Rapid Reaction: Mavs 89, Celtics 73
How it happened: The Dallas defense bounced back from a rare poor performance by shutting down a Boston team that is bad offensively even with Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett.
With Rondo and Garnett unavailable, this was an easy win for the Mavericks over the Celtics, who have lost six of their last seven games.
The Mavs got another dominant performance from Dirk Nowitzki (26 points, 16 rebounds) and a nice night from Jason Terry (16 points, 6-11 FG) and didn’t need much else from an offensive standpoint.
The Mavs, whose 10-game streak of holding opponents to less than 100 points was snapped in Sunday’s loss to the New York Knicks, smothered the Celtics defensively for the first three quarters. Boston had 53 points and 14 turnovers entering the fourth quarter, which was essentially all garbage time.
What it means: The Mavs beat up Boston’s B team. It’s Dallas’ seventh win in eight games, but it’s difficult to give a win over the Celtics any grand meaning when Garnett and Rondo aren’t even in the building.
Play of the game: If there’s such a thing as a dagger early in the third quarter, Dirk’s uncontested 3-pointer from the right wing qualifies. Jason Kidd fired a cross-court out-of-bounds pass to Nowitzki, whom the Celtics somehow neglected to cover. Nowitzki took a dribble, measured the shot and knocked it down to give the Mavs an 18-point lead with a few minutes into the second half.
Stat of the night: Nowitzki and Paul Pierce, the man picked immediately after Dirk in the 1998 draft, were polar opposites in the plus-minus category. Nowitzki was plus-27, Pierce minus-27.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.