Celtics Fall Short in Dallas
Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 25 points and won the game for Dallas on a contested 20-footer with 17.9 seconds. Paul Pierce led the way for Boston, dropping 24 points and pulling down seven boards. Rajon Rondo scored 11 points and dished out 15 assists.
Boston lost the first quarter for only the second time this season. The Mavs game out much sharper than the Celts and capped off the frame with a J.J. Barea three-pointer just before time expired. They carried a four point lead into the second quarter.
Barea scored the first four points for the Mavericks in the second period, giving him nine straight for Dallas. The Mavs continued to build their lead with solid defense and a few loud dunks by Tyson Chandler. Boston trailed by ten points (40-50) entering the break.
The Celtics battled back in the third frame, opening up the second half on a 7-2 run. A Pierce jumper with 4:43 to go in the quarter tied the contest at 57-57. Dallas did, however, take a one-point lead into the fourth frame.
Neither team was able to break away from the other throughout the fourth quarter. In fact, neither team was able to establish a lead of more than six points in that twelve minute span. Another Pierce jump shot gave the C's a five point lead with 1:58 left in regulation.
However, the Dirkith was able to convert on a driving layup and Jason Terry knocked down a three-pointer to even the score at 87-87 with 1:13 left. Boston was unable to score again, despite a couple missed opportunities including a botched KG lay-in. Nowitzki then beat the Celtics with his jumper and sent them packing for a re-match with Miami.
The Celtics and Heat square off in the Sunshine State Thursday night at 8 PM.