It was a game of two halves. And an overtime.
The Celtics overcame a 17-point deficit and forced an overtime period — where they fell short in a 118-113 Mavericks win.
The Mavericks took a 29-16 lead into the second quarter and extended it to 17 points — their biggest lead of the night. Dallas shot 48.8 percent in the first half. The Celtics rallied in the third quarter, outscoring the Mavericks 33-18 and went into the fourth quarter up, 72-70. Isaiah Thomas, who scored two points in the first half, found his offense in the third quarter by scoring 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.
In the fourth quarter, Dirk Nowitzki caught fire — he scored 14 of his 31 points and propelled the Mavericks to a five-point advantage after converting a four-point play with 1:27 left in the game (89-94). However, the Celtics didn’t quit. They went on a 6-4 run to set up a chance for them to tie the game, down by three (98-95). With 14 seconds left, Jae Crowder was fouled shooting a 3-pointer and converted all three free-throws to send the game into overtime.
The Mavericks needed four 3-pointers in the extra period to fend off the Celtics. Dallas finished the night 16-for-34 from distance — where they shot 47 percent on the night.
Isaiah Thomas and Marcus Smart each scored 20 points to lead the Celtics, Avery Bradley added 19 points and eight rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki‘s 31 points led the the Mavericks. Deron Williams scored 20 and Zaza Pachulia grabbed a game-high 19 rebounds.
For a complete box score, click here. To go beyond the box, read on.
STUD OF THE NIGHT: Marcus Smart.
Smart did a little bit of everything. He scored (20 points), grabbed rebounds (eight rebounds) to help get the fast break going (31 fast break points) and finished the night with two steals. Smart hit a big 3-pointer in overtime pull the Celtics to within one point before Williams and Nowitzki hit back-to-back 3’s to push the Mavericks lead up to four.
DUD OF THE NIGHT: Amir Johnson.
In a game where Pachulia pulled down 19 rebounds, the Celtics could have used some help from their 6’9″ big. Johnson finished the night with just two rebounds and a turnover in 13 minutes. When the Celtics made their second-half comeback, coach Brad Stevens knew he wasn’t going to get much from Johnson so he kept him on the bench.
VINE OF THE NIGHT: Clutch Crowder
WHINE OF THE NIGHT: Guarding Dirk
After the Celtics grabbed their first lead in the third quarter, the Mavericks turned to Dirk Nowitzki and he delivered — he scored 21 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and overtime periods. When it came to defending Nowitzki, the Celtics often found themselves caught in a switch, which led to easy jumpers for Dirk. Nowitzki knocked down shots over Smart, Bradley or another undersized defender which led to easy shots or trips to the free-throw line.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: 16-for-34
The Celtics couldn’t stop the Mavericks from knocking down 3-pointers, especially in the overtime period. Dallas drained a handful of contested 3-pointers but the Mavericks knocked down a lot of open jumpers from downtown. The Celtics back court were caught behind screens and often late on defensive switches, which led to open looks for the Mavericks. Drik Nowitzki (3-for-5), Chandler Parsons (4-for-6), Wesley Matthews (3-for-8), Devin Harris (2-for-5) Deron Williams (2-for-5) and Raymond Felton (1-for3) all took turns knocking down jumpers from deep.
@ OF THE NIGHT: