LOS ANGELES -- Jerry Stackhouse is a two-time All-Star in his 13th NBA season, and has sung the National Anthem a couple of times in packed arenas. So, he doesn't get rattled easily, and that's what made him the Dallas Mavericks' best chance with the game on the line and Dirk Nowitzki unable to get free.
"The play was supposed to go to Dirk, but they double-teamed him and Terry found me. Fortunately I was able to knock it down," Stackhouse said. "I had a couple of good looks that didn't go down, but everyone kept telling me that I was going to get one. It just feels good to be able to step up and help the team get this win. It was a great win."
The Mavericks' seventh straight victory improved their record to 26-11 and kept them tied with Phoenix for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Coach Avery Johnson used his 11th different starting lineup, as Josh Howard missed the game because of personal reasons. It was the first time the Mavericks' second-leading scorer wasn't in uniform since sitting out a two-game suspension at the start of the season because of an altercation with Sacramento's Brad Miller in an exhibition game on Oct. 16.
Tim Thomas led Los Angeles with 21 points and Cuttino Mobley also had 20 for the Clippers, who lost their fourth straight game and 10th in 11 tries. The only victory during that stretch came against Minnesota, which is a league-worst 5-31. Corey Maggette had 20 before fouling out for the second time in three games with 3:04 to play.
"This is probably the most disappointing loss of the year," coach Mike Dunleavy said. "But Dallas is a team that is playing well and has the longest (active) winning streak in the league."
The Clippers shot 52 percent from the field, the first time in 33 games this season that they finished at 50 percent or better. Prior to this game, they were the only team in the league that hadn't. The only other teams in this decade that have played more games from the start of a season without hitting 50 percent were the 2004-05 New Orleans Hornets (41) and 2003-04 Washington Wizards (38).
Clippers shooting guard Quinton Ross left the game with a bruise near his left eye after getting raked across the face by Eddie Jones' right hand while they were going for a loose ball under the Mavericks' basket with 9:43 left in the first quarter.
The Clippers had a six-point lead in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, when Thomas got a technical foul from referee Eli Roe for slamming the ball in anger after his tip-in of a missed jumper by Mobley was waved off because of Thomas' loose ball foul.
Stackhouse, who had 13 points, made the ensuing free throw. He added a layup before the Mavericks pulled ahead 79-77 on a 20-footer by Nowitzki and a 3-pointer by Terry with 10:33 to play. Mobley responded with a 3, triggering a 13-2 run that put the Clippers ahead 90-81. Brevin Knight's 18-footer capped the rally with 5:13 remaining.
But the determined Mavericks outscored Los Angeles 14-4 the rest of the way. They started their surge by making five of six free throws before Maggette missed two from the line at the other end and picked up his sixth foul 16 seconds later. Devin Harris converted both free throws, and Nowitski tied it at 92-all with a 19-footer.
"We just battled tonight," Stackhouse said. "That's what it's all about, when you have a win like that. This could be the start of something really good."
Knight's two free throws put the Clippers back in front with 28 seconds left, and Terry turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds play at midcourt. But Thomas missed a 12-footer for the Clippers and the Mavericks rebounded before calling timeout with 8.1 seconds to go.
The ensuing inbounds play was clean this time, and Stackhouse drained his clutch 26-footer after Terry kicked the ball out to him at the left side of the arc.
"It shouldn't even have come down to that play," Dunleavy said. "We had the ball with a two-second differential on the clock. We wanted to take a shot and give them two seconds or less, but we shot the ball too soon. We gave them too much time to give them a chance to make a play and get a guy open for a 3-point shot -- which won the ballgame."
- This was the first time in the nine-year history of Staples Center that two visiting pro teams from the same city played in the building on the same day. The Dallas Stars lost to the Kings 4-3 in a shootout in the opener of the NHL-NBA doubleheader.
- Dallas came in holding opponents to an average of 44.5 percent from the field. This was the first time in eight games that a team shot at least 50 percent against the Mavericks.
- Dallas has played 17 consecutive games without allowing 30 or more points by an opposing player, a streak that immediately followed a career-high 41-point effort by Utah's Deron Williams on Dec. 8 at Dallas. Williams' outburst capped an eight-game stretch in which an opposing player had at least 30 against Dallas.