“We were bad, honestly,” Rivers said. “We didn’t play very good defense tonight.”The Clippers did play Wednesday, the eighth and final day of the five-game trip. The legs may not quite have been there, Rivers said. “I didn’t think anybody played super, to me, on our team,” said Rivers, whose team will next play the Lakers on Sunday. “I thought we wanted to. I thought a lot of our shots were short. … We ran out of miracles.”The Clippers shot a respectable 42.9 percent from the field, but just 22.2 percent (6 of 27) from 3-point range.Rivers was asked about an hour-and-a-half before tip-off if his players appear to have a magical playoff run in them based on what they have done since Feb. 23, when they beat Oklahoma City to begin the 17 of 19 run. He seemed to not want to really go there because this is the regular season and the post-season is another animal.“Oh, I don’t know, I’ll let you talk about that stuff,” he said. “I have no clue. I just think we’re a good team and we have to be a better team in the playoffs. I don’t buy into that fate stuff.”It’s not fate if the team is doing what it’s doing, Rivers was reminded.“Just because we did it last night, that doesn’t impress Dallas tonight,” he said. “Whoever we play in the first round (of the playoffs), they’re not going to be talking about it. But what it does for us, I guess, is we believe when you’re down that you can still win a game.“That’s the way you should be anyway. But I think you’ve got to have it a couple of times and we’ve done that a couple of times, and I think that does help our psyche.” Dirk Nowitzki made two free throws with 17.9 seconds left and then Shawn Marion followed that with two of his own to seal the Clippers’ fate.Blake Griffin led L.A. (54-23) with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Collison scored 22 points, DeAndre Jordan had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Chris Paul scored 17 points and doled out nine assists. Redick had 12 points off the bench in his first game in two months.Nowitzki scored 26 points for Dallas, Jose Calderon had 19 and Vince Carter 16. Dallas (45-31) entered the game in a three-way tie with Phoenix and Memphis for seventh place in the Western Conference standings with time winding down in the regular season. What really stuck out to Rivers was the defense, or lack of, by his team. Dallas shot 50 percent from the field and 48.3 (14 of 29) from 3-point range. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Clippers are having an extraordinary season. Ahead of Thursday’s game against the visiting Dallas Mavericks, they had won 17 of 19 and four of five on their just-concluded road trip.Clippers coach Doc Rivers tried to downplay all that success just a bit before the game began, basically saying it may not mean much once the playoffs arrive. His team then went out and showed it is human when it could not make another comeback like the one it made in Wednesday’s victory at Phoenix.The game was tied 89-89 with 8:44 to play, but the Mavericks — a team hungry to secure a playoff berth — went on a 10-0 run and defeated the Clippers 113-107 before a sellout crowd of 19,222.The Clippers (54-23) almost had another amazing comeback, however. Trailing 109-97 with about three minutes to play, they outscored the Mavericks (45-31) 10-0 to pull within 109-107. The crowd was going wild. That was as close as they would get, though, as both J.J. Redick and Darren Collison missed shots that would have either tied the game or put the Clippers ahead.