Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 12/28

Game 1: Tuesday, December 28th
Game 2: Wednesday, March 30th

Mavericks 112

(48-23, 24-11 away)

Celtics 100

(38-33, 25-12 home)

Coverage: FSSW

7:00 PM ET, March 30, 2005

TD Garden, Boston, MA

1 2 3 4 T
DAL 18 28 31 35112
BOS 13 30 31 26100

Top Performers

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 36 Pts, 9 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

Boston: P. Pierce 21 Pts, 8 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl

Dallas (47-23) at Boston (38-32) 7:00 pm EST

BOSTON ( news services) -- The Boston Celtics look to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season Wednesday when they host the Dallas Mavericks.

After winning 11 of their first 12 games since acquiring Antoine Walker at the trading deadline, the Celtics have dropped three straight, including a 105-99 overtime loss to the Detroit Pistons.

Paul Pierce scored 32 points, including all 11 of Boston's points in overtime, and Walker and Ricky Davis added 15 apiece for the Celtics, who have a three-game lead over Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.

Gary Payton logged 38 minutes despite playing with back pain. He underwent an MRI on Monday. It showed "no acute damage" and he should be ready to go.

Boston has not dropped four in a row since early December.

It will not be easy to stop the slide against the Mavericks, who have won six of their last seven contests and are four games ahead of Sacramento for the fourth seed in the Western Conference, which would give them home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Josh Howard scored 24 points and Dirk Nowitzki contributed 22 and 10 rebounds as Dallas held its opponent under 90 points for the third time in six games under Avery Johnson.

The Mavericks will be looking to sweep the season series from the Celtics for the fifth time in six seasons after posting a 113-94 victory in Dallas on December 28. Nowitzki scored 29 points and the Mavericks shot 53 percent (42-of-79).

Information from SportsTicker was used in this report.