NBA: Celtics overcome Mavericks

NBA: Celtics overcome Mavericks

/ 02:38 PM January 23, 2024

NBA Scores, News, Schedules

Jayson Tatum Celtics vs Mavericks NBA

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum reacts to scoring a three pointer during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks in Dallas, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

DALLAS (AP) — Jayson Tatum was coming off a subpar showing, and his Boston Celtics were finishing a back-to-back for the first time since the most lopsided loss of the season for the team with the NBA’s best record.

How about a double dose of redemption?

Tatum had 38 points and 11 rebounds, Jaylen Brown scored 35 and the Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks 119-110 on Monday night.

The Celtics were never in much trouble because their All-Star pair was more efficient on the second night of a back-to-back than the Dallas duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving after four days off.

Tatum and Brown combined to go 24 of 43 from the field while Doncic and Irving were 21 of 50. Doncic didn’t hit his first 3-pointer until the fourth quarter and finished 2 of 8 from beyond the arc.

Doncic had a triple-double but needed 30 shots for 33 points with 18 rebounds and 13 assists. Irving scored 23 coming off an unexpected break when a game at Golden State was postponed following the death of Warriors assistant Dejan Milojević from a heart attack.

Tatum was 11 of 21 from the field and 15 of 19 on free throws with two blocks and three steals, a night after a 4-of-17 showing in a 116-107 win at Houston.

The last time they played on a second consecutive night, the Celtics lost by 33 at Milwaukee.


“That’s the beauty of being in the NBA,” Tatum said. “There’s always a game the next day or the day after that, and you get a chance to redeem yourself.”

Jrue Holiday scored 17 points as Boston finished 8-3 in a stretch of 11 games in 18 days. The Celtics now get two days off.

“I just told our guys in the locker room, there’s only one time where I saw the schedule catch up to us,” coach Joe Mazzulla said without referring specifically to the Milwaukee loss. “I forgot it was a back-to-back just watching our guys compete. I couldn’t tell. It’s a credit to them.”

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 20 points for Dallas.

Kristaps Porzingis was out with right knee inflammation, a night after leading the Celtics with 32 points in the victory over the Rockets. The absence means the 7-foot-2 Latvian will go more than two years, at least, without playing in Dallas after the Mavs traded him to Washington in a 2022 blockbuster.

Grant Williams faced the Celtics for the first time since an offseason trade from the team that drafted him in the first round in 2019.

Tatum treated his former teammate rudely at the halftime buzzer when he swatted an attempted 3 from Williams into the stands along the sideline. Williams scored just two points in 18 minutes.

The Mavericks were within seven with five minutes remaining after Doncic’s second 3, but Brown answered soon after when he was bumped by Hardaway as he swished a 3. The free throw put Boston up 109-98.

Holiday, Brown and others took turns keeping a body on Doncic all over the half-court, forcing the four-time All-Star to work for most of what he got on offense. The fatigue showed with two missed free throws when the Mavs were down 11 with three minutes to go.

Doncic also picked up a technical foul and showed frustration with the officiating several other times.

“We’ve been inconsistent in that department where we can get caught up with the officials instead of just staying focused on the game,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “No one’s going to be perfect, from player to official to coach. So you’ve got to just continue doing your job. I thought we got frustrated, and they took advantage of that.”

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Irving said he sprained his right thumb swiping at the ball while defending Tatum on the first possession of the game. The star guard was wearing a brace on the thumb but didn’t anticipate missing any time.


Celtics: At Miami on Thursday.

Mavericks: Phoenix at home Wednesday.

TAGS: Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Jayson Tatum, NBA

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