Mavericks 106, Clippers 98
Mar. 19, 1988
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Roy Tarpley, making his first start of the season in place of the injured Mark Aguirre, scored 25 points Friday night as the Dallas Mavericks handed the Los Angeles Clippers their 10th straight defeat, 106-98.
The Mavericks, 5-0 against the Clippers this season, have beaten them 10 straight times dating back to April 12, 1986 - a club record for most consecutive wins against one team. Dallas also improved its road record to 17-13 although Aguirre sat out with a contusion he sustained on his left thigh in a collision with Utah's Mark Eaton on Wednesday night.
The Clippers, who were led by Mike Woodson's 20 points and 18 by rookie Ken Norman, trimed a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to 95-84 with 4:16 left as Larry Drew scored eight points in a 1:42 span. But Sam Perkins scored scored eight of his 20 points in the final 4 1/2 minutes to clinch it.
Tarpley, a 7-foot forward who had come off the bench in 61 previous games this season and 75 of 76 as a rookie, keyed a 13-5 run in the last four minutes of the third period with seven points. The run helped Dallas take a 78-64 cushion into the final quarter.
The Mavericks - one of only three NBA teams with a winning record on the road - scored 16 straight points during a 4:09 span of the first half to take a seven-point advantage, and stretched the margin to 16 with four minutes left in the second quarter. The Clippers, losers of 24 of their last 26 games, went more than six minutes without a field goal during that stretch and trailed 54-41 at halftime.
Tarpley was as dominant on the boards as he was offensively, grabbing 21 rebounds in 42 minutes. Although the second-year veteran's rebounds-per-48 minutes ratio was a league-leading 18.2 last season, Dallas Coach John MacLeod wasn't sure how he'd perform under these circumstances.
''He may have been a little uptight at the beginning, but after two or three trips up the court, I think he was fine,'' MacLeod said. ''I liked the way he was aggressive and the way he ran. I'm very happy for him.''
Teammate James Donaldson said of Tarpley: ''He's been playing great all season long. With Roy playing the way he is, scoring, rebounding, playing defense and running the floor, we don't miss a beat.''
Across the corridor, however, Clippers' Coach Gene Shue was trying to divert the attention toward his team's latest loss and away from the comments made earlier this week by team owner Donald Sterling. With the Clippers still searching for the one victory that would eclipse last season's total of 12, Sterling gave Shue a win-or-else ultimatum.
''I would just as soon drop all of this,'' Shue said. ''As far as I am concerned, the Sterling matter is closed.''
MacLeod said the Clippers' problems this year are hardly Shue's fault.
''You can bring Adolph Rupp back and it wouldn't matter,'' the Dallas coach said, referring to the legendary Kentucky coach. ''I went through the same darn thing last year (with the Phoenix Suns), with five rookies and two second-year men. I don't care who you are. You can be Houdini, but you won't beat the veteran clubs with that many young players and the injuries they've had.
''He's not fourth all-time in wins because he doesn't know what he's doing,'' MacLeod added. ''He knows the game as a player and coach, and he knows how to get the maximum out of his players. They stayed right in the game till the end, and that's the style of a quality coach.''