Mavericks open eight-game homestand with hard-fought win over Celtics

Posted Monday, Mar. 17, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Every now and then a team has to find a way to win a game on true grit.

Monday was one of those nights for the Dallas Mavericks.

With their offense and rebounding struggling, the Mavs managed to beat the Boston Celtics 94-89 before a sellout crowd of 20,132 at American Airlines Center.

It was the fifth win in the past six games for the Mavs as they got their franchise-record eight-game homestand off to a winning start.

“We didn’t shoot it great, but overall we did enough to win,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We won three of the four quarters.

“We had a dry third quarter, but they didn’t score all that well themselves that quarter, either. It was a pretty typical back-to-back — both teams playing back-to-back- type games.”

The Mavs (41-27) were coming off Sunday’s 109-86 win at Oklahoma City, while the Celtics dropped a heartbreaking 121-120 overtime game in New Orleans.

That set the stage for a sluggish performance by both teams. The game that wasn’t decided until the waning seconds.

Dallas was clinging to a 92-89 lead when Celtics guard Jerryd Bayless drove the lane and missed a runner with 8.7 seconds left. Bayless grabbed the rebound, and his second attempt — this time from 4 feet — was blocked by Vince Carter.

Shawn Marion scooped up the rebound for the Mavs, was fouled and made two free throws with 5 seconds left to account for the game’s final two points.

There was nothing fancy about the way the Mavs dispatched the Celtics (22-46), who have lost six straight games.

“It’s a good win,” Carlisle said. “The biggest problem we were having out there was the rebounding.

“They had 21 offensive rebounds, which is an astronomical number, and that’s too many, obviously. But they charge after it pretty aggressively, and we didn’t do a good job there, but we survived it.”

After building a 15-point lead in the third quarter (64-49), the Mavs were caught napping too many times and suddenly found themselves involved in a catfight with a team headed to the NBA Draft Lottery.

Avery Bradley stripped the ball at midcourt from Monta Ellis and drove in for a breakaway dunk to get the Celtics within 90-89 with 21.6 seconds left. Following an intentional foul, Ellis made a couple of free throws to pad the Mavs’ lead back up to three with 19.8 seconds left.

Then came the block from Carter, who had nine points off the bench to go with that game-changing block.

“Our bench was big for us,” Carlisle said. “We had a lot of guys chip in and help, which was good. The big play at the end [by Carter] was big, because they’re right there. It’s a one-possession game.”

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 19 points, Ellis scored 17, Devin Harris had 12, Brandan Wright had 10 and Marion finished with 11 points and six rebounds.

Meanwhile, as they did in Sunday’s win over the Thunder, Harris and Wright executed three alley-oop dunks that laid the groundwork for the victory over the Celtics.

“The beautiful thing about our team is that we’re always spacing the floor with shooters, so the defense has to make a decision,” Harris said. “Most teams would rather give up a two than a 3, so those dunks are going to be there.

“And if they’re not, then I’ve got Vince and Dirk behind him ready to shoot. So teams really have to pick their poison on that.”

Dallas led 26-22 after the first period and 50-43 at the half, but managed just 14 points in a sloppily-played third quarter.

“They always play the whole 48 minutes, so we knew they were going to come back and make a run,” Ellis said. “But we took their punch and made plays down the stretch and came out with the win.”

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 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?

Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Kansas City4Final | Box
San Francisco «11Ballpark Replay
110th World Series, Game Four. Series tied, 2-2.
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Buffalo «2Final | Box
San Jose1
Boston «4Final | Box
NY Rangers1Final | Box
Montreal «3
New Jersey «3Final(OT) | Box
Dallas5Final | Box
NY Islanders «7
Detroit2Final | Box
Philadelphia «4
Chicago2Final | Box
St. Louis «3
Pittsburgh «3Final | Box
Tampa Bay2Final | Box
Minnesota «7
Florida1Final(OT) | Box
Arizona «2
Washington «3Final | Box
Full Scoreboard