(The Sports Xchange) - Los Angeles forward Blake Griffin scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to guide the Clippers to a 104-88 victory over the short-handed Mavericks on Thursday.
An eight-point halftime lead ballooned into double-digits in the second half as Dallas failed to recover.
“We just calmed down, trusted our offense, executed and got stops defensively, which led to easy baskets on the offensive end,” said Griffin, who made 11 of 17 shots from the floor in only 27 minutes.
The Clippers’ defense also contributed to the outcome, holding the Mavericks to 36.1 percent shooting.
“We played better defense, number one,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.
”Number two, I thought we walked the ball up the floor for most of the first half. The first unit was much better the second time they came on the floor in the last six minutes of the first half.
“In the second half, both units played at pace instead of walking up the floor after both makes and misses, which was not who we are.”
Jamal Crawford added 15 points off the bench as the Clippers (2-0) prevailed in their home opener. Austin Rivers and J.J. Reddick scored 14 and 12.
John Jenkins had 17 points and Dirk Nowitzki 16 to lead the Mavericks (1-1).
Dallas played without Deron Williams and Wesley Matthews.
Williams sustained a left knee contusion on Wednesday in a 111-95 blowout of the Phoenix Suns, while Matthews, who scored nine points in the rout, was held out for precautionary reasons.
Matthews had surgery on a torn left Achilles tendon last March, and club officials refuse to risk playing him in back-to-back games this early in the season.
Dallas were already without Chandler Parsons (right knee surgery) and JaVale McGee (left tibial stress fracture).
“It was a tough matchup, but we kept battling,” said Nowitzki, who also had seven rebounds.
“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. That was tough, but I thought we hung in there for the first half.”
The Clippers also were playing for the second night in a row, coming off a 111-104 win over the Kings in Sacramento.
Compiled by Peter Rutherford