14-year veteran and last season’s Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki provided the go-ahead layup in traffic with 5.1 seconds left to lead his Dallas Mavericks past the Boston Celtics 90-85 last night at TD Garden. Celtics captain Paul Pierce hit a tough 3-pointer 20 seconds prior to tie it up, setting the stage for his clutch counterpart to retaliate in dramatic fashion.
“It’s a fun situation to be in,” said Nowitzki. “Everybody’s looking at you and your team really depends on you, so I like to be in the position where I can make something happen.” In Boston’s final opportunity Rajon Rondo turned the ball over on an inbound pass to Ray Allen, allowing the Mavericks to notch their third consecutive victory.
Jason Terry led the Mavs in scoring with 18 points off the bench. Nowitzki hit 5-of-11 from the field for 16 points. Delonte West netted 12 in his return to the Garden. Rondo carried the Celtics to stay in the contest with 24 points, seven assists and three steals.
“This is his Rondo’s team right now, until everybody else gets it going,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “We need him to be aggressive. We need to be a scorer. And attack. That’s a change, but that’s what it is right now until everybody else gets it going, because they are not.”
The C’s have now lost two straight since winning four in a row. They will next host the Chicago Bulls this Friday at 8:00 PM. Contact Ace with all Boston Celtics ticket needs.