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NBA Game Summary - Boston at Dallas

(Thursday, February 12th)

Final Score: Boston 99, Dallas 92

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce outscored the Mavericks in the final period, pouring in 18 of his 31 points down the stretch as Boston rallied to claim a 99-92 victory over Dallas in each team's final game before the All- Star break.

Boston outscored Dallas, 30-17, in the final 12 minutes, led by plenty of daggers from Pierce. His two biggest came in the closing minute-plus, with a fall-away giving the Celtics a 93-91 edge with 1:12 on the clock and another tough mid-range bucket pushing the lead to four with 38.5 ticks to play.

Dirk Nowitzki, who tallied a game-best 37 points to go along with eight rebounds, made 1-of-2 foul shots on the other end. But Ray Allen -- who played despite hyperextending his thumb Wednesday against New Orleans -- made two from the charity stripe and Jason Kidd's badly missed trey moments later seal the win for Boston.

"You could say we lost focus, you could say they got hot, which they did, Paul (Pierce) did and there's a lot of things that you can point the finger at but the effort the last two or three weeks has been great with this team," said Mavs forward Josh Howard.

Rajon Rondo allowed Boston to hang on in the early going, registering his second career triple-double. He finished with 19 points to go along with 14 assists and a team-best 15 rebounds, and achieved the feat with 53.2 seconds still left in the third quarter.

"Fabulous," Pierce said of Rondo's play. "He did everything tonight. He ran the team, played great defense, his rebounding, he had 43 minutes, so he played a complete game. That was huge for us."

Kevin Garnett added 16 points and five rebounds and Allen had 20 points. Boston heads to the All-Star break with the most victories in the league as part of a 44-11 record. The Celtics have won two straight and three of four.

The Celtics have won four straight over the Mavericks.

Howard added 17 points for Dallas but fouled out with 3:47 to play. Antoine Wright had 10 points and Kidd dished out 10 assists, but scored only three points on 1-of-8 shooting.

The Mavericks (31-21) are still in the mix out West heading to All-Star weekend. Dallas had started a four-game homestand 2-0 before Thursday's setback.

Pierce's three-point play with 5:37 to play gave Boston its first lead of the game at 85-84. The lead grew to three before Nowitzki's triple tied the game, 89-89, with 1:58 on the clock.

Boston's go-to guy Pierce and Nowitzki exchanged two free throws before Pierce hit the two clutch, and difficult, jumpers in the closing moments.

Dallas had complete control of the first half, holding a 21-17 lead after one period and a 51-40 lead after 24 minutes of game action.

Game Notes

Boston shot 48.6 percent from the floor, while Dallas made 39.5 percent of its shots...The Celtics did commit 21 turnovers compared to eight for Dallas...Attendance 20,285.

02/13 02:37:25 ET

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