Point guard Deron Williams logged 12 points, nine assists and five rebounds, as the Dallas Mavericks (9-21) eclipsed the Los Angeles Clippers (22-9) at the Staples Center on Friday night, 90-88.
Teammate Harrison Barnes led Dallas in scoring with 24 points, including the game-winning floater with 3.7 seconds remaining.
“It felt good. I thought this team has done a good job of just continuing to fight this year,” Barnes said after his first game-winner as a Maverick. “You know, we got off to a rough start, and road wins have been difficult, so to get this one was huge for us.”
In addition to Deron and Barnes, Dirk Nowitzki and Wesley Matthews reached double-digit scoring with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
The Mavs shot 43 percent from the floor and 24 percent (7-of-29) from three-point range, while the Clippers shot 46 and 45 percent (13-of-29), respectively, without leading scorers Blake Griffin (knee, 21.2 ppg) and Chris Paul (hamstring, 17.6 ppg).
The game was nip-and-tuck the entire way with nine ties and 12 lead changes, but the difference came down to turnovers. Dallas forced 20 giveaways for 20 points, while L.A. coerced 12 for six.
Deron took over on offense from the beginning, either scoring or assisting on three of Dallas’ first four field goals, finding Nowitzki for a triple, draining a trey himself and driving in for another basket to pull within one, 12-11.
D-Will subbed out moments later, as the Clippers carried a 24-21 edge into the second quarter, where they pushed their lead to as many as seven.
The Mavs responded with a 14-2 surge for a five-point advantage with about two minutes remaining, 45-40. D-Will highlighted the run with assists to Nowitzki and Seth Curry for back-to-back triples.
The lead swapped three times over the final 1:09, as L.A. took a 51-50 advantage into the locker rooms, thanks to Austin Rivers’ step-back trey at the buzzer.
The Clips maintained their lead throughout the third, where Deron helped Dallas get as close as one, 62-61, passing to Dwight Powell for an alley-oop dunk and then to Justin Anderson for a 24-footer.
L.A. ultimately took a 72-68 lead into the final frame. Deron continued to produce down the stretch, finding Matthews for a driving layup before connecting on a triple and a floater for three straight Dallas buckets, 80-78.
From there, neither side led by more than a possession, setting up Barnes’ game-winner at the buzzer.
“It was a great win by the boys in the second half with tough defense and big baskets by some key guys,” said Nowitzki, who played in his first game since Nov. 25 due to an Achilles strain. “H.B. was fantastic down the stretch, so it feels good to sit on a two-game winning streak before Christmas, and we’ve just got to keep grinding it out.”
Deron and the Mavs play the fourth of their six-game road trip at the New Orleans Pelicans (11-21) on Monday, Dec. 26. Tipoff from the Smoothie King Center is set for 7 p.m. CT.
The Pelicans will be searching for their second consecutive win after topping the Miami Heat on Friday, 91-87. They’ll also be looking to avenge a 91-81, November loss in Dallas.
New Orleans is headed by superstar power forward Anthony Davis, who leads the team in points (29.7), rebounds (11.5), steals (1.4) and blocks (2.7).