Mavs beat Celtics 94-89 to open long homestand

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 17, 2014 at 11:28 pm •  Published: March 17, 2014
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DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki doesn't want the Dallas Mavericks feeling too comfortable during a franchise-record eight-game homestand.

The Boston Celtics never let them rest easy in the opener.

Nowitzki led another balanced scoring effort with 19 points, and the Mavericks held off several Boston runs in a 94-89 victory against the Celtics on Monday night.

The Celtics wiped out most of two double-digit deficits in the second half and were within one in the final minute but couldn't avoid an 0-15 finish on the road against the Western Conference.

"They just kept coming back at us," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "They've got some young, aggressive guys that are hungry and they were hitting shots."

The Mavericks followed their first win in more than two years over possible first-round playoff foe Oklahoma City by taking their third straight to get a season-high 14 games over .500.

Dallas didn't have a 20-point scorer for the third time in four games, the exception being Nowitzki's 31-point night in a win at Utah. Monta Ellis had 17 points, and Devin Harris added 12.

Jerryd Bayless had 19 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and Kris Humphries matched a season high with 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who lost their fifth straight game and 12th in the past 15.

It was the second time in as many nights the Celtics made it interesting after trailing by 10 with 6 minutes to go.

The first was an overtime loss at New Orleans, and this one was without Rajon Rondo, who sat on the second night of a back-to-back for the sixth time. He is skipping such games as he works his way back from right knee surgery.

"Playing without Rondo, I thought Jerryd played fantastic, especially in that fourth quarter," Boston coach Brad Stevens said. "He gave us a chance to win."

The Mavericks went up 90-85 when Brandan Wright had the last of his 10 points on a putback after three other misses, but the Celtics did the same thing at the other end, capped by a bucket from Kelly Olynyk, who had 16 points and nine rebounds.

Avery Bradley stole the ball from Ellis and went in for a dunk to make it 90-89 with 21 seconds left, but Ellis hit two free throws and Bayless missed a driving shot, got the ball back and had a second attempt blocked by Vince Carter.

"I think we were fighting and battling well," Bayless said. "I think everyone played well, but we weren't able to pull it off tonight."

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