DeAndre Jordan made his much-ballyhooed return to Dallas on Wednesday to play the Mavericks, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, got booed relentlessly every time he touched the ball. After the highly sought-after big man’s stunning reversal during free agency this summer, it’s clear that a legion of Mavs fans – led by the interminably petulant Mark Cuban – aren’t going to let this go anytime soon.
Many showed up to the arena wielding homemade signs that looked like hastily-assembled analogue internet memes (of varying degrees of cleverness). Aside from this nasty dunk off a lob from Blake Griffin, Jordan had an uneventful outing, scoring just nine points on 3-5 shooting, though he nearly posted a double-double with 11 rebounds.
The game was shaping up for a dramatic finish late in the fourth quarter but ultimately fizzled to a close. With just over a minute remaining, Chris Paul knocked down a pair of free throws to pull the Clippers within two, but Dirk Nowitzki answered immediately by banking in a three-pointer to put Dallas up 113-108. On the ensuing possession, Paul was forced into a costly turnover thanks to smothering defense by Wesley Matthews. Paul then nearly turned the ball over again with 35 seconds left and the Clippers down seven. All in all, the Mavs went 14-2 to put the game away.
Nowitzki led the way with a ridiculously efficient 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting, including a blistering 5-of-6 from downtown. Matthews had one of his best games as a Mav so far, with 25 points on 9-of-13 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind-the-arc.