Kemba’s 8 Three’s Buries Mavs

The Dallas Mavericks (6-4) lost their first road game of the 2019-20 NBA season Monday night to the Boston Celtics (8-1), 116-106.

Luka Doncic had 34 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds in another sensational performance. But it was the Celtics three-point shooting, specifically Kemba Walker’s 8-14 from beyond the arc, that ultimately did the Mavs in. Boston shot 42.9 percent on three-point attempts as a team, compared to 26.2 percent from Dallas.

The Celtics got off to a hot start, scoring the game’s first eight points, before Kristaps Porzingis got the Mavs on the scoreboard with a free throw, following a defensive three-second violation against the Celtics.

The Mavs were able recover after trailing by 10 early, and Boston led by four after the first quarter, 25-21. Doncic led all scorers with 10 points after the first 12 minutes of play.

The Celtics quickly pushed the lead back up to eight early in the second quarter. The Mavs were unable to close the gap for much of the quarter and trailed by 10 after a Marcus Smart three with just over 3:00 remaining in the half.

Back-to-back dunks by Dwight Powell and a three-pointer by Dorian Finney-Smith cut the lead to 3 with 1:27 to go. A Finney-Smith dunk in the final seconds tied the game at 54 heading into the locker room.

The Mavs took their first lead of the game on a three-pointer by Finney-Smith 45 seconds into the second half. Boston immediately tied the game on a three by Marcus Smart on the ensuing possession. (The Finney-Smith three was overturned after the replay center deemed the ball was still in his hands as the shot clock expired.)

After Boston quickly regained the lead, Porzingis hit his first of the game to put the Mavs back on top. Jayson Tatum’s first basket of the game, followed by a Jaylen Brown alley-oop, gave Boston a 12 point lead, 69-57, with 7:42 left the third quarter.

Doncic took it upon himself to get his team back in the game, scoring 12 points in the next four minutes, cutting the deficit to 5, 76-71. That’s where the deficit stayed heading into the fourth, with Boston up 84-79.

The Mavs were able to tie the game at 86 with 7:50 remaining after a Dwight Powell dunk. A Tim Hardaway Jr. layup following a timeout gave Dallas its first official lead of the game. Brown immediately answered for Boston.

Boston regained the lead on Kemba Walker’s six three of the night. His seventh and eighth three-pointers pushed the lead to seven with 4:11 remaining in the game. The Mavs were unable to recover from the barrage of three’s from Walker and went on to lose by 10, 116-106.

The Mavs will now travel to New York to take on the 2-8 Knicks Thursday night at Madison Square Garden. The game will be shown on TNT as Kristaps Porzingis plays his first game against his former team since being traded in January.

 

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