The Dallas Mavericks downed the Boston Celtics 102-91 Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 20 points in the contest, but he did not key Dallas’ most important spurt of the game. Instead, it was the unusual suspects.
Who was it that led the Mavericks to a 13-3 run early in the third? Bet you wouldn’t think of Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Shawn Marion and Monta Ellis. Those four players, with the help of two free throws from Nowitzki, put Dallas on top 60-43 midway through the quarter.
Dalembert led the way for Dallas during the run with four points off of two layups. Calderon added in a 3-pointer, Marion made a layup and Ellis rounded out the run with two free throws of his own.
The run was a great example of what great balance can do for an offense. Unselfish play gave Dallas a commanding lead it never relinquished.
“Within an action, if we took away an option, they found the next one and that guy produced. Then you take that away, the next guy produced,” Brad Stevens said of Dallas’ balance. “It was really good offense on their part.”
The Mavericks continued to share the ball throughout the remainder of the game and eventually pulled ahead by as many as 24 points. Boston sliced its deficit down to nine points late in the fourth quarter but that’s as close as it ever got.
Key Box Score Line
As discussed in the Key Moment section, Dallas won this game with balance. That balance allowed Rajon Rondo to rack up the night’s most impressive box score of the night.
Rondo flirted with a triple-double for the third consecutive game as he scored 15 points, dished out 12 assists and grabbed eight rebounds. He also grabbed a steal while playing a season-high 37 minutes.
While Rondo led the game in helpers, the most impressive part of his night had to be his shooting performance. He made six of his 12 field goal attempts and three of his six 3-pointers. His shooting display at one point prompted a fan to yell out a rare comment: “Shoot more, Rondo! Shoot more!”
Rondo continues to dazzle as he closes out his first month of play since returning from last February’s ACL reconstruction surgery. He no longer has a minutes restriction, according to Brad Stevens, and that certainly is a good thing for Boston considering how well the point guard is playing.
Box Score Nuggets
- Boston's largest lead was just three points.
- Both teams scored at least 30 points in the fourth quarter.
- Chris Johnson was a perfect 4-of-4 from downtown, making all four of his 3-point attempts in the fourth quarter.
- Dallas had six players score in double-figures, led by a game-high 20 points from Dirk Nowitzki.
- Jared Sullinger notched his fifth straight double-double with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
- Boston shot just 35.9 percent in the game.
- Rajon Rondo pushed for a triple-double with 15 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.
- Both teams shot at least 40 percent from 3-point range and at least 90 percent from the free-throw line.
- Boston scored more points in the fourth quarter (35) than it did in the first and third quarters combined (34).
- Jeff Green grabbed a game-high three steals and also scored 18 points.
- Samuel Dalembert (11 rebounds) and Shawn Marion (10 rebounds) each notched double-digit rebounding games for Dallas.
- The Mavericks committed just 10 turnovers and the Celtics committed just 11 turnovers.
Quote of the Night
Time limit is off. He's not playing in the back-to-back [tomorrow]. He probably will be cleared to play in back-to-backs again very soon. Brad Stevens on Rajon Rondo's playing timeMore quotes >>