Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/18

Game 1: Monday, January 18th
Mavericks99Final
Celtics90
Game 2: Saturday, March 20th
Celtics102Final
Mavericks93

Celtics 102

(45-24, 24-12 away)

Mavericks 93

(46-23, 24-11 home)

    Coverage: KTXA

    9:00 PM ET, March 20, 2010

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 30 18 25 29102
    DAL 24 23 25 2193

    Top Performers

    Boston: P. Pierce 29 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

    Dallas: D. Nowitzki 28 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast

    Rondo converts layups down stretch as Celtics win fourth straight

    Associated Press

    DALLAS -- The Boston Celtics got the split they wanted with the Dallas Mavericks.

    Paul Pierce scored 29 points, Rajon Rondo added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Celtics stretched their winning streak to four games with a 102-93 victory over the Mavericks on Saturday night.

    Ray Allen had 21 points for the Celtics, beaten by the Mavericks 99-90 in Boston on Jan. 18 in their only other meeting this season.

    Boston's Rasheed Wallace vowed "retribution" in the rematch, complaining after the game in January that the referees give Dallas' top scorer Dirk Nowitzki preferential treatment. Wallace refused to comment after Saturday night's game, but Rondo said the Celtics weren't dwelling on the past.

    "We don't look at it as payback," Rondo said. "That game was over when it happened. It's a new time for us and we just needed a win."

    Nowitzki had 37 points in the first meeting, but Boston's Kevin Garnett, a longtime Nowitzki nemesis, missed the game with a hyperextended right knee. Had he been healthy, Garnett would have been the primary defender on Nowitzki.

    This time, Garnett and Wallace took turns guarding Nowitzki, who still went 11 for 19 from the floor and finished with 28 points.

    Nowitzki had 12 points in the final quarter, but teammates were only able to provide nine more.

    Garnett finished with eight points, nine rebounds and a season-high five steals.

    The Celtics were coming off Friday night's 94-87 victory at Houston. The Mavericks had been off since Wednesday night's 113-106 home win over Chicago.

    "They had three days off, had prep time for us, and we played last night, so to come back at the end and take the game away from them was huge for us," Boston coach Doc Rivers said.

    Jason Terry added 18 points, and Shawn Marion had 16 for the Mavericks, who had won 14 of 15.

    "It's frustrating," Terry said. "These are games we've been winning."

    The Mavericks led by seven early in the fourth quarter, but Rondo converted layups on three straight Boston possessions down the stretch, giving the Celtics a 94-91 lead with 2:47 left.

    Pierce drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Rondo scored on a layup to put Boston in front 99-93 with 1:18 remaining.

    "Rondo was the key down the stretch," Dallas center Brendan Haywood said. "He made plays and they really fed off his energy. We didn't get the stops. We didn't do enough."

    Boston went 12 for 17 from the field in the fourth quarter, with Rondo hitting all five field-goal attempts and scoring 10 points in the quarter.

    "He kept getting in the lane and he hit some outside shots," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's crafty and knows how to take advantage of you [defensively] favoring other guys."

    Allen hit a pair of 3-pointers to help Boston open the third quarter with a 13-5 run for a 61-52 advantage.

    Pierce scored eight of Boston's last 10 points in the third and the Celtics took a 73-72 edge into the fourth quarter.

    Game notes


    Dallas G Jose Juan Barea missed Friday's practice with an illness, but he was in uniform 24 hours later, scoring three points in 12 minutes. ... Boston has won five of the last six against Dallas. ... Both teams committed 18 turnovers.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    BOS
    DAL
    Points 102 93
    FGM-FGA 39-75 (.520) 37-80 (.463)
    3PM-3PA 5-17 (.294) 5-15 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 19-22 (.864) 14-17 (.824)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 8-40 11-39
    Assists 19 22
    Turnovers 18 18
    Steals 12 10
    Blocks 4 2
    Fast Break Points 15 16
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (3/0) 22 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 9 7

    Top Performers

    Boston
    Dallas
    Paul Pierce Pierce
    Points: 29
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
    Points: 28
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 2
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0