Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mavs get needed win in LA

LOS ANGELES – The Mavericks needed a victory. They needed something positive to happen after another set of good-but-not-good-enough performances.

They won’t get any style points or much credit for that matter for their workmanlike 93-86 win Monday night over the Clippers at Staples Center. But the only points the Mavs care about right now are on the scoreboard, and for only the second time in the last seven games, the Mavs had more.

“We just needed to get a win,” Avery Johnson said. “More than anything that will help with confidence just to be able to win and win a road game. … Hopefully, we’ll get a few more balls to bounce our way. We’ve had two tough losses here on the road in different ways. Hopefully, we’ll go home and protect our home court against a team that we lost to the last time.”

The three-way tie for seventh place in the Western Conference lasted only a day. The Mavs (46-28) also took sole possession of seventh and idle Golden State dropped a half-game back into eighth. Denver is back down to No. 9 after falling at Phoenix. The Mavs fell to both the Warriors and Nuggets to open the three-game road trip.

Golden State visits American Airlines Center on Wednesday, but not before a Tuesday stop in San Antonio. Golden State begins another challenging stretch, as the next three games are against winning teams. Two are on the road – back in LA against the Lakers on Friday and Sunday at Phoenix.

An aggressive Jason Kidd was looking for his shot from the start and produced a first-quarter stat line not often seen from the pass-happy point guard: 14 points and zero assists. Kidd remained the only consistent offensive threat throughout the night, finishing with season-high 27 points on 9-of-15 shooting and four dimes.

“I was just looking to be aggressive,” Kidd said. “With Dirk out, I’m trying to be more aggressive and look for my shot. Coach is encouraging me and my teammates to score a little bit more than maybe in the past.”

Read the rest of this story and get more game coverage at mavs.com.

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