Dirk Nowitzki helps Mavs beat Celtics to win third straight

Posted Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

BOSTON -- That three-game losing streak the Dallas Mavericks limped through to start the season seems like such a distant memory now.

Especially the way they handled the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

With coach Rick Carlisle back in the dressing room after he was ejected early in the third quarter, the Mavericks knuckled down on defense and stymied the Celtics while grinding out a 90-85 triumph. The victory capped the Mavs' first three-game winning streak of the season and the first time they've topped the .500 mark this season at 6-5.

And it didn't come easy.

In fact, it was Dirk Nowitzki who had to muscle his way through three Celtics defenders to score the winning basket. On the play, Nowitzki tossed the ball high in the air after he was mauled by Brandon Bass, and the ball somehow made its way through the basket. The bucket and subsequent free throw by Nowitzki snapped an 85-all tie and put the Mavs ahead 88-85 with 5.1 seconds left.

"In the second half (Kevin Garnett) really fronted me and denied me, pick-n-roll, he was on top of me all the time, and I really couldn't get any clean catches," Nowitzki said. "So there at the end, Jet [Jason Terry] set a good screen, and I was able to get a little separation and at least get a catch. I was able to get to the rim, and I didn't even see the ball go in, to be honest. I saw the contact and threw it up there, and I was real lucky the ball went in.''

The Celtics had one last shot to force overtime. Rajon Rondo, however, bounced the inbounds pass off Ray Allen's leg near the Mavs' bench, and it fell harmlessly out of bounds with 4.3 seconds remaining.

Terry (18 points) then made a layup to close out the scoring as the Mavs ended this brief two-game road trip with a 2-0 record.

Referee Bill Spooner tossed Carlisle less than two minutes into the second half when the Mavs' coach ran onto the court to object to the bear hug Carlisle thought Garnett was consistently doing on Nowitzki.

From there, assistant coach Terry Stotts took over and the Mavs immediately went on a 24-6 run to turn a 47-42 deficit into a 66-53 lead late in the third period.

The Mavs were playing the second leg of a back-to-back, while the Celtics hadn't played since Friday.

On the game-winning play, Delonte West, who scored 12 points, said: "[Nowitzki] ran over to me and said, 'I'm going to get this game for us.'"

Nowitzki, who scored 16 points and is just three points away from 23,000 points in his career, said he relishes moments when the game is on the line.

"I grew into those moments," Nowitzki said. "At first when I got in this league I wasn't really the player that I am now."

But he is now. And for the Mavs' sake, that's a good thing.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
Texas 8/20 12:40 PM ET
Seattle 8/20 1:05 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: ROOT-NW, CSN-PHI
Toronto 8/20 2:10 PM ET
Milwaukee TV: MLB Network, SNET-1
NY Mets 8/20 3:35 PM ET
Oakland TV: MLB Net, SNY, CSN-CA
Houston 8/20 7:05 PM ET
Atlanta 8/20 7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: SPSO, ROOT-PIT
Arizona 8/20 7:05 PM ET
Washington TV: FSN-AZ, MASN
LA Angels 8/20 7:10 PM ET
Boston TV: FSN-W, NESN, ESPN 2
Detroit 8/20 7:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FSN-DET, Sun Sports
Cincinnati 8/20 7:15 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FSN-OH, FSN-MW
San Francisco 8/20 8:05 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: CSN-BA, WCIU
Baltimore 8/20 8:10 PM ET
Chicago WSox TV: MASN 2, CSN-CHI
Cleveland 8/20 8:10 PM ET
Minnesota TV: STO, FSN-N
Kansas City 8/20 8:40 PM ET
Colorado TV: FSN-KC, ROOT-RM
San Diego 8/20 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: FSN-SD, SNLA, ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 7:30 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: NFL Network, KDKA, 6ABC
Jacksonville 7:30 PM ET
Detroit TV: WXYZ7
Carolina 7:30 PM ET
New England TV: Panthers TV, WBZ
NY Giants 7:30 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS 2
Oakland 8:00 PM ET
Green Bay TV: CBS
Chicago 10:00 PM ET
Seattle TV: NFL Net, FOX32, Q13FOX
Tampa Bay 4:30 PM ET
Buffalo TV: NFL Network, WFLA
Tennessee 7:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: WKRN, CW69
Dallas 7:00 PM ET
Miami TV: KTVT, CBS11, CBS4
Washington 7:30 PM ET
Baltimore TV: NBC4, CSN-DC, WBAL
St. Louis 8:00 PM ET
Cleveland TV: WKYC
New Orleans 8:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Minnesota 8:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: KARE 11, KCTV
Houston 9:00 PM ET
San Diego 4:00 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
Cincinnati 8:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: NBC
Full Scoreboard
Wednesday, August 20Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard