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Kawhi, Clippers hold off Doncic, Mavericks to halt losing streak

Clippers forward Norman Powell dunks over Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic shoots as Clippers guard Terance Mann, center, and forward Robert Covington defend during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers coach Tyronn Lue instructs his team from the sidelines during the first half of their game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell, left and Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard reach for a rebound during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers center Ivica Zubac dunks as Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks guard Frank Ntilikina, left, and Clippers guard John Wall dive for a loose ball during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic argues with referees Jacyn Goble, left, and John Butler during the first half of their game against the Clippers on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard handles the ball as the Dallas Mavericks’ Spencer Dinwiddie, left, and Tim Hardaway Jr. defend during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie shoots as Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The Clippers’ Norman Powell drives to the basket past the Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Clippers’ Norman Powell reacts after a foul call during the first half of their game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Dallas Mavericks’ Dwight Powell dunks as the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, center, and Terance Mann watch during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard shoots as Dallas Mavericks guard Frank Ntilikina defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy shoots as Clippers center Moses Brown defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Nicolas Batum reacts after a play during the first half of their game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Clippers guard John Wall drives to the basket as the Dallas Mavericks’ Frank Ntilikina defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic looks up at the scoreboard during the first half of their game against the Clippers on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic takes a 3-point shot as Clippers forward Nicolas Batum defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic shoots as Clippers forward Nicolas Batum defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard shoots as Dallas Mavericks guard Frank Ntilikina defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. Leonard had a season-high 33 points in a 113-101 win. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers guard John Wall drives past the Dallas Mavericks’ Frank Ntilikina during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Dallas Mavericks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. talks with referee John Butler during the first half of their game against the Clippers on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, right, shoots as Clippers center Ivica Zubac defends during the first half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, center, sits on the bench during the first half of their game against the Clippers on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers guard Terance Mann shoots as Dallas Mavericks forward Christian Wood defends during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy, right, shoots as Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard defends during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Norman Powell dunks over Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, center, shoots as Clippers forward Norman Powell, left, and guard Terance Mann defend during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers guard John Wall shoots as Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie defends during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic shoots as Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, center, and forward Marcus Morris Sr. defend during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic puts up a shot as the Clippers’ Nicolas Batum, right, and Kawhi Leonard defend during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic shoots as Clippers forward Nicolas Batum, center, and forward Kawhi Leonard defend during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard handles the ball as Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic defends during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic shoots as the Clippers’ Norman Powell defends during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic takes a 3-point shot over the Clippers’ Terance Mann during the second half on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

The Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard, right, celebrates with teammate Nicolas Batum after making a 3-point shot during the second half of their game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, center, greets teammates during team introductions before their game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard warms up prior to a game against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena. (Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES — With 6:45 left in the first half, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue yelled at the referee, nothing too heated but enough to earn his first technical of the season

Lue had seen his team blow an 11-point lead in the opening quarter, his two centers pick up three fouls each and the Dallas Mavericks pull to within two points. He apparently couldn’t hold in his frustration.

His brief argument with the official seemingly was the spark the Clippers needed at that moment. They went on a 25-11 run before halftime and carried that momentum to a 113-101 victory on Tuesday night at Crypto.com Arena, getting a season-high 33 points from Kawhi Leonard and surviving a 43-point night from Dallas star Luka Doncic to end their six-game losing streak.

“Our main goal tonight was to try to go out and get a win and just try to get back on the winning streak,” Lue said.

Lue has tinkered with starters, switched up rotations and tried three-guard units at times in an effort to snap their losing streak. Yet, the one thing the Clippers (22-21) need most is something Lue can’t manufacture – healthy players.

Once again, Paul George (right hamstring) and Luke Kennard (left ankle) watched from the bench, along with a healthy Reggie Jackson, who did not see any minutes.

Lue went with Terance Mann instead of Jackson in the starting lineup for a second time, hoping his quickness would give the team an early lift against the Mavericks. It worked and the Clippers jumped to an early 27-16 lead.

With George out, Dallas tried to focus on Leonard. And what the Mavericks (23-19) witnessed was a player who continues to show flashes of his All-NBA self. Leonard scored his 33 points on just 12 field-goal attempts and added nine rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Coming into the game, Leonard was averaging 21.9 points on 50% shooting from the floor, including a 29-point performance in Sunday’s loss to Atlanta. He said he’s getting back to form.

“It’s really a simple game. Put in the effort, take care of the ball, rebound and make shots, you should come out with a victory,” Leonard said. “I feel like we did that tonight.”

Dallas, however, didn’t back down. Without Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Green and Maxi Kleber, Doncic took over and the Mavericks closed the deficit to six (31-25) by the end of the quarter and then two (33-31) a few minutes into the second quarter. Lue’s irritation was simmering.

Lue had watched his team lose to Atlanta two nights earlier after building a significant lead and this game was playing out similarly.

The Clippers, however, regrouped and got back into the game, building a 69-47 halftime lead. They continued to keep the Mavericks off the perimeter to take a 23-point lead in the second half.

The Clippers often bring the best out of Doncic – this was his eighth game of at least 40 points against them, but the Mavericks shot just 31.6% from behind the arc and 43.5% from the field.

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“This dude, man … he’s tough,” Lue said of Doncic. “He’s a tough cover. He loves playing against a lot of people, but for some reason he really loves playing against us. So, we just got to pick our poison – when to let him play one-on-one, when to blitz him.”

Norman Powell scored 27 points off the bench and two other Clippers scored in double figures as the team made 45.3% of its shots from the field and 38.7% from long range.

Doncic, the NBA’s leading scorer, had 20 points in the fourth quarter and got the Mavericks within 104-96 on a 3-pointer with 2:50 remaining, but Leonard answered with a 3-pointer of his own to push the margin back to double digits.

Doncic responded with another jumper from behind the arc before Leonard was fouled on a 3-point attempt from the corner. He made all three foul shots to give the Clippers a 110-96 lead with 1:40 left.

“I think everybody (was) trying to get out the hole, just coming in, just competing, picking up full court, pretty much everybody,” Leonard said. “We were able to limit them, make them turn over the ball and we were able to get out in transition and get stops and make shots.”

Kawhi did it all in the @LAClippers win

33 PTS
9 REB
4 AST
4 STL
9-12 FGM
12-12 FTM pic.twitter.com/GRcbtn5YR6

— NBA (@NBA) January 11, 2023

Ty Lue shares his thoughts on the W tonight against the Mavs@LAClippers | #ClippersLive pic.twitter.com/ZWpeGEeJHy

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) January 11, 2023

POWELL POSTER@npowell2404 | @LAClippers | #ClipperNation pic.twitter.com/bvnl5YPFVU

— Bally Sports West (@BallySportWest) January 11, 2023

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