Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

MAVS RAN OUT OF GAS IN LOSING TO CELTICS, 138-110, So tonight’s Key Player goes to No. 7, Jaylen Brown.


The Dallas Mavericks staged a brief run early in the third quarter to climb to within two points of the Boston Celtics.

Fifty-nine seconds later, the Celtics were already back up by eight and on their way to a blowout win.

It was The Jays who began the onslaught for Boston. They connected on back-to-back 3-pointers in just 25 seconds to bump the team’s lead back up to eight with 5:03 left in the third. Jason Kidd could feel the momentum building for the C’s, so he called a timeout. It was certainly too little, too late.

Fast-forward just 3:18 of action and the Celtics had pulled ahead by 13. Move to the 9:37 mark of the fourth and Boston was ahead by 17. Eventually, that lead ballooned to as many as 28 – which just so happened to account for the final margin of victory.

That’s all it takes for the Celtics to catch fire this season. A couple of straight buckets and they’re off and running. Kidd knew it. He tried his best to stop it, but stopping these Celtics this season seems nearly impossible.

The Celtics were already back up by eight and on their way to a blowout win.

Key Player Of The Match

The Jays were both dominant Friday night. It’s hard to choose between them for this slot, but we have to. Those are the rules. So tonight’s Key Player goes to No. 7, Jaylen Brown.

Why, you might ask, given that Tatum scored 32 points to Brown’s 25? Well, it’s because Brown was even more efficient shooting the basketball, and he was perfect while handling it and dishing it out.

Brown shot a scorching 11-for-20 from the field, good for a 55 percent clip. He also dished out five assists on the night while not committing a single turnover. Add in his seven rebounds and steal, and you’ve got a wildly impactful night by the three-time All-Star.

What makes this effort even more impressive is the fact that Brown did it all in less than 31 minutes of action. He logged just 30:47 of playing time, during which Boston outscored Dallas by 16.

“This is the best team in the NBA,” Mavs point guard Luka Doncic said in describing the Celtics. “I think we played great for three quarters, but it’s tough to win here, especially against this team at this point.”

The watershed moment for the Mavs came when they were trailing, 81-79, and – with a chance to take the lead for the first time since the first quarter — Washington missed a three-pointer. From there, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum drilled back-to-back three-pointers and Boston was off to the race.

Former Mavs center Kristaps Porzingis scored two hoops in a row. An offensive rebound and put-back bucket by Al Horford and a three-pointer by Tatum padded Boston’s lead to 102-90 after three quarters.

A short time later, the dam busted when Derrick White, Payton Pritchard, and Horford each buried three-pointers as the Celtic lead swelled to 127-103 with 3:55 left in the game.

In this measuring stick type of game for Dallas, the Mavs fell short and finished this four-game road trip 1-3 while also dropping to 34-36 overall going into Sunday’s noon game at American Airlines Center against the Philadelphia 76ers.

“They don’t panic,” Kidd said of the Celtics. “There’s no stress. They’re going to continue to keep playing the way they do, sharing the ball.

“It’s very rare in this league to see a team like that with five shooters.”

The Celtics shot 55.3 percent from the field and converted 21-of-43 three-pointers for 48.8 percent.

“They’re an amazing team,” said Mavs rookie center Dereck Lively II, who finished with 15 points and two steals. “I think one-through-nine can shoot threes.

“Being able to go against a team like that is hard. We tried to limit the amount of threes they had. We were trying to make their threes as hard as possible.”

Former Mavs center Kristaps Porzingis got things going on the right path for the Celtics by scoring 13 of his 24 points in the first quarter, including four three-pointers. He finished the night 8-of-14 from the field, including 4-of-8 from downtown.

“He can shoot the three, he can put the ball on the floor (and) he gets to the free throw line,” Kidd said. “Defensively, he can change or block shots, and he also can rebound.

“And he plays with another big. It’s a great pickup and he’s had an incredible season for them.”

Jayson Tatum also has had an incredible season for the Celtics. Tatum came into Friday’s game seventh in the league in scoring at 27 points per contest but only had a pair of free throws in the first quarter.

From there, Tatum got cooking and wound up scoring 30 of his 32 points over the final three quarters. And with Jaylen Brown adding 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, the Celtics settled into a groove and the Mavs were unable to capitalize on the opportunities that were presented to them.

“They’re a very good team,” Kidd said. “At the half, they had made 10 threes. I thought we did a little bit better there in the third quarter. But if you don’t take advantage of a couple of possessions, they can hurt you, and that’s what they did there in the fourth.

“It wasn’t the game that we wanted, but we learned a lot about ourselves. We have some things we have to correct, but it’s going in the right direction.

We’re closer than we think from the scores, but again, if they make a mistake you got to take advantage of it and we just didn’t do that tonight.”

Luka Dončić continued to display his brilliance as he collected his second straight triple-double, the 12th of the season and the 68th of his illustrious career. Dončić finished with 37 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists and was 14-of-25 from the field.

Kyrie Irving scored 19 points for the Mavs and was only 9-of-23 from the field. And the Mavs got help from Washington (17 points, seven rebounds) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (10 points, five boards).

But it wasn’t enough as the Celtics brought way too much heat to the table for the Mavs to overcome.

“I think we played very good basketball for three quarters,” Dončić said. “They made 21 threes.”

And those threes were back-breakers, particularly when the Mavs played solid defense only to see a Celtic shake free and drain a wide-open shot from downtown.

“You can’t have empty possessions against them, and then you can’t have breakdowns defensively against them or they’re going to make you pay for it from the three-point line, and that’s what they did,” Kidd said. “It’s a two-point game and they kind of walked away from us with our mistakes on both ends.

Box Score Nuggets

All five Celtics starters logged between 11 and 32 points, led by Jayson Tatum’s 32.
Derrick White led the Celtics with eight assists, while Jrue Holiday was right behind him with seven.
Luka Doncic logged a triple-double of 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
White was a game-best plus-21 in the plus/minus category.
White and Al Horford, each of whom blocked two shots, were the only players in the game to block more than one shot.
Horford led all reserves with 12 points, while also adding in those two blocks, eight rebounds, and three assists.
Each team scored at least 60 points in the paint, with Boston notching 62, and Dallas totaling 60.
Boston totaled 33 assists compared to Dallas’ 20.
Kyrie Irving attempted four more shots (23) than he scored points (19).
Each team committed single-digit turnovers: eight by Dallas, and nine by Boston.
Kristaps Porzingis notched 24 points, six rebounds, two assists, and a blocked shot in less than 30 minutes of playing time.
The Celtics scored at least 36 points during three of the four quarters.
Payton Pritchard scored 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting.
Newcomer Xavier Tillman was a plus-13 in just 15 minutes of action.

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