The Mavericks' 77-27 halftime lead at Staples Center topped the previous mark for biggest halftime lead in an NBA game -- 47 points by the Golden State Warriors over the Sacramento Kings in November 1991, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.
The Mavericks (1-2) led by 57 at one point and maintained a lead of at least 40 points for the final 31 minutes, 11 seconds, the longest stretch by any team over the past 25 seasons, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.
"We showed who we are," said Mavericks point guard Luka Doncic, who had 24 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists in 26 minutes. "People judged us off the first two games of the season. It's a long season, but we've got to keep going like that. We've got to play defense. That's our specialty from now on."
The Clippers (2-1) hope they won't be judged by the worst loss in franchise history. The 51-point defeat surpassed a 50-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in December 1988.
Playing without the injured Kawhi Leonard (mouth laceration) and Marcus Morris (knee), the Clippers scored just five points in the first eight-plus minutes and didn't reach 20 points until there was 5:01 left in the second quarter.
"I take full responsibility," said Clippers guard Paul George, who scored 15 points but missed all six of his 3-point attempts. "You know, it's a tough game coming [after] Christmas. I enjoyed my Christmas Day [celebration] yesterday. Today just popped up on me a little too fast. I'll take full ownership for that, coming out and being prepared to play today. Be a different situation come next game, and we will be ready."
The Clippers' first-half woes came after an impressive start to the season in which they beat the Los Angeles Lakers on opening night and defeated the Nuggets in Denver on Friday.
They didn't return to Los Angeles until early Saturday, and the team spent the day celebrating the holiday with their families because they were on the road for Christmas Day, George said.
"I hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas Day yesterday and that was the reason for a sluggish day today," George said.
The Mavericks opened the game shooting 58% overall, burying nine 3-pointers in the first half. The Clippers made a total of nine field goals while missing 18 of 19 3-point attempts in the half, their worst 3-point field goal percentage in a half over the past 25 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Info research.
"The funny thing is, no one realized it until we got into halftime, to be honest with you," Mavs guard Tim Hardaway Jr. said of the halftime margin. "It was just everybody making sure that we didn't focus on the score at all. ... Everything was just clicking on all cylinders, and thankfully we got the win."
Ty Lue's team finished 4-for-33 from 3-point range. Before the game, the Clippers' coach said he wasn't sure when Leonard will return. The All-Star forward needed eight stitches on his mouth following Friday night's win in Denver.
Lue and George both said the Clippers will be ready Tuesday when they face Minnesota at home.
"Just an exception," Lue said of the loss. "It doesn't take away from what we've been doing and what we've been working on and how we're trying to get better each night.
"[There] wasn't a lot of fight, a lot of pop tonight, and we know we'll have that come next game."
ESPN's Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.