The Mavs are now a half-game behind Memphis, who they play twice in their next three games, including Wednesday night at home.
Randy Foye kept knocking down shots for the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Dallas Mavericks did nothing to stop him.
Foye tied a team record with a career-high eight 3-pointers while scoring 28 points for the Clippers, who have their first six-game winning streak in two decades after a 94-75 victory over the Mavericks on Monday night.
"I was waiting for somebody to knock (Foye) down, do something. We just didn't do it, and really that's on me," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "If we're not aware and if we're not going to be physical with a guy that gets it's going like that then it's on the head coach."
After Brandan Wright's tip-in capped an 8-0 run to get Dallas within 76-62 with about 7½ minutes left, Foye responded with a 3-pointer. Jason Terry then made another basket for Dallas, only to have Foy make another 3, his eighth to match the franchise record.
"I was just trying to be aggressive," said Foye, who made 8 of 15 from 3-point range and 10 of 19 shots overall.
"We got him in some rhythm," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said. "They went zone, they lost him a few times on that left wing. They load up so much on Chris (Paul) and Blake (Griffin)."
Quentin Richardson made 8 of 11 from long range while scoring 36 points for the Clippers at Boston on Feb. 4, 2004.
Griffin had his streak of six consecutive 20-point games snapped, but he still put up his 33rd double-double this season with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Caron Butler, part of the Mavericks' championship team last season, had 13 points for the Clippers, who had lost 10 consecutive games in Dallas since 2006. Nick Young had 10 points, while Paul had eight points and 10 assists.
Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 19 points, while Terry had 15.
Los Angeles entered the game fourth in the Western Conference, just ahead of the defending NBA champions.
Had the playoffs been starting, it would have been a first-round game -- in Los Angeles. Good thing for the Mavericks there are still more than three weeks left in the regular season.
For the Clippers, they took two of three in the season series against Dallas.
"A win like this shows that we're growing," Foye said. "It means a lot to play this well and beat the champs."
The loss dropped the Mavs to sixth place in the West. They are now a half-game behind Memphis, who they play twice in their next three games, including Wednesday night at home.
Dallas was without veteran guard Jason Kidd (strained right groin) and forward Lamar Odom (stomach illness). Kidd isn't expected to play this week, meaning he could miss his third four-game stretch this season.
As usual, Griffin had some highlight-reel dunks. He punctuated his night with a high-flying gem in the closing minutes. On one of Foye's missed 3s, Griffin came charging into the lane and cut in front of Nowitzki for a one-handed putback slam.
Griffin's first dunk came 5 minutes into the game, when Butler had a steal and pass to Griffin for a breakaway jam. Griffin made the shot even as Delonte West, filling in as the starter for Kidd, reached over and slapped down on his head.
The Clippers were already up 25-15 in the first quarter after a 3-pointer by Foye.
"We just couldn't get the ball to fall for us and Foye was hitting dagger after dagger," West said. "All those 3's, it takes a lot out of you."'
Young's only points before a late 3-pointer had been seven in a row in a 75-second span midway through the second quarter for a 35-23 Clippers lead.
Dallas had only 33 points at halftime, its second-lowest scoring first half of the season, and things didn't get any better after that.
Vince Carter drove for what he thought was a layup early in the second half, but was called for charging. While Carter ran down the court in disbelief, replays showed that Griffin appeared to have his feet set when he took the contact.
Butler then hit a 3-pointer over Carter, and Foye drove for a short high bank shot to push the lead to 52-35.
"It's a good game because we need wins and it helps us in the West standings," Griffin said. "At the same time, just because we won like this doesn't mean that if we had to come back it would be a rout. They're a tough team, they're a veteran team, they're missing some guys, so we've just got to keep on working and keep on plugging."
Notes: The Clippers left the floor at halftime with a 49-33 lead, but officials reviewed an earlier basket by Kenyon Martin that they determined came after the shot clock ran out. So the halftime score was really 47-33. ... Los Angeles' six-game winning streak 20 years ago began with a win at Dallas. ... The Mavericks scored 29 points in the first half at San Antonio on Jan. 5, their eighth game this season.