LOS ANGELES (AP) - Swish. Nothing but net from 65 feet out.
That's how Jason Kidd ended the first half against the Los Angeles Clippers, and it was likely the earliest game-turning shot the All-Star point guard ever made against an opponent. Kidd's miracle shot-put heave from inside the 3-point arc at the opposite end just beat the buzzer, and the Mavericks went on to beat the Clippers 99-83 on Sunday.
``I got the rebound, maybe with 2 seconds left, and I was going to eat it. But (Jason Terry) told me to shoot it,' said Kidd, who finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. ``I'm not going for the 3-point record, percentage-wise, so I let it go and it was on line. A lot of times when they're on line, they don't go in. So I got lucky.
``A lot of times those can be momentum shots for the team that makes it, and it can definitely deflate a team if you're on the other end of it. We felt we could build on it, and we went from there.'
The Mavericks, who squandered an 11-point lead in the first half before taking a 49-47 halftime lead on Kidd's miracle shot, pulled ahead 63-52 with a 10-1 spurt capped by Tyson Chandler's slam dunk off an alley-oop feed from Kidd with 7:23 left in the third period. Dallas built the margin to 16 on Jose Barea's 3-pointer with 8 1/2 minutes remaining, and the Clippers got no closer than 11 points after that.
``We wanted it. We needed to stay active,' reserve forward Shawn Marion said. ``I think everybody was making extra passes and looking for each other. That's the mark of a great team. And I think the more we keep helping each other, the better we are. For us to spread the wealth like this is amazing. It's a great feeling and a great win because we were coming off a rough loss last night and we needed this one.'
Caron Butler scored 17 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 16 points and seven rebounds. Marion got 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter for the defending Southwest Division champions in their first road game of the season.
``Marion is a really key part of our team,' coach Rick Carlisle said. ``He's embraced his role, which is not easy for a guy that's a four-time All-Star. But he's just kept his head completely into it, and that's something that runs off on everybody. Right now, what he's doing, he's become a real leader on this team. He keeps guys into it and he's been ready to come in and make things happen.'
Rookie Blake Griffin had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Clippers, who missed 14 of their first 16 shots and finished at 34 percent while falling to 0-3 on the season under new coach Vinny Del Negro. None of the starters reached double digits until Griffin converted a slam dunk with 5:32 left in the third quarter.
``We got down offensively and didn't make shots, which affected our defense,' point guard Baron Davis said. ``We just ran into a team that stuck to their game plan. The team that sticks to their game plan is the team that is going to win.'
Griffin missed nine of his first 11 shots and also was hit with his first technical foul in his third NBA game from referee Mark Lindsay after teammate Ryan Gomes was called for his fifth personal with 3:06 to play.
``He didn't shoot particularly well and missed some easy ones he usually makes,' Del Negro said. ``But teams are going to scout him and play him different ways, and that is part of the growing he has to go through and the maturation process. If guys are backing off him, he's got to feel comfortable taking the outside jump shots - or, depending who's guarding him, overpower him.'
Davis came up empty on his first five attempts before connecting on a 20-footer that trimmed Dallas' lead to eight at 66-58 with 5:58 left in the third. Rasual Butler, the Clippers' 3-point specialist, was 0 for 5 from behind the arc and played 21 scoreless minutes.
``Our tempo has to pick up. I don't like our tempo right now,' Del Negro said. ``We have to push the ball a little bit more and get more field goal attempts. We have to get the ball in the attack some more, then get into play sets and set up screens and be more efficient with our timing and execution.'
The Clippers played without backup point guard Randy Foye, who tweaked his hamstring during Saturday's practice and is expected to miss one or two weeks according to Del Negro. The club will have a better idea of Foye's status Monday.
NOTES: The Clippers have lost the last seven times they've played on Halloween, including a 93-84 defeat to the Mavericks a year ago at Staples Center. The last time they won on this date was in 1985 during the only 5-0 start in franchise history. ... Del Negro is the third Clippers coach to lose his first three games after getting hired in the offseason since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1984. The others were Chris Ford, who started the lockout-delayed 1998-99 campaign out 0-17, and Bill Fitch - whose four-year stint began in 1994-95 with 16 straight defeats. ... The Mavericks have won 13 of the last 14 meetings and seven in a row. ... Monday night's game against San Antonio concludes the first of three scheduled sets of home games on back-to-back days for the Clippers this season.
The Associated Press News Service
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