It seems like the Celtics play close games every night out. Why just two days ago they lost by 1 to a pair of Gilbert Arenas free throws. Had they won all their close games like the Bucks' do they'd have a great record. Instead they teeter on the border of the playoffs and this loss to the Mavs won't help.
The first half of this game was not for the modest basketball fans; 38 fouls were called and the game was driven to a standstill. The Celtics had four players with 2 fouls in the first quarter alone and had used all 12 men before the quarter was over.
The Mavericks played 11 themselves by the second half. Compensation occurred in the second half where fouls became no-calls and the officials allowed the players to play. While nobody fouled out, 56 fouls were committed (roughly 1.17 fouls per minute).
Jason Terry had 30 points and hit 7 3-pters.
Jerry Stackhouse came off the bench for a season-high 20 points. Dirk Nowitzki was shut down for most of the game but hit key 4th quarter shots and got his stats more respectable with 26 points and a team-high 7 boards.
Rebounds were scarce in this game.
Both teams were in the top 10 in FG% coming into the game and the fouls on shot-attempts only lessened the rebound total. Paul Pierce led they way for Boston with 8.
The game flip-flopped for control up until the 4th quarter when Dallas began to pull away.
Keith Van Horn knocked down three triples in the quarter. Between him, Terry and Nowitzki hitting the long-range jumpers, the Mavs built a 12-pt 4th quarter lead.
But the Celtics came back in the final minutes.
After finally getting some defensive rebounds, Boston proceeded to cut the lead to 3. With less than ten seconds on the game clock, Paul Pierce pump faked Dirk Nowitzki on a three, moved over a few feet, and shot the game-tier with 6.5 left on the clock.
With 4.5 left Jerry Stackhouse did a similar move to Ricky Davis and found an opening on the baseline. Leaving practically no room for a shot attempt, Stackhouse drilled the 20-footer to give the Mavericks a 104-102 win.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 32. Tony Allen and Mark Blount both had 12 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Ricky Davis scored 17 points and dished a game-high 8 assists.
Boston has won just 3 of their last 10 games, which added with the Nets 10-game winning streak puts them pretty much out of the division.
The Mavs are now just ½ a game back of San Antonio for home court advantage. Even without the home court, they've proven that they'll be a difficult team to face in the postseason; this win gives the Mavs a League high 13 road victories..Visit NBA Betting Systems for more expert articles on sports.
By: David Pincus