Game 78: Mavs at Clippers

LOS ANGELES — Falling to 1-3 on their current five-game road trip following Tuesday’s 98-87 loss in Sacramento, the Dallas Mavericks will now try to bounce back just 24 hours later to conclude a difficult stretch away from home.

Traveling to Los Angeles for a fourth and final matchup of the season against the high-octane Clippers (47-31), the Mavericks (32-44) hope to be at full strength after playing without the services of 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki (sore right Achilles), swingman Wesley Matthews (rest) and sharpshooter Seth Curry (left shoulder injury) during Tuesday’s loss. The Mavs also hope to have something left in the tank during Wednesday’s nationally-televised matchup, looking to cool down the Clippers and their three-game winning streak after seizing two of the previous three games between the teams this season. And after seeing the Mavs’ young contributors gain valuable experience during Tuesday’s loss, leading scorer Harrison Barnes says it could prove to be beneficial in the final five games of the season.

“I thought the fight of the young guys was good,” Barnes said after Tuesday’s loss. “You know, we did some positive things out there, getting those guys experience and getting to play a lot of them. A lot of them haven’t played that many minutes all season, so I think they did a good job fighting. We just have to build from there.”

Suffering a lopsided 124-104 home loss at the hands of the Clippers on Nov. 23, the Mavericks drew even in the series after Barnes’ game-winner sealed a 90-88 road victory on Dec. 23. The Mavericks then held serve at home during the third matchup between the teams, utilizing Curry’s 23 points to capture a 97-95 win on March 23. The Mavs now hope to learn from those previous three meetings against the Clippers, looking to secure the season series to conclude a difficult back-to-back. And according to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, the Dallas team could be at full strength for the final outing of its road trip.

“There’s a chance we’re going to be at full strength,” Carlisle confessed after Tuesday’s game. “Dirk is feeling better, and he’ll be most likely a game-time decision. But the signs are good at this point.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their five-game road trip Wednesday in Los Angeles, taking on the Clippers. Dallas leads the season 2-1. The game will tip off at 9:30 p.m. CT, airing nationally on ESPN and locally on TXA 21 and 103.3 FM ESPN. That game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. 

The Mavs return to their home floor on Friday, welcoming in the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 2-1. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on TXA 21 and 103.3 FM ESPN. That game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

J.J. Barea (rest) — questionable
Harrison Barnes (rest) — questionable
Seth Curry (left shoulder injury) — questionable
Devin Harris (rest) — questionable
Dirk Nowitzki (sore right Achilles) — questionable

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