The Fifth Quarter: Clippers send Mark Cuban and the NBA a message vs. Mavs

As will be the case more often than not this season, the Clippers were just too much for their opponents to handle.

Thursday's victim, the Mavericks, had the motivation. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan verbally committed to life in Dallas, only to have a change of heart and return to the Clippers in the offseason. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban fanned the flames of the rivalry before the game but it didn't play out the way he'd hoped.

MORE: Everyone hate the Clippers

From the outset, the Mavs tried to get physical with the Clippers. Jordan and Blake Griffin showed they were up to the task. 

The Clippers are so good that they were able to win 104-88 even with a subpar night from Chris Paul, who scored just nine points and contributed just five assists. 

The Mavs aren't the powerhouse they once were but the rest of the league should still take note of how good the Clippers can be.

Not quite ready for primetime 

The Knicks opened up at Madison Square Garden with plenty of optimism after dominating the Bucks on opening night. Reality hit on Thursday when the Hawks left MSG with a 112-101 win. Things to like included Robin Lopez's low-post scoring, Kyle O'Quinn's deft passing and rookie Kristaps Porzingis' athleticism. Things that need to change: Carmelo Anthony taking 27 shots and only 25 points to show for it. 

Tweet of the night 

Stud of the night 

Griffin carried the load offensively for the Clippers, putting up 26 points (he went 11 for 17 from the field) and adding 10 rebounds as the Clippers took care of the Mavericks. 

Dud of The Night 

Pacers guard Monta Ellis has seen better nights offensively, as the career 19-point-per-game scorer finished with just nine points on 3 of 11 shooting in the Pacers' 112-103 loss to the Grizzlies. 

Looking ahead 

Heat (1-0) at Cavs (1-1), 7 p.m. ET: Any time LeBron James plays the Heat, it's must-see action. 

Warriors (1-0) at Rockets (1-0), 9:30 p.m. ET: Stephen Curry and Co. take their show on the road in a rematch of last year's Western Conference finals. The Rockets' new-look back court of Ty Lawson and James Harden wil

l get its first crack at trying to slow down Curry and Klay Thompson.