Irving scores 24 in Dallas debut, leads Mavs over Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in his Dallas debut and the Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104 on Wednesday night.
The eight-time All-Star was traded to the Mavs on Sunday from the Brooklyn Nets. He was part of a 13-0 spurt early in the game, scoring eight points on a jumper and back-to-back 3-pointers.
Irving had four rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of what amounted to a dress rehearsal before injured Luka Doncic returns to give the Mavs a powerhouse backcourt. Irving was greeted with cheers and a boy holding a sign welcoming him to the team when he was introduced as part of the starting lineup.
Early in the fourth, Irving fouled Paul George. A Clippers fan yelled to him, “I love you, but that was a flagrant.” Irving laughed and shook his head no.
Former Clipper Reggie Bullock scored 15 of his 18 points in the first quarter against his old team. All five Dallas starters reached double figures.
Norman Powell scored 24 points and Terance Mann added 21 for the Clippers, whose two-game winning streak ended. George added 20 points. Kawhi Leonard, who had two points in the first half, finished with 18.
Coming off a 4-2 road trip, the Clippers never led and trailed by 19 in the first quarter.
They made a run at the lead in the third. Leonard ignited a 20-10 spurt by scoring 11 in a row to pull them to 79-78. Josh Green's basket kept the Mavs ahead 81-78 going into the fourth.
The Mavs quickly stretched their lead to 10 points in the fourth. The Clippers got within five four times but the Mavs held them off.
The Clippers cut their deficit to 60-52 at halftime after outscoring Dallas 27-19 in the second period.
The Mavs scored 41 points in the opening quarter while shooting 60% from the floor. They outscored the Clippers 21-9 to start the game.
Leonard had two points and George had 10 in the first half when they combined to shoot 5 of 14.
Mavericks: Doncic missed his third straight game because of a right heel contusion. He joined the team in Los Angeles and it’s under discussion whether he will play Friday or Saturday when the Mavs are at Sacramento for a back-to-back. ... They made 17 3-pointers, including six by Bullock.
Clippers: John Wall (abdominal soreness) remains out. ... Former team co-owner Shelly Sterling, who sold the franchise to Steve Ballmer after her then-husband Donald Sterling was banned by the NBA, sat courtside next to Jalen Rose.
Mavericks: Visit the Sacramento Kings on Friday in the fourth of five road games.
Clippers: Host the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
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Beth Harris, The Associated Press