Game 46 Recap: Mavs vs Celtics

Image Credit: @MavsPr Twitter

On Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden in the final game of the month of March. The Mavericks look to generate some momentum as we head into the Month of April, where the primary focus will be seeding in the western conference standings.

On Monday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Oklahoma City Thunder, looking to snap their mini two game losing streak. The Mavericks started this game by having both superstars of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis back in action. The Thunder would remain competitive in the first half, with the Mavericks leading 71-63 at halftime. The Mavericks would turn on their afterburners in the second half to finish the Thunder and claim a 127-106 victory. The Mavericks never trailed in the game as they had Luka Doncic post 25 points while Kristaps Porzingis finished with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field. With the win, the Mavericks record improved to 24-21 on the season, as they are currently the seventh seed in the western conference. The Mavericks are currently 8-5 in the month of March, which is tied with February in the most wins they had in a month this season. So far in the calendar year of 2021, the Mavericks have been 7-9 in January, 8-4 in February and 8-5 in March for a combined record of 23-18 in 2021. The Mavericks were able to gain some ground in the western conference as before this, they were dealing with facing a lottery pick in the NBA Draft (that would go to the New York Knicks, as part of the Kristaps Porzingis trade). The Mavericks still have a lot of work to do, if they want to acquire a good seed in the western conference for the playoffs.

The Boston Celtics are coming into this game by going 4-6 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 115-109 loss against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday to see their record drop to 23-24 on the season. The Celtics are coming into this season with big hopes of trying to make the playoffs and do some major damage in the playoffs. The Celtics are currently seventh in the eastern conference with a record below .500 on the season. Get this, if the Celtics were in the western conference, they would be the tenth seed, instead they’re in the eastern conference and are the seventh seed. The Mavericks would be the FOURTH SEED if they were in the eastern conference, instead they’re the seventh seed in the western conference. This Celtics team is led by Jayson Tatum as they look to sneak up in the eastern conference standings. The Celtics would need to play good basketball and get some good quality wins if they want stay in the playoff chase.

Coming into this game, the Mavericks won their last meeting with the Celtics 110-107 on February 23rd, 2021. The Mavericks are seeking to clinch and sweep the regular season series against the Celtics with a win in this matchup. The Mavericks previously were swept on their regular season series last season 2-0 by the Celtics. Overall, the Celtics hold the all-time series with a record of 42-37.

The Mavericks started this game by still having Willie Cauley-Stein and Tyrell Terry out. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Richardson, Kleber, Finney-Smith and Porzingis as their starting five in this game. The first points in the game would belong to Kristaps Porzingis as he nailed a two pointer for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The Celtics wouldn’t get their first points until the 10:49 mark as Kemba Walker knocked down a layup to tie the game at 2-2. The Mavericks would proceed to go on a 7-2 run after Dorian Finney-Smith drilled a three pointer to take a 7-2 lead with 10:01 left in the quarter. The Mavericks got off to a good start as they were able to execute their offense by getting some good quality shots. The Celtics would call a timeout with 7:34 left in the quarter as the Mavericks were holding a 11-5 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks got a good start by making five of their first ten attempts taken thus far, while the Celtics had trouble finding their “four leaf clover” as they only made two of their first ten attempts taken thus far. The Celtics had trouble shooting the ball as there appeared to be a lid on the rim, it seems like it. Coming out of the timeout, the Celtics turned to Jaylen Brown as he was able to convert on a “tip-in” shot to come within 11-7 of the Mavericks with 7:22 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead to seven points as Luka Doncic drilled a wide open three pointer to take a 14-7 lead with 6:20 left in the quarter. The Celtics were able to cut their deficit to three points after going on a 4-0 run after Jaylen Brown nailed a layup to come within 14-11 of the Mavericks with 5:21 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 4:41 left in the quarter after the Celtics were threatening to erase the Mavericks lead as the score was 17-14. Prior to this timeout, the Celtics got some “luck” as they were able to generate a 7-3 run to stay within range of the Mavericks. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer that kept the score at 17-14 with 4:25 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to extend their lead back to 8 points after Kristaps Porzingis nailed 2 free-throws to take a 24-16 lead with 2:56 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain onto their lead to take a 30-25 lead into the second quarter. The game leading scorer after one quarter of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 11 points for the Mavericks. The Celtics were led by Jaylen Brown as he scored 9 points. The Mavericks were feeling “lucky” as they had all the “luck” on their side by finishing strong on offense. The Mavericks ended the first quarter by shooting 50% on 11-of-22 shooting from the field.

