Celtics drop second in a row after poor perimeter play vs. Mavericks, lose 113-108
Another sport, one other gradual begin for the 2021 Boston Celtics.
The Celtics continued their seven-game homestand on Wednesday, March 31 towards the newly-healthy Dallas Mavericks, dropping 113-108.
Robert Williams III was ruled out proper earlier than sport time with a non-COVID-19 associated damage, forcing Mo Wagner within the beginning lineup in his fourth sport as a Celtic. Wagner grabbed rebounds early on, however was known as for a transferring display screen and turned the ball over within the first. He would sit for almost all of the primary half, and struggled with turnovers and fouls all sport.
Boston’s offense as a unit began sluggishly, however Kemba Walker began off properly, scoring Boston’s first two factors and helping a 3 on the following place, however that was a superb begin to an total robust evening for Walker, who would end the sport with 22 factors on 7-19 taking pictures and 2-9 taking pictures from three.
The Celtics struggled to hit their threes, and bumped into Kristaps Porzingis within the paint on a number of events. Porzingis had all three of his blocks within the first quarter.
The Celtics struggled defensively early, permitting Luka Dončić to attain 24 first half factors, together with 13 in a blowout second quarter. Dallas outscored Boston 34-20 within the pivotal second interval. Dončić utilized switches on greater defenders and his top benefit over smaller defenders, like Walker, to seek out scoring alternatives.
Evan Fournier began his second sport on the parquet a lot better than his first, hitting his first shot and flashing nice assist protection with two steals. In his early minutes, Fournier offered the bench unit with a spark.
With the second quarter got here extra buckets for Boston. Fournier freed himself for a midrange jumper, displaying the ground spacing he can create on his personal.
Still, Boston was saved at an arm’s size by the Mavericks all through the second quarter, primarily due to the perimeter protection. Dallas hit 59.9% of their 3-pointers (13-23) within the first half, in comparison with the Celtics’ 4-24 taking pictures efficiency. Dallas persistently discovered males large open, whereas the Celtics settled for deep threes.
With 24 minutes elapsed, Boston confronted a close to 20-point deficit. The sizzling Mavericks taking pictures gave Dallas a 64-45 halftime lead.
Dončić continued his offensive domination within the second half, hitting yet one more deep three to push the Dallas lead over 20. Dončić feasted on the surface, hitting even the contested threes. He would end with seven 3-pointers and 36 factors within the victory.
After an early timeout within the third quarter, Boston broke a prolonged 3-pointer drought and scored eight unanswered to cease the 23-point lead from ballooning additional.
However, Dallas, which had scored seemingly at will up till the 10-1 Boston run, received proper again to scoring, placing Boston able the place they needed to play excellent basketball to win. As Dallas saved hitting threes, Boston was barely in a position to minimize into the massive halftime lead, trailing 90-73.
Good ending and passing from Walker gave Boston a glimmer of hope within the fourth. After an and-one layup which minimize the result in single digits for the primary time for the reason that 2nd quarter, Boston had 9 minutes to get their first win of a prolonged homestand.
The dwelling crowd started shifting from a refrain of boos to an eruption of applause because the Celtics fought again into the sport, the fruits of the vitality being when Dončić was known as for a technical foul for arguing. A ten-2 run had the Celtics down solely seven, however yet one more Dallas three from Dorian Finney-Smith halted the momentum.
As the fourth quarter slowed down, Boston was holding the Dallas offense in examine with out Dončić on the ground, however the Celtics couldn’t break by offensively, and Dallas was in a position to maintain onto a large lead with out Dončić or Porzingis on the ground.
During the ultimate 4 minutes, “winning time,” the small-ball unit of Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Fournier and Tatum noticed some success, holding tempo with the Mavs lineup which additionally went small, holding Porzingis on the bench.
But, the massive lead as soon as once more proved an excessive amount of to beat in an all-too-familiar sport script for Boston. Dončić hit 2-3 free throws up six, giving Dallas an eight-point lead with 56 seconds remaining.
A Walker three and a Smart tip-in put Boston in an analogous place to the tip of their first sport in Milwaukee, the place after battling again from a big lead, the crew finally fell simply quick in the long run.
Jalen Brunson hit each free throws to place the sport, as soon as once more, proper out of Boston’s attain. Smart missed the rim on an intentional missed second free throw, which put what had became a sport of near-comebacks away for Dallas, 113-108.