NBA Game Summary - Boston at Dallas
(Saturday, March 20th)
Final Score: Boston 102, Dallas 93
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce scored 29 points and the Celtics shot over 70 percent in the final quarter, on the way to a 102-93 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Rajon Rondo netted half of his 20 points in the last quarter and ended with 10 rebounds and five assists, as Boston won its fourth in a row and moved a half- game ahead of Atlanta for the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Conference. Ray Allen had 21 points in the win.
"I thought Rondo was sensational as well in the pick-and-roll package down the stretch," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "More importantly I was just happy with our defense. We got stops, and then we made baskets down the stretch."
Dirk Nowitzki tallied 28 points for the Mavericks, who are seeded third in the West. Jason Terry totaled 18 points and Shawn Marion 16 for Dallas, which led by as many as seven in the fourth quarter, but faltered down the stretch.
"With the exception of the period in the fourth, we were playing from behind for most of the night," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "That made it tough. We got a seven-point lead. You've got to be able to get some stops. We didn't get stops. That was our undoing."
J.J. Barea made a three-pointer for an 82-75 Dallas lead, but the Celtics thrived in the final period thanks to a 12-of-17 performance from the field. That included a 5-of-5 effort from Rondo.
Kevin Garnett's jumper tied the game at 86 with 5:20 remaining and the Celtics moved ahead thanks to a Pierce layup before Terry tied it again with a jumper.
Rondo then came up with a steal and a layup. He added another bucket from in close for a 92-88 cushion and the Celtics were ahead the rest of the way.
Caron Butler's two free throws pulled Dallas within 94-93, but Pierce sank a big three-pointer from the top of the arc. Pierce then stole the ball from Nowitzki and passed ahead to Rondo for the game-sealing layup with 1:18 left, extending the difference to six points.
Pierce had a third of Boston's 30 points in the opening quarter and the visitors claimed a six-point edge after 12 minutes. A three-pointer from Eduardo Najera with 64 seconds left in the half close Dallas' deficit to 48-47 at the break.
The Mavs trailed by as many as nine in the third, but rallied and tied the game at 67 on Jason Kidd's layup with 2:28 left. Boston led 73-72 going to the fourth.
Dallas won the other meeting this season, 99-90 at Boston on January 18...This was Boston's third straight win in Dallas...Kendrick Perkins scored 11 for Boston, while Garnett ended with eight points, nine rebounds and a season-high five steals...Terry made his 1,499th career three-pointer.
03/21 00:27:46 ET