Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 1/25

Game 1: Sunday, January 25th
Game 2: Thursday, February 12th

Mavericks 100

(25-19, 12-12 away)

Celtics 124

(37-9, 22-2 home)

    Coverage: ABC

    1:00 PM ET, January 25, 2009

    TD Garden, Boston, MA

    1 2 3 4 T
    DAL 23 24 31 22100
    BOS 38 36 29 21124

    Top Performers

    Dal: J. Terry 27 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Bos: R. Allen 23 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Celtics ride 27-point lead at halftime to 8th straight win

    Associated Press

    BOSTON -- Paul Pierce reached over and gave Kevin Garnett a hearty slap on the back as they laughed off the suggestion that now, with virtually everything going right, would be a good time to buy a lottery ticket.

    "I've got a lottery ticket already," Pierce said after watching Garnett score 23 points and help shut down Dirk Nowitzki to lead Boston to its eighth straight win, 124-100 over the Dallas Mavericks. "That's my man. I knew him when he had a jean jacket."

    Fast Facts

    • Six of Boston's last eight wins have been by double digits.

    • The Celtics had 74 points at halftime. Fifteen times this season a team has scored 74 points or less in a single game.

    • At 24 points, this was Boston's largest margin of victory in their series with Dallas.

    -- ESPN research

    Reserve Eddie House also scored 23 -- including seven 3-pointers -- and Ray Allen scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half as the Celtics opened a 27-point lead and coasted to their sixth straight double-digit victory.

    Since a 2-7 slump that was the worst of the new Big Three era, the defending NBA champions have won eight in a row by an average of 16.2 points -- almost two points a game better than their margin of victory in the franchise-record 19-game winning streak earlier this season.

    "I just think we're playing together," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "In the 19-game winning streak, we were winning games but in my opinion we weren't playing Celtics basketball the way we established last year."

    Jason Terry scored 27 for the Mavericks, who have won just three of their last nine games. Nowitzki had 18, but the Dallas 7-footer shot 4-for-17 from the field and had the ignominy of having his shot blocked by the 6-foot-1 House in the second quarter.

    House made seven of his first nine tries from 3-point range and finished 7-for-11, prompting his teammates to campaign for him to be invited to the 3-point shooting contest at the All-Star Game.

    "I think he needs to go," Pierce said, though Allen was 4-for-5 from 3-point range and is second in the league with 112 3-pointers made. "He [House] is one of the quickest triggers in the league, as well as one of the most accurate. It would be nice to have a representative of the team, if Ray doesn't do it."

    Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 14 assists for the Celtics, who shot 65 percent in the first half; their 74 first-half points were a season high for them and the most allowed in any half for Dallas. The Mavericks were wrapping up a four-game, seven-day road trip with a matinee against the defending champs, and they looked like it.

    "I don't know if that's the toughest scenario you could have, but it's close," Rivers said. "And we were just making everything."

    But coach Rick Carlisle said he thought his players were ready.

    "I thought they were really looking forward to the game," he said. "Boston was great, and we needed to be better. We haven't come across a team that plays this effective defensively."

    Boston led by 15 after one quarter by 12 with 9:10 left in the second before scoring 15 straight points -- and 21 of 26 -- to take a 64-33 lead.

    Dallas cut the deficit back to 27 points and Nowitzki was going up for a layup when House stripped him of the ball under the basket and started a fast break that ended with Allen feeding Garnett for a crowd-pleasing alley-oop.

    The Celtics hit 100 points with 50 seconds left in the third quarter. Garnett and Pierce, who scored eight points, came out with 3:17 left in the third quarter, and all of the Boston starters sat out the fourth quarter.

    The fourth quarter got chippy with one double-technical on Leon Powe and James Singleton, and another that was called on the Mavericks bench. Although TV cameras focused on owner Mark Cuban, who was complaining, the technical was apparently against assistant coach Mario Elie.

    Game notes

    Dallas had beaten the Celtics in 13 out of 14 before Garnett and Allen joined Pierce in Boston, and now the Mavericks have lost three in a row to the Celtics. ... Former Red Sox SS Nomar Garciaparra watched the game from a courtside seat, as did Patriots RB Kevin Faulk and former infielder Lou Merloni. ... Allen also had six assists in the first half.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 100 124
    FGM-FGA 32-76 (.421) 50-93 (.538)
    3PM-3PA 6-20 (.300) 16-27 (.593)
    FTM-FTA 30-36 (.833) 8-12 (.667)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-40 9-37
    Assists 12 34
    Turnovers 15 8
    Steals 3 10
    Blocks 8 4
    Fast Break Points 15 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (3/0) 28 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 3 35

    Top Performers

    Jason Terry Terry
    Points: 27
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 23
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1