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NBA Game Summary - Dallas at Boston

(Monday, January 18th)

Final Score: Dallas 99, Boston 90

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 of his 37 points in the second half, powering Dallas to a 99-90 win over the Boston Celtics in a battle of division leaders.

Shawn Marion ended with 16 points, while Jason Kidd contributed 13 points and 17 assists for the Mavericks, who were coming off a 22-point loss at Toronto on Sunday. The Southwest Division leaders also broke a four-game skid against the Celtics.

Nowitzki went 14-of-22 from the field and also had seven rebounds as the Mavs used a big second half to take the victory. Dallas shot 24-of-36 from the field over the final 24 minutes, while outscoring Boston, 58-40.

"I think with this team it starts defensively," Nowitzki said. "We did a great job in the second half. We just gave up 40 points, forced some shots, stuck with their shooters, and our offense finally came to us, but it always starts on the defensive end for us, and that's what won us the game."

Paul Pierce netted 24 points for the Atlantic Division-leading Celtics, who lost their second in a row, both at home. They were beaten, 96-83 by Chicago on Thursday. Ray Allen scored 21, while Kendrick Perkins chipped in 14 points and 12 boards in defeat.

Rajon Rondo was limited to seven points, but had a 12 assists for Boston. Rasheed Wallace scored 11 for the Celtics, who allowed the Mavs to shoot 57.4 percent from the field.

It was Boston's seventh home loss (11-7) this season after having just six in the 2008-09 campaign.

Pierce's bank shot three-pointer widened Boston's lead to 53-41 in the opening moments of the third quarter, but Dallas rallied and tied the game at 65 following a Nowitzki jumper with 2:49 left.

Dallas scored the final 10 of the third, grabbing a 75-68 lead. Shawn Marion capped the run with a jam.

"The third quarter we came out and we didn't have great energy, we didn't do the things we did in the first two quarters that gave us the lead we had at that point," Allen said. "We've got to put together 48 minutes if we want to be good and successful for a longer period of time."

Back-to-back three-pointers from Kidd and Jason Terry highlighted a big 14-0 Dallas run in the fourth as the visitors pushed the lead to 93-75 with under seven minutes remaining. Boston only got as close as the final score.

The Celtics held a 25-20 edge after the first quarter and continued to play front-runner in the second, widening to a double-digit lead before settling for a 50-41 cushion at the break.

Game Notes

This was the second contest of a five-game road trip for Dallas with upcoming encounters against Washington, Philadelphia and New York...The Celtics play on the road against Detroit Wednesday...Perkins took an elbow in the second quarter below the right eye and needed two stitches, but returned...Dallas has won eight of its last 11 in Boston...Erick Dampier scored 11 and Drew Gooden 10 for Dallas.

01/18 23:58:50 ET

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