Dirk Nowitzki buried the game-winning jump shot over Glen Davis with 17.4 seconds left, and the Dallas Mavericks outlasted the Boston Celtics, 89-87.
- Nothing legitimate materialized for Boston when they inbounded the ball with 17.4 ticks left and a chance to tie the game or take the lead with a three-pointer. In the end, with roughly around five seconds, Rajon Rondo launched a wide-open three-pointer from the left wing that found nothing but iron. Ray Allen corralled the rebound and the Celtics called timeout with 1.5 seconds left after Jason Terry fouled him. On the ensuing inbounds play, Rondo had difficulty getting it in and had to settle for throwing it into Kevin Garnett who fired off a very difficult fadeaway that found nothing but air.
- The Celtics found themselves down 10 at the half (50-40) after shooting just 34.7 percent from the field. Fortunately, they bounced back in a convincing way in the third quarter, outscoring Dallas 17-7 over the first 7:16 of the frame.
- Boston scored 29 points in the third quarter, while holding Dallas to just 19, but the Mavericks still carried a one-point edge (70-69) into the final frame.
- Boston used a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter to assume an 80-74 advantage with 7:25 remaining, before Nowitzki and Terry scored Dallas' final 15 points down the stretch. Terry buried a game-tying three-pointer with 1:14 left (87-87), and Nowitzki sealed it with his with jumper from the left side.
- Kevin Garnett struggled guarding Nowitzki for portions of the game, but overall, his performance was impressive: 18 points (14 in the second half) and 15 rebounds. He and Rajon Rondo had the alley-oop vibe going tonight, as they connected on three of them. Rondo's passes were flawless.
- Rondo had another monster line tonight: 11 points, 6 rebounds, 15 assists, and 5 steals. He did shoot just 5-15 from the field, with most of those misses coming on jump shot attempts. Personally, I was encouraged by Rondo taking the shots. He might not have made the majority of them (he did bury a crucial one with 2:32 left that put Boston up 85-82 at the time), but perhaps he's developing more confidence in his ability in this specific area. Also, Dallas tried making Rondo more of a scorer than a distributor/playmaker tonight. I'd say they got mixed results.
- Jermaine O'Neal started tonight, but didn't return for the second half due to pain in his left knee. Suddenly, the Celtics aren't so deep up front. Shaq's still nursing a bruised right knee and Kendrick Perkins is still out for an extended period of time. If Jermaine's knee continues to give him trouble, Glen Davis will have to spend more time at the center spot, and Semih Erden will keep seeing extended time.
- The Celtics will have tomorrow and Wednesday off before the road trip continues in Miami on Thursday at 8:00pm.