The Mavericks appeared to pull within 94-91 with 52 seconds remaining after a basket by Brunson, but a foul on the Clippers’ Terance Mann was rescinded and the basket was taken away. Jackson then scored inside to give the Clippers a 96-89 lead with 29 seconds to play.

“I thought he got fouled and made a great play,” Kidd said. “It’s a strange play because we lose the two points and then we lose the ball. It puts you in a difficult situation coming down the stretch.”

Ivica Zubac had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers in the opener of a six-game home stretch. 

The teams were meeting for the first time since the Clippers staved off elimination in the first round of last season’s playoffs by winning Game 6 and 7 to advance.

BATUM OUT 10 DAYS

The Clippers revealed that F Nicolas Batum was placed into health and safety protocols for at least 10 days. It’s the latest personnel hurdle for a team that is without star Kawhi Leonard (knee) indefinitely.

“It’s next-man-up mentality and hopefully we get some help soon,” Zubac said. “That stuff, you can’t control what happens and you have to have that (positive) mentality and I think we do. Everyone has to stay ready and everyone will get a chance.”

Batum has averaged 9.8 points and 5.5 rebounds, but has scored in double digits just once since a 22-point game on Nov. 9 against the Portland Trail Blazers as he recently dealt with Achilles tendon soreness.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Doncic went through pregame shooting drills but was ruled out on a game-time decision. … After missing nine consecutive games with a left oblique strain, F Maxi Kleber returned to score five points in 20 minutes. … G Frank Ntilikina (three points on 1-of-6 shooting) left after nine minutes and did not play in the second half because of a right calf injury. 

Clippers: C Serge Ibaka was activated for the first time since Nov. 9 and for just the third time this season after a G League stint to get him up to speed after offseason back surgery. He scored six points in 12 minutes. … G Amir Coffey made his second start in three games and just the fourth of his career. 

UP NEXT

Mavericks: Play at the Clippers on Tuesday.

Clippers: Play host to Dallas on Tuesday.

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