The Boston Celtics: tame the Dallas Mavericks with buckets from Brown and Tatum

The Celtics overcame a chilly start to win their second road game in as many nights, 119-110, thanks to a strong second quarter performance by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. 

After taking four days off following their last game, the Dallas Mavericks (24-19) faced a tough test and a chance to assess their collective status against the top-ranked Boston Celtics (34-10). Even though the Cs were playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Mavs lost 119-110. 

“Great test [against] the best team in the league right now,” Before the game, Mavs coach Jason Kidd stated about playing the Celtics. “They put a lot of pressure on your defense with being able to drive the ball. The ball touches the paint if your rotations aren’t right. They’re shooting the three at a high clip [and] they lead the league in attempts. We must figure out how to take the three away and protect the paint.

With 38 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, Jayson Tatum led the Celtics. Jaylen Brown chipped in with 35 points, three rebounds, and four assists. The wing tandem scored an astounding 73 points between them, which helped Boston get going. 

Superstars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving of the Mavs both put on impressive performances. Doncic scored 33 points, grabbed 18 rebounds, and dished out 13 assists on Slovenia night, while Irving added 23 points, six rebounds, and three assists. Off the bench, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 20 points. Dallas’s performance was not comprehensive enough to win. 

The Mavs seemed to pass that test early on. The emphasis was clearly on playing quickly, as Luka Doncic led the way. Dallas made throw-ahead passes and pushed the break, eventually taking a 21-15 lead when Kyrie Irving made a short-range jumper late in the half. 

After the Mavs were outscored 9–5, the Celtics successfully ended the first quarter, cutting Dallas’ lead to just 26–24. Jrue Holiday’s three-pointer with 10:25 remaining before halftime put his side ahead, and Boston rode high after that, jumping out to a 13–6 lead in the second quarter and never trailing again. 

After halftime, the Mavs needed to pick up steam, but they were unable to do so. Dallas started the third quarter behind 79-64 after being outscored 14-5. Throughout this quarter, Tatum and Brown were the driving forces behind Boston’s offensive assault, thwarting any attempts by the Mavs to mount a comeback. 

With Brown and Tatum each scoring twenty-five and twenty-seven points at the half, the Celtics led 94-83 going into the fourth quarter. Despite trailing by double digits throughout the majority of the fourth quarter, the Mavs did manage to mount a brief comeback. 

With 4:59 left in regulation, Doncic made a step-back 3-pointer to trim the Mavs’ deficit to 103-96, forcing Boston to take a timeout. Boston regained an 11-point lead thanks to a four-point play by Brown that utilised a basket from the corner to stop Dallas’ momentum. The team responded with clutch plays when it mattered most. 

Due to soreness in his right knee, former Mavs star Kristaps Porzingis was unable to play in his first game at American Airlines Centre since being moved in 2022. It would be necessary for both clubs to go to the NBA Finals this season or to wait until the following regular season for him to get the opportunity to play in Dallas. 

Dante Exum (right plantar sprain) and Seth Curry (left ankle sprain) were not available for Dallas’ game. Regarding a possible comeback date, both players are regarded as “day-to-day” while they recuperate from their ailments.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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