The second quarter would begin by having Trey Burke nail a three pointer for the Mavericks to get this quarter underway. The Celtics wouldn’t get their first points in the quarter until the 10:09 mark as Jayson Tatum nailed two free-throws to come within 33-27 of the Mavericks. This was a very slow start to begin the quarter for both teams as neither of them could get a shot to go down until Jayson Tatum drilled a three pointer to make it a three point game with 9:44 left in the quarter to come within 33-30 of the Mavericks. Even as bad as the Celtics were shooting in the game, they were still within range of the Mavericks by letting the Mavericks go cold on offense. The Celtics would call a timeout with 8:01 left in the quarter after seeing their deficit increase to 41-32. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were able to generate some offense to create a 8-2 run to keep control of the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Celtics turned to Marcus Smart but couldn’t convert as he missed a three pointer by air-balling the shot that kept the score at 41-32 with 7:51 left in the quarter. I would say, that wasn’t a “Smart” shot or possession for the Celtics and would think that wasn’t the play they drew up up during the timeout. The Mavericks would extend their lead to eleven points after Jalen Brunson nailed a jump shot to take a 45-34 lead with 6:34 left in the quarter. Marcus Smart would be “cooked” as Luka Doncic put the moves on him to freeze him on a step-back three pointer that would extend their lead to 50-37 with 3:48 left in the quarter. The Mavericks went on a three point shooting spree as they drilled three consecutive three pointers that forced the Celtics to call a timeout with 2:55 left in the quarter as the Mavericks built a 56-37 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks offense exploded as they started to breakaway from the Celtics by getting shots to fall down while the Celtics looked like they had someone “walk under a ladder” as the bad luck started to generate by them missing a lot of shots on offense. Coming out of the timeout, the Celtics turned to Marcus Smart as he generated two free-throws to come within 56-39 of the Mavericks with 2:51 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to take a 64-45 lead into halftime. The game leading scorer after two quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 24 points for the Mavericks. The Celtics were led by Jaylen Brown as he scored 12 points. The Mavericks offense were in sync and in rhythm in the quarter as they out-scored the Celtics 34-20 in the quarter. The Mavericks finished the first half by shooting 52.3% on 23-of-44 shooting from the field.

Coming out of the half, the Mavericks were able to get on the board first in the third quarter by having Kristaps Porzingis nail a jump shot to extend their lead to 66-45. Jayson Tatum was able to score the first points in the quarter for the Celtics as he nailed two free-throws with 10:44 left in the quarter to come within 66-47 of the Mavericks. With so many fouls taking place thus extending the quarter much long longer with the time stopped, the Mavericks were able to extend their lead to 20 points after Maxi Kleber knocked down two free-throws to take a 69-49 lead with 9:13 left in the quarter. The Celtics were still having problems with their offense as they kept coming out empty thus allowing the Mavericks to remain in control of the game. The Celtics would call a timeout with 7:51 left in the quarter after the Mavericks were destroying the Celtics defense by taking a commanding 74-51 lead. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks began the quarter with their “lucky charms” as they made three of their first five attempts taken while the Celtics were absolutely cold by only making one of their first five attempts taken thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Celtics turned to Kemba Walker as he was able to convert on a three pointer to come within 74-54 of the Mavericks with 7:39 left in the quarter. The Celtics offense finally woke up as they were able to generate a 8-0 run to come within 74-59 of the Mavericks that forced Rick Carlisle to take a timeout with 6:32 left in the quarter. Prior to this timeout, the Celtics offense started to click as they finally were able to get some shots to fall down while the Mavericks had a couple of bad possessions on offense. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was able to generate free-throws by being fouled, which he nailed one to extend their lead to 75-59 with 6:19 left in the quarter. The Celtics would call a timeout with 5:11 left in the quarter to use their “Coach’s Challenge” as they would “challenge” a foul call on Moritz Wagner that would send Kristaps Porzingis to the free-throw line. After the review, the Officials ruled that it was a foul thus resulting in a unsuccessful challenge by the Celtics which Kristaps Porzingis used to drain one free-throw to extend their lead to 76-61. The Mavericks would extend their lead back to 20 points after Kristaps Porzingis drilled a three pointer to take a 81-61 lead with 4:04 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks still were able to maintain onto their lead as they would take a 90-73 lead into the fourth quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to Luka Doncic as he scored 31 points for the Mavericks. The Celtics were led by Jaylen Brown as he scored 21 points. The Mavericks were able to maintain control of the game by limiting the Celtics to go on a serious scoring run. Through three quarters of play, the Mavericks were shooting 51.7% on 31-of-60 shooting from the field. The Mavericks were 12:00 minutes of playing good defense while taking good shots on offense from leaving out with a victory.

