Paul George scored 29 points and Reggie Jackson added 23 as the Los Angeles Clippers opened the front end of a two-game set against the visiting Dallas Mavericks with a 97-91 victory on Sunday.
Jackson made four 3-pointers and Ivica Zubac recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game skid.
Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 25 points and eight rebounds while Jalen Brunson added 20 points and eight assists.
The teams will meet again in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Luka Doncic (left-knee and ankle sprains) missed his third straight game for Dallas, which lost its third straight and shot 6 of 30 (20 percent) from 3-point range.
Los Angeles outscored Dallas 25-15 in the third quarter and took a 71-62 lead into the final period.
Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a 3-pointer with 7:33 remaining to cut the deficit to 78-75 before the Clippers answered with nine straight points.
Dallas pulled to 92-89 after Porzingis scored with 1:19 left, but Los Angeles responded with four quick points to help secure the victory.
Porzingis and Brunson scored seven points apiece in the opening period, when Dallas scored the final 10 points to lead 22-19.
The Mavericks moved ahead by nine with 4:54 left in the first half before Jackson hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Clippers to 45-44 with 33 seconds left.
Dallas held a 47-46 advantage at the break behind Porzingis’ 15 points and eight rebounds. The Mavericks led despite shooting 4 of 18 from 3-point range.
Porzingis picked up his fourth foul early in the third quarter, and the Clippers moved ahead 58-52 on Jackson’s 3-pointer with 7:43 left in the period.
Amir Coffey started in place of Nicolas Batum (health and safety protocols) for the Clippers and had three points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.
Dallas received a spark off the bench from Maxi Kleber, who returned after missing nine games with a left oblique injury and had five points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.
Mavericks reserve guard Frank Ntilikina exited at the half with a right-calf injury and did not return.
–Field Level Media