5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE 109-103 LOSS TO CELTICS
KP CAME UP BIG AGAIN: For the third straight game, forward Kristaps Porzingis finished the night with at least 20 points and at least 10 rebounds. That’s the first time in his career he’s accomplished that feat. Porzingis played 38 minutes and wound up with 23 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out with 47.2 seconds remaining. It was the 10th double-double of the season for Porzingis, who also blocked three shots. This is the ninth time this season Porzingis blocked at least three shots in a game. Last Saturday while playing a season-high 40 minutes against Miami, Porzingis contributed 22 points and 14 rebounds, and on Monday at Milwaukee he collected 26 points and 12 rebounds as he continues to progress after going 20 months without playing basketball following surgery to repair his torn left anterior cruciate ligament.
CURRY HITTING HIS STRIDE: To say that Seth Curry has been hitting his stride lately would be one of the biggest understatements of the season. Counting the 20 points he scored Wednesday against Boston, Curry has come off the bench to pour in 20 or more points in three of the past four games. That includes the season-high 30 points he tallied last week against the Detroit Pistons, and the 26 points he scored Monday against the Milwaukee Bucks. Curry was 8-of-13 from the field against the Celtics, including 4-of-8 from behind the 3-point line. In the past four games Curry is 31-of-51 from the field for a blistering 60.8 percent, and 14-of-27 from 3-point range for a red-hot 51.9 percent. He also is averaging a robust 20.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and three assists in just 26 minutes over the four games while providing the Mavs with some consistent scoring off the bench.
BLOCK PARTY: Led by the long arms of the law of Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber, the Mavs wound up blocking a season-high-tying 10 shots against the Celtics. While clogging up the paint and making life rough for the Celtics down low, Porzingis and Kleber each walked away with three blocked shots. This was a season-high tying block total for Kleber, who also collected three blocks opening night against Washington and on Oct. 29 at Denver. Porzingis, meanwhile, continues to create havoc for opponents with his shot-blocking skills and ability to alter many other shots. The Mavs also got two blocked shots apiece in Wednesday’s game from Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell. The Mavs’ other game this season where they blocked 10 shots came against Orlando on Nov. 6.
800 IN A ROW: The Mavs reached a major milestone as an organization on Wednesday as they sold out their 800th consecutive game. The sellout streak includes 733 consecutive sold out regular season games and 67 consecutive sold out playoff games. That is indeed a remarkable achievement which was amassed after 20,181 fans attended Wednesday’s home game against the Boston Celtics. The streak started on Dec. 15, 2001 with a 125-117 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first season that the $420 million American Airlines Center opened its doors. The streak also is the longest active streak in the NBA and the longest active streak among any of the four North American major sports franchises. The Mavs played 11 home games in the AAC’s inaugural season before the streak started. Overall, the Mavs are 512-232 in the regular season at AAC for a winning percentage of 68.8 percent.
CELTICS’ BIG 3 TOO MUCH: Without the services of point guard Luka Doncic (right ankle sprain) for the second straight game, the Mavs knew it was going to be a difficult challenge trying to keep pace with the Celtics. That challenge became even more difficult when the Celtics’ Big 3 of Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum combined to pour in 82 points. Walker finished with 26 points and five rebounds, Brown had 26 points and nine boards, and Tatum added 24 points and eight boards. As a trio, Walker, Brown and Tatum were 27-of-59 from the floor for 45.8 percent, 9-of-28 from 3-point territory for 32.1 percent, and 19-of-22 from the free throw line for 86.4 percent. They also combined to grab 22 of Boston’s 54 rebounds. In addition, the trio scored 18 of the 26 points the Celtics scored in the third quarter, and 27 of the 33 points Boston tallied in the fourth quarter.