Tuesday, February 20, 2024
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NBA Preview: Boston Celtics (33-10) at Dallas Mavericks (24-18)

It’ll be a well-rested Dallas Mavericks team that takes the floor against the visiting Boston Celtics on Monday night.

Dallas hasn’t played since dropping a 127-110 decision to the Los Angeles Lakers on the road on Wednesday night. The Mavericks were scheduled to play at Golden State on Friday, but that game was postponed following the death of Warriors assistant coach Dejan Milojevic.

Boston, meanwhile, will be playing its second game in as many nights. Despite a lackluster second half, the Celtics won 116-107 at Houston on Sunday. The Celtics led 70-55 at halftime but were limited to 46 points in the second half (20 in the third quarter).

Former Maverick Kristaps Porzingis led Boston with 32 points, six rebounds and five blocked shots. Derrick White added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Jaylen Brown finished with a triple-double (13 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists).

Boston, which boasts the NBA’s best record (33-10), shot 43.9 percent from the field (43 of 98).

Guard Jrue Holiday (sprained right elbow) and center Al Horford (rest) didn’t play in Boston’s victory over the Rockets. Horford typically doesn’t play in both games of back-to-backs.

Luka Doncic was back in the Dallas lineup for the loss to the Lakers after he missed three games with a sprained right ankle. Doncic scored 33 points, collected 13 rebounds and had 10 assists.

Doncic shot 12 of 24 from the floor but was just 2 of 9 from 3-point territory. He leads the Mavericks in points (33.6), rebounds (8.3) and assists (9.2) per game.

Dallas trailed by two at halftime but was outscored 42-27 in the third quarter. The Mavericks were 11 of 40 on 3-point attempts.

Most of the misses came from the Mavericks’ top scorers, as Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kyrie Irving were a combined 3 of 21 from behind the arc.

Monday’s game is the first of two meetings this season between the Celtics and Mavericks. The teams will also play in Boston on March 1.

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