Boston, MA – The Dallas Mavericks were in Boston Wednesday night looking for their 5th straight win against a much improved Celtics squad. While it wasn’t pretty, they found a way to grind it out in the 4th quarter. Having not lead all game, a Deron Williams three gave the Mavericks their first lead of the night just under the 4 minute marker in the fourth quarter. But it wasn’t a great showing by the Mavericks by any stretch.
Boston opened up the game on a 7-0 run, with the Mavs first basket coming after the 9 minute mark of the first quarter. Avery Bradley was leading the Celtics hot start, as he had 12 first quarter points on 5/9 shooting in the frame, to help open up an 18 point Celtic lead. The Mavs had to rely heavily on Dirk Nowitzki in the first half, as his 14 points on 5/7 shooting helped cut the Mavs lead down to 9 at the break.
In the 3rd quarter, a see-saw game ensued, with teams trading baskets. Yet the Mavs would only pull into as close as one. The first lead of the game wouldn’t come until under four minutes to go. The Mavs were able to open up a 7 point lead on the Celtics with under two minutes to play. Game over right? Not so fast.
After a Jae Crowder three ball, they were able to strip Dwight Powell on the inbound pass and draw a foul. Crowder hit both free throws, quickly making it a two point game. With under 20 seconds to play, Raymond Felton missed two free throws, which could’ve made it a two possession game, but the lead remained at 2. But it didn’t take long for Felton to redeem himself, as he made a potential game saving steal under 10 seconds to play. Fortunately for the Mavs, they played well enough in the fourth quarter to bring their win streak to 5, with a 106-102 road win.
What we learned:
Will Dirk ever regress?
The 37 year old continues to amaze us night in and night out. He had yet another efficient night, carrying the Mavs with 23 points on 9/14 shooting and 7 boards. The Big German is simply playing out of his mind right now.
Wes Matthews is still a work in progress.
While he finished the game with 18 points, he did not shoot the ball well from the field (4/12). He hit a couple big threes in the second half, but it is clear he still needs time after returning from a torn Achilles. We haven’t seen efficient Wes since the Clippers game.
Zaza continues to Zaza.
The Mavs big man had yet another double-double, with 12 points and 11 boards. He consistently continues to get his boards and points, and has been a huge factor in the Mavs early season success.
What should we make of this Mavs team? They’ve beaten the Clippers, Suns and Rockets, are currently sit 3rd in the Western Conference at 8-4. Having won 5 straight, can they sustain this? Only time will tell. Rick Carlisle continues to work his magic on this team.
Player of the Game:
Who other than Dirk, who yet again led the team in scoring with 23 points.
The Mavs return home Friday to play the Utah Jazz. Why should we watch? No reason other than they will be bringing out the Hardwood Classic green throwback uniforms.
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