Career milestones lead to Mavericks' win over Celtics

Posted Monday, Feb. 20, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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DALLAS -- It was milestone night at American Airlines Center on Monday night. And Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd did a nifty job of assuming their places in history.

Nowitzki tallied 26 points and moved past Robert Parish and into the No. 20 spot on the NBA's all-time scoring list as the Dallas Mavericks rolled over the Boston Celtics 89-73 before a sellout crowd of 20,364.

With a blocked shot in the first quarter, Nowitzki also joined Cliff Robinson and Rasheed Wallace as the only players in NBA history with at least 1,000 career blocks and 1,000 career 3-pointers.

Kidd, meanwhile, picked up three steals to move past Michael Jordan and into the No. 2 spot on the league's all-time steals list behind John Stockton.

All of this activity came on a night when the Mavs reached the midway point of this truncated 66-game season with a more than respectable 21-12 record.

Bouncing back from Sunday's disappointing 104-97 loss at the New York Knicks, the Mavs shot a dismal 40.4 percent from the field. But they held the Celts to 39.2 percent shooting and outrebounded the visitors, 51-44.

Boston played without point guard Rajon Rondo and forward Kevin Garnett (death in the family).

Rondo was suspended Monday by the NBA for two games after he threw the basketball and hit a referee in the chest during Sunday's game in Detroit.

Those two absences made things kind of easier for the Mavs.

"Defensively we had to step up," said Jason Terry, who collected 16 points, five rebounds and six assists. "You knew their key guys would be Ray Allen and Paul Pierce tonight.

"I think that would have been their only chance for victory tonight."

The Mavs led 20-15 after the first period as both teams appeared to be feeling the effects of playing on Sunday and making a long trip to Dallas to prepare for Monday's nationally televised game.

Dallas never trailed and rode the sharp-shooting Nowitzki all the way to the winner's circle.

Nowitzki converted 10 of 24 shots, and during one streak in the second period he poured in 10 straight points as the Mavs jumped out to a 37-23 lead.

"I thought coming off of [Sunday] the guys were really up for this," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Sometimes you can have a letdown when a team's missing a couple of star players."

The Mavs host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday before resting for the All-Star break.

As for what they've accomplished at the midway point of the season, Carlisle said they were "improving, with a ways to go.

"Some of it, of course, has to do with our health issues. That's Mother Nature, and we've got to deal with that."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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