DALLAS – With no Tyson Chandler around to lean on him, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had one of those games for the ages Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks.
Jordan collected 22 points and a career-high 27 rebounds to pace the Clippers to a 115-98 triumph over the listless Mavs at American Airlines Center. The only other 20-20 game of Jordan’s career occurred Feb. 2 at Brooklyn when he had 22 points and 20 rebounds against the Nets.
Chandler departed Monday night for good 84 seconds into the game after suffering a left ankle injury. Less than three minutes later, the Mavs lost guard Monta Ellis for the rest of the night after he suffered a left hip injury.
After Chandler and Ellis were locker room-bound, it was as if someone pulled the plug on the Mavs’ offensive and defensive attacks.
"Yeah, that obviously hurt, losing two main guys, and DeAndre played very well, very active,’’ forward Chandler Parsons said. "Tyson would have been an equalizer battling with him, but we have a lot of guys that need to step up to the challenge.
"DeAndre was great all game. But they have a lot of guys that made big plays and we shot ourselves in the foot -- silly fouls and a lot of bad turnovers.’’
And a lot of bad luck, too, considering the Mavs lost two starters within a span of two minutes and 33 seconds. The losses were a major disruption to what the Mavs (35-19) had planned against the Clippers (34-19).
Still, if Chandler and Ellis are unable to play in Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz, somebody has to muster up enough energy to pick up the slack.
"Obviously it hurts when two of your main guys go down, but that's part of the game,’’ Parsons said. "Every team goes through things like that, and like I said, other people have to step up and be ready to play.
"(Chandler and Ellis are) two of our main guys, more intense and emotional guys on the court. But we have a lot of veteran guys, a lot of capable defenders that need to step up, and we need to get this win (against the Jazz] to go into the break.’’