NBA Game Summary - Boston at Dallas
(Saturday, December 10th)
Final Score: Dallas 103, Boston 94
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and Devin Harris chipped in 19 as Dallas downed Boston 103-94 at American Airlines Center.
Marquis Daniels added 15 points while Adrian Griffin compiled 11 points and 10 rebounds to help the Mavericks post their fifth consecutive victory.
Paul Pierce poured in a game-high 28 points and Al Jefferson had 21 along with 12 rebounds for the Celtics, who had a fourth-quarter comeback effort fall short and suffered their third defeat in four games.
Boston, which has lost in its last six visits to Dallas, also received 20 points from Ricky Davis.
Dallas saw a 17-point third-quarter lead dwindle to one after Jefferson converted a layup with 4:41 remaining to make the score 88-87. However, the Celtics failed to score over the next four minutes as the Mavericks held on.
Nowitzki buried a clutch jumper with 3:13 to play to put Dallas up 93-87 with 3:13 to go. As Boston continued to miss shots, the Mavericks tacked on three more points via free throws to build a nine-point cushion in the final minute.
"I think we had a lot of good looks," said Pierce. "A lot of good things you can take from this game. I just hope as a young team these guys realize that and we can learn from this. Hopefully later in the season, these are games we can be pulling out."
Pierce ended the Boston drought with a three-pointer with 42 seconds to go, but Dallas preserved the decision by hitting 7-of-8 foul shots down the stretch.
"It was a game of waves tonight," remarked Mavericks head coach Avery Johnson. "We had them under control and had a big lead, then they went on a 7-0 run. We had a 17-point lead in the third quarter and they got it down to one. It just shows you that we have a lot to work on. We haven't arrived yet."
Keith Van Horn ended a tightly-contested first quarter with a three-pointer to give the Mavericks a 28-23 lead after the opening 12 minutes.
After Boston's Dan Dickau hit a basket beyond the arc to make it a two-point game, a Terry triple highlighted a 7-0 run that put Dallas up by nine early in the second quarter. The margin grew to 11 at 39-28 after Erick Dampier's layup with 7:30 left in the half.
A three-point play from Pierce capped a 7-0 Boston flurry that pulled the visitors within 44-41 with three minutes remaining before intermission. He would lead all players with 16 first-half points, but the Celtics would enter the break down 52-47.
Dallas would catch fire to start the third quarter, as the Mavericks outscored Boston 12-1 over the first four minutes. Daniels netted five points during the run, which ended with Griffin's putback that gave the hosts a comfortable 64-48 advantage.
The Mavericks led 71-54 with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the third quarter before Boston began to close the gap. Jefferson had six points during a 13-2 burst that cut the deficit to 73-67 in the final minute of the period.
Dallas was ahead 88-80 with six minutes remaining, but a Davis three-pointer and Pierce's jumper preceded Jefferson's basket that made it a one-point game.
Jason Terry, who missed Dallas' previous two games with a sore hamstring, returned to action and had 12 points in 22 minutes...Harris ended 13-of-17 from the free throw line and the Mavericks made 33-of-43 shots from the stripe, compared to just 8-of-14 for Boston...The Celtics wrapped up a five- game road swing and went 2-3 on the trip...Dallas has won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the teams, including the last four.
12/11 01:31:23 ET