Listless on both ends of the court, the Dallas Mavericks needed a jolt.
Corey Brewer gave them a biggie on the court. Jason Terry gave a bigger one on the sideline.
Terry ripped into teammate J.J. Barea during a timeout early in the second quarter, earning him a spot on the end of the bench. The Mavericks seemed energized by it, especially Brewer. He scored 20 points and had an outstanding all-around performance as Dallas roared back from a 16-point deficit to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 107-96 on Friday night.
"That's the most important thing to come out of this -- we got a win," Terry said.
The Mavs ended a four-game losing streak and retained their grip on the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
Things looked to be slipping away from Dallas with 9:54 left in the second quarter, when a turnover led to a breakaway layup for Los Angeles and a timeout by Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. Turnovers, layups and timeouts were frequent to that point, with the Clippers leading by 14 on a parade of layups and dunks.
During this team huddle, Terry barked at Barea. Assistant coaches and players broke it up and Carlisle sent Terry to the end of the bench. Team owner Mark Cuban spent the next timeout speaking to Terry aside from the rest of the club. He was the first one to the locker room at halftime and the last to return, missing the first few minutes of the second half.
Terry refused to discuss the incident, as did most of his teammates. Barea said "nothing really happened. ... That's my boy, my favorite teammate since I got here. ... Heat of the moment, nothing big."
"It's an internal matter and it will remain an internal matter," Carlisle said. "Emotions run high and sometimes things happen and I'll leave it at that."
Terry is Dallas' second-leading scorer and a strong candidate for Sixth Man of the Year. Always an emotional type, he's been a bit out of control lately. He shoved Lakers guard Steve Blake late in a blowout loss last week and on Wednesday night got a technical foul in the final minutes of a tight game that Dallas lost. Carlisle said he decided Terry wasn't returning as soon as he banished him to the end of the bench.
"Jet's a very important guy on our team," Carlisle said. "I was considering giving him a night off going forward, so this is the night off."
The Mavs already were giving Jason Kidd a second straight night off. Carlisle used that as an opportunity to get Brewer into the starting lineup to see if he could earn his way into the playoff rotation.
Since joining the team March 31, Brewer had sat out nine games and scored a total of 38 points in the other nine, including one start. This time, his line was the best of his career: 8-for-16 shooting, with six rebounds, four assists, four steals and a blocked shot. He capped his night in style, stealing an inbounds pass and feeding Dirk Nowitzki for a dunk in the final minutes.
"He was everywhere," teammate Tyson Chandler said. "Guys on the bench were like, `What he's doing, that's contagious."'
Dallas hadn't won since a week ago Wednesday, also against the Clippers. Another loss would've dropped the Mavericks to the fourth seed in the West.
"We haven't played well, lost some games, had some injuries, Kidd's resting, so it's all piling up a little bit," Nowitzki said. "Maybe this is the game we needed to get some stuff out and refocus."
Nowitzki had 20 points, eight rebounds and a season-best seven assists. Shawn Marion had 13 points and 10 rebounds. Barea and Chandler each scored 15, and Peja Stojakovic scored all 10 of his points in the final quarter.
Mo Williams scored 29 points and Blake Griffin had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Los Angeles. The Clippers had beaten playoff-bound teams in two of their last three games, but they were without center Chris Kaman (sprained right knee) and they lost guard Eric Bledsoe to a sprained right knee.
Los Angeles led by 16 after the first quarter, having scored more points in the paint (20) than the Mavericks had overall (19). Dallas began making its move after the sideline incident, then really kicked things up a notch after halftime. A 22-4 spurt put the Mavs in front. The Clippers were only able to briefly lead again.
"The third quarter killed us," Griffin said. "The second quarter hurt us too."
The best evidence of Dallas' newfound aggressiveness was the points in the paint. The Mavericks finished with 58, more than the Clippers' 42. Chandler made all six of his shots, mostly from around the rim; he'd missed the two previous games with a back injury.
Barea was part of Dallas' big turnaround in the third quarter, starting the second half in place of Kidd's fill-in, Rodrigue Beaubois. Beaubois got his first two shots blocked and later missed a dunk; he was fouled on that play but still didn't get anything out of it, missing both free throws. He didn't score a point in 25 minutes, missing seven shots.
NOTES: Dallas improved to 9-9 since an 18-1 streak. ... The Clippers have dropped 10 straight to the Mavericks. ... Nuggets coach George Karl said he would prefer to play Dallas rather than Oklahoma City in the playoffs. Said Carlisle: "To me, more than anything, this means George has completely beaten cancer and is back to his old self." ... Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said he expects Kaman to return for at least one of the last two games. He was hurt Wednesday night in a loss to Oklahoma City.