The fourth quarter would begin by having Marcus Smart nail a layup for the Celtics to get this quarter underway. The Mavericks weren’t able to get their first points in the quarter until the 11:02 mark by having Maxi Kleber nail a slam dunk to extend their lead to 92-77. The Celtics would need to generate a serious scoring run while limiting the Mavericks’ offense to have any sort of chance at erasing this Mavericks lead. Marcus Smart would drill a three pointer pointer to come within 96-84 of the Mavericks with 9:49 left in the game. The Celtics were inching closer and closer to Mavericks by getting some shots to fall, while the Mavericks offense started to collapse that forced Rick Carlisle to call a timeout with 9:13 left in the game with the lead shrinking to 96-86. Prior to this timeout, the Celtics offense started to roll as they were able to generate a 11-6 run to make things interesting for the reminder of the game. The Mavericks would need to get something going on offense if they want to put this game away. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr as he was able to convert on a “finger-roll” layup to snap their scoring drought while also extending their lead to 98-87 with 8:52 left in the game. All of a sudden the Mavericks lead was cut to eight points after Payton Pritchard drilled a three pointer to come within 98-90 of the Mavericks with 7:16 left in the game. The Mavericks needed a break and hope to get something to go down and they would as Dorian Finney-Smith knocked down a three pointer to extend their lead to 101-91 with 6:30 left in the game. The Celtics were able to cut their deficit back to single digits after Jayson Tatum nailed a jump shot to come within 101-93 with 5:11 left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 4:21 left in the game and it was a good time to call one as the Mavericks couldn’t get anything to fall on offense and they were so “Lucky” to hold a 101-93 lead with the Celtics having multiple opportunities to steal the momentum from the Mavericks but couldn’t knock anything down. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned the ball over as Dorian Finney-Smith committed an offensive foul that kept the score at 101-93 with 4:10 left in the game. The Celtics made it a six point game after Jayson Tatum picked Luka Doncic as he stole the ball from him for an easy breakaway slam dunk to come within 101-95 of the Mavericks with 3:46 left in the game. With the Mavericks desperately in need of a basket, they turned to Luka Doncic as he knocked down a 31-foot three pointer to give the Mavericks some “MAGIC” as they were able to extend their lead to 104-95 with 2:53 left in the game. Kemba Walker would foul Luka Doncic on a three point attempt with 56 seconds left in the game as that might be the play that would seal the deal for the Mavericks. Luka Doncic would knock 2-of-3 free-throws that extended their lead to 106-98 as he gave the Mavericks some breathing room to feel a little bit more comfortable about leaving with a victory. The Celtics turned to Kemba Walker as he nailed a layup to come within 106-100 of the Mavericks with 51.4 seconds left in the game. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 31.1 seconds left in the game as the Mavericks lead was 108-102 after Jayson Tatum made a two pointer for the Celtics. The Mavericks just need a basket to effectively put this game to bed. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Maxi Kleber as the Celtics had no choice but to foul with 30.9 seconds left in the game. Maxi Kleber would knock down both free-throws to extend their lead to 109-102. AN ABSOLUTE DISASTER WOULD HAPPEN FOR THE MAVERICKS AS THE CELTICS WENT ON A QUICK 5-0 RUN TO COME WITHIN 109-107 OF THE MAVERICKS WITH RICK CARLISLE CALLING A TIMEOUT WITH 16.4 SECONDS LEFT IN THE GAME. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Jalen Brunson as he was fouled by the Celtics with 11.3 seconds left in the game which he would knock both free-throws to extend their lead to 111-107. The Celtics would then use their last timeout after the free-throws with 11.3 seconds left and down by four points. Coming out of the timeout, the Celtics turned to Kemba Walker but couldn’t convert on a three pointer but Marcus Smart was there to draw a foul to go to the free-throw line with 5.4 seconds left with the Mavericks leading 111-107. Marcus Smart would knock his first free-throw and intentionally tried to miss the second but the Celtics committed a line violation that resulted in the Mavericks leading 111-108 with 5.4 seconds left in the game. The Celtics would foul Jalen Brunson where he putting the final nail by drilling both free-throws with 4.8 seconds left in game that gave the Mavericks a 113-108 lead.

This team looked ready to play as they came out firing on all cylinders by getting their offense to click. The Celtics looked they didn’t want to be in the area as the Mavericks capitalized on their effort by taking a 64-45 lead at halftime. The Celtics did all they could to remain competitive in the game unfortunately, they would have trouble get their shots to fall down in the final minutes.

In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Boston Celtics 113-108 in a game that shouldn’t have been close. The Mavericks record would improve to 25-21 on the season. Luka Doncic finished the game with 36 points and 8 rebounds in the close win. The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum as he finished with 25 points and 9 rebounds. The Mavericks also got production from Jalen Brunson as he scored 21 points off the bench on 8-of-10 shooting from the field. Kristaps Porzingis gave the Mavericks a solid 19 points that was just enough for the win. With the win, the Mavericks developed a winning streak of two games and ended the month of March on a good note.

The Mavericks will say goodbye to the month of March and welcome the month of April by visiting New York to play the New York Knicks on Friday in the second-to-last road game of this five game road trip.

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