Tuesday NBA odds: LA Clippers at Dallas Mavericks

The players have made a pact not to shave their faces until the team gets to .500. Once 10 games under that mark, Dallas could get within a game of breaking even with a victory over the Clippers on Tuesday night.

The Mavs have won three of four and eight of 11. They beat Utah 113-108 on Sunday. Mike James scored a season-high 19 points, and Dirk Nowitzki added 17. James, the journeyman point guard scored 12 points in the third quarter, including seven in a 20-2 run which bridged the third and fourth quarters. Rick Carlisle inserted James into the starting lineup on March 6, and the Mavericks have gone 8-3 since then to get within two games of the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Vince Carter and Shawn Marion each had 15 points as the Mavericks improved to 2-1 on a season-long six-game homestand. Dallas has gone 21-13 since dropping 10 games under .500 on Jan. 9.

The fact that O.J. Mayo is averaging only 12.8 points per game this month – a drastic drop from the 17.9 he averaged before the All-Star break – doesn’t concern Carlisle. While Mayo is taking a lot fewer shots, this has been his most efficient month. In 13 March games, Mayo is shooting 49.6 percent from the floor and 53.5 percent from 3-point range, both his best marks for a month this season. He’s also dishing out 4.8 assists per game, his second-highest total for a month, and has slashed his turnovers to a season-low 1.5 a night.

The Clippers are on their first winning streak of March. They beat the Nets 101-95 on Saturday. All-Star point guard Chris Paul scored 17 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter after banging his left knee early in the game. Paul made 12 of 13 free throws and had 11 assists while going against Deron Williams. Willie Green added 15 points, DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 12 rebounds, and Blake Griffin scored 11 points for the Clippers, who improved to 28-8 at home and won their second in a row. The Clippers got a scare in the first quarter when Paul bumped his left knee with Keith Bogans and briefly left the game. It was similar to what happened to Paul in January when he ended up with a bruised right kneecap after colliding with J.J. Redick and missed games.

The Clippers have won both previous meetings this year. January 9 marked the Clippers’ third straight win against Dallas. The Clippers hadn’t won three in a row against the Mavs since the 1996-97, 1997-98 seasons. Nowitzki averages 20.9 points in 47 games played against the Clippers. That marks his third lowest scoring average against any NBA team behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, against whom he averages just 20.1 points and the Portland Trailblazers against whom he averages 20.8 points per game.

WagerWeb.com trends: Clippers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Clippers are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games following a S.U. win. Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. Favorite is 9-3 ATS in the last 12 meetings. Clippers are 3-9 ATS in the last 12 meetings. Clippers are 1-4 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Dallas

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