Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 1/20

Game 1: Friday, January 20th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 21st
Game 3: Monday, April 10th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 19th

Clippers 85

(47-35, 20-21 away)

Mavericks 71

(60-22, 34-7 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    7:00 PM ET, April 19, 2006

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 20 34 12 1985
    DAL 21 17 15 1871

    Top Performers

    LAC: C. Maggette 18 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast

    Dal: D. Diop 7 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Stl, 3 Blk

    Magette scores 18 in tuneup as Clips beat Mavs

    DALLAS (AP) -- The key players on the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers were being preserved for the playoffs. That meant more playing time for youngsters who were thrilled with the chance.

    Then there was Corey Maggette.

    Making the most of an otherwise meaningless season finale, Maggette returned from a seven-game layoff and had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Clippers over the Mavericks 85-71 Wednesday night.

    "Maggette got back into a rhythm, that was good," Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said. "You saw how explosive he is. He can get to the bucket and score."

    Maggette was playing for only the 32nd time this season because of a variety of injuries, with back spasms his latest problems. He averages 17.8 points, second only to Elton Brand, so the Clippers were happy to see him play 27 minutes and come away saying he could've gone longer in their final tuneup for the playoffs.

    "My back was a little sore," he said. "I got hit in the back by one of their big guys, but it's no problem. I'm fine. It was important to me to get out there. I wanted to test it out before we go to the big dance."

    With both teams locked into their playoff positions, Los Angeles held out Brand and Sam Cassell, and Dallas gave Dirk Nowitzki his first game off all season. The Clippers let rookie Boniface Ndong make his first career start and the Mavs gave rookie Josh Powell his second, plus let 2004 first-round pick Pavel Podkolzin make his NBA debut.

    Dallas coach Avery Johnson also toyed with his lineups, using two and sometimes three centers. As a result, the Mavericks tied a franchise low for assists with six and went until the final minute before extending their streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 610. Fittingly, it came from center DeSagana Diop.

    It was the first of his five-year career, and it even came on a called play.

    "You think I would've shot it if he didn't draw it up?" Diop said, laughing.

    The game came close to being an NBA footnote by not having a 3. Los Angeles' Walter McCarty ended that with 1:51 left.

    Still, the result completed impressive regular seasons for both clubs.

    Los Angeles picked up its 47th victory, marking the second-best in franchise history and extending the most wins since the former Buffalo Braves moved to California in 1978. The Clippers set another franchise mark by winning their 20th road game. Seeded sixth in the Western Conference, Los Angeles opens the playoffs Saturday night at home against Denver.

    The Mavericks -- who are seeded fourth and open the postseason at home Sunday night against Memphis -- failed to set their franchise victory record; at 60-22, they finished tied with the 2002-03 club that reached the conference finals. But Dallas did set another club mark: fewest points allowed per game, 93.1.

    "We accomplished most of our goals, and now it's time to put it all together," point guard Jason Terry said. "The results will be sweet if we do."

    The Mavericks got a scare in the second quarter when backup point guard Darrell Armstrong sprained his right ankle. His health is important because the regular backup, Devin Harris, has only played seven minutes in five weeks.

    "It's not too stiff," Armstrong said. "I'll be at practice on Friday and I'll be ready to play on Sunday."

    Rookie reserve Rawle Marshall led the Mavericks with 13 points. Terry scored 12 and Powell scored 11 despite shooting 2-of-12.

    Podkolzin had three points and seven rebounds in his NBA debut and became an instant fan favorite. He got a nice ovation when he entered, heard cries of "Shoot!" every time he got the ball and was cheered for every good play, the best of them a block of a dunk attempt by Maggette.

    Clippers center Chris Kaman scored 14 points, McCarty added 12 and Daniel Ewing had 11 points. Ndong had four points and seven rebounds.

    Because this was fan appreciation night, the Mavs had several gimmicks. The best: American Airlines giving everyone a voucher for a free flight and the Mavericks' jumbo-sized male cheerleaders doing a high-kicking routine with four members of the Radio City Rockettes.

    Game notes

    Johnson said F Keith Van Horn likely will be the 13th man on the newly expanded playoff roster in hopes that his broken right hand will recover in time for the later rounds. ... There's a catch to the flight vouchers: They're only good on Love Field flights to Austin, San Antonio, St. Louis and Kansas City. ... Nowitzki's absence made Erick Dampier the only Dallas player to appear in all 82 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 85 71
    FGM-FGA 34-72 (.472) 26-70 (.371)
    3PM-3PA 2-10 (.200) 1-5 (.200)
    FTM-FTA 15-19 (.789) 18-33 (.545)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-46 10-41
    Assists 13 6
    Turnovers 14 12
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 5 8
    Fast Break Points 12 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 19 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 19 1

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Corey Maggette Maggette
    Points: 18
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    DeSagana Diop Diop
    Points: 7
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 5
    Blk: 3