The Mavs begin their coveted 8-game home stand with an 89-94 win against the Boston Celtics. Luck was not on Boston’s side on St. Patty’s Day, as the Mavs handed the Celtics their fifth consecutive loss.
The Game At Hand:
Coming off the second of a back-to-back game against the Thunder, the Mavericks obviously went into the first quarter on a slow start on Monday night. Boston shot a dismal 25% from the field within the first six minutes of the game. But Dallas seemed to find some rhythm midway through the second quarter. Despite being out-rebounded 26 to 19 at halftime, the Mavs managed to hold a 7-point lead thanks to an 11-3 run.
The third quarter was a fairly different story. The Mavs came out in the second half jumping out to a 64-49 lead thanks to 7 points from Shawn Marion. With less than five minutes to go in the third period, the Celtics would not go away without a fight. A huge three-pointer from the team’s leading scorer Jeff Green, followed by a critical three-point play by Mavs’ first round draft pick Kelly Olynyk would cut the Celtics’ deficit down to three to end the quarter.
From there in the fourth quarter, the Mavs seemed like they had no answer for Boston’s strong performance by Jerryd Bayless. Just under 6 minutes left in the game, Bayless 12 points, including two huge three points would put the Celtics down by three with 1:15 left. But Monta Ellis and Shawn Marion would seal the victory for the Mavs with four clutch free throws down the stretch to end the game.
Inside The Numbers:
The Mavs walked away with a victory, but should be a little disappointed with the shooting percentage from the three-point line. Dallas is ranked third in the league from deep, averaging 39%. Against Boston, the Mavs were 9 for 27 from behind the arch (33%), including Vince Carter making zero three-pointers of his five attempts. There are a total of 27 teams who average shooting better 33% from behind the three-point line this season.
Step-Up Mav of the Night:
Stat Line: 17 points. 7 rebounds. 4 assists.
Monta Ellis played an exceptionally great game against the Celtics. Although he was 4 of 11 from the field, he was more aggressive in getting to the free-throw line easily (8 of 9 from the charity stripe). Not to mention, his two clutch free –three throws helped in the win for the Mavericks.
“They just kept coming back at us. They’ve got some young, aggressive guys that are hungry and they were hitting shots.” – Rick Carlisle
“I almost tore both of my flexors trying to chase that ball, but I’m glad I got to it. That was a big play from Devin.” – Dirk Nowitzki on outlet pass from Harris leading to breakaway dunk
The Mavs continue their 8-game home stand, facing Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.