Jared Sullinger’s 6 first quarter points kept the Celtics in things early tonight. For the first time I can remember this season, the C’s actually had a size advantage down low, and Sullinger looked to take advantage of it off the bench. Dirk Nowitzki got it going early as well, and his 6 points helped Dallas get out to a 26-22 lead after one quarter. Early on, it appeared Dirk was content to camp out near the three-point line all evening.
The Celtics’ second unit kept them in the game through the first two quarters of play. They put up 24 of Boston’s 43 first half points. The starters were a combined 7 of 26 and just could not find the bottom of the net early on. This would be a recurring theme. Pressey was impressive (no pun intended) in the 2nd quarter, putting in 6 points (both treys) and notching 2 assists in 9 + minutes. The Mavericks continued going to Dirk & Carter, and Brandan Wright & Dalembert started to find some buckets in the paint. At the half it was 50-43 Mavericks.
No thanks to the starters, who through three quarters were 9 of 39 from the field, Boston whittled down a 15-point deficit in the third. After a Shawn Marion bank shot made it 64-49 with 4:19 left in the quarter, Kelly Olynk came in and Boston went on a nice little run. Olynyk had 5 points, 4 rebounds, a great three-point play and one very nice charge taken on Dirk in about a 4 minute period. His energy and Boston’s defense (just 14 points for DAL in the quarter) helped them cut Dallas’ lead to just 3 points after three quarters. It was 64-61 Mavs heading into the 4th.
It was clear early in the final quarter that the C’s were just flat out tired. Play got sloppy, they had three turnovers in the first 5+ minutes and Dallas took advantage. Behind Devin Harris, the Mavs pushed the tempo and were aggressive on offense. They opened up a 76-66 lead with 7:33 left in the game. But as we’ve seen from this squad lately, they would not go down without a fight. A flurry of Jerryd Bayless threes and an Avery Bradley steal had Boston with yet another chance for late game heroics. But Bayless missed a runner and was blocked on a putback attempt with 7 seonds left and the Mavs escaped with a 94-89 win. Dirk led Dallas with 19 points and Monta Ellis had 17.
Give this team a lot of credit. Despite the starters stinking up the joint for most of the night, these guys scrapped, fought and clawed their way back into this game. After last night’s kick in the nuts and no Rajon, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Dallas blew us out in this one. Boston now heads back home losers of their last 5 and next plays the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Tip-off at the Garden is at 7:30pm.
- Another great night for Humphries. 14 rebounds in 23 minutes. Hope he sticks around next year
- Jerryd Bayless had 19 points, 12 of them in the 4th which almost helped Boston win the game in the final seconds
- Kelly Olynyk looked fantastic at times. The kid known as “Klynyk” put in 16 pts to go w/9 boards in 27 mins.
- Sully was solid with numbers of 13 & 9 and kept Dallas from blowing things open early on
- Jeff Green followed up his big game in NOLA with 6 turnovers and 2 of 12 shooting
- Despite his 3 steals, AB makes this section due to his 5 of 14 shooting
- The Celts starters shot 17 of 55 from the field
The Greenlights: Loyal readers Curt & Chris in Dallas tonight repping the C’s.
The Grid: (quick stats)
- Boston out rebounded Dallas 57-36
- Celtics are now 0-15 vs the Western Conference on the road for the first time in franchise history
Olynyk's impact pic.twitter.com/ZZPQ1KLIpD
— John Karalis (@RedsArmy_John) March 18, 2014