The Fast Break: Mavs at Celtics

Final: Celtics 97, Mavs 90

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Mavericks have held a double-digit halftime lead in three straight games. Similarly, Dallas has led after three quarters in seven of the last nine games.

Yogi Ferrell collected a career-high seven rebounds in this one.

Notebook

  • Maxi Kleber is turning into a pretty nice NBA player. He’s been a solid addition to the starting lineup, averaging 6.5 points and 5.5 rebounds in his last six games. But he was also averaging only 0.3 blocks per game in that time, which looks really weird in retrospect after seeing the way he swatted shots tonight. Kleber racked up four rejections in the first half alone against the Celtics, with a pair of them coming right before halftime in loud fashion.

    Kleber has been a good defensive rebounder and finisher at the rim all season long, but now he’s starting to knock down jumpers too, which further opens up his offensive game and his teammates’, too. He’s a guy most people had probably never heard of before this season, but he’s quickly starting to make a name for himself not only Dallas, but around the league.

  • Talk about a game of runs. Dallas put together a 12-0 surge in the first half, and the Celtics had runs of 15-2 and 12-0 in the second half. There are always huge swings in every game, especially now that teams can pile up a lot of points very quickly with 3-pointers, but rarely do you see as many massive runs like we did tonight. This was an unusually competitive game considering the number of swings we saw, and it led to some pretty entertaining basketball. Despite the result, the Mavs are continuing to get better and they’ve shown twice now that they can stick with the Celtics, who at this point are looking like the class of the league.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (7-18) will play the Milwaukee Bucks (12-10) on Friday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center at 7 p.m. Central.

  • Game 25: Mavs at Celtics

    Kleber Floater

    Wesley Matthews gets the bounce pass to Maxi Kleber under the rim to sink the floater.

    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Celtics

    Final: Celtics 110, Mavs 102

    Box Score | Highlights

    Behind the Box Score

    The Mavericks won the third quarter by 12 points, 28-16. The +12 differential was the Mavs’ highest gap in the third quarter all season, and highest since Feb. 15, 2017.

    Wesley Matthews recorded four steals tonight, the most in a game by any Maverick this season and his most since swiping four on Dec. 14, 2016.

    This was the first time either team played in overtime this season.

    The last time the Celtics lost a game, the Mavs had a 0-0 record. Dallas’ home opener had barely begun.

    Notebook

  • Harrison Barnes is becoming pretty good. Tonight was one of those games as a go-to guy where you can impose your will on a defense. Barnes was magnificent in the third quarter, as the Mavs repeatedly forced Kyrie Irving to switch onto the bigger Barnes in the high-post. That led to a lot of drives and free throw attempts and really propelled the +12 third quarter. Brad Stevens is a smart fella, though, so when the fourth quarter began he slid Irving over to the Mavs’ off-guard and put the longer Jaylen Brown on Dennis Smith Jr., so anytime the Celtics would switch Barnes would still have a longer wing on him. That’s good coaching, and it took away what had been an easy play for Dallas. This is the kind of game you want to see from an emerging go-to player. He won his initial matchup convincingly and forced the defense to adjust. Barnes finished with a season-high-tying 31 points.

  • This morning, Wesley Matthews talked about the importance of random movement on offense leading to better, in-rhythm looks. That might not make much sense, but think about it this way: When you as the offensive player is moving randomly and not within the confines of a set play, the defender can’t anticipate the next move. Scouting is so advanced in this league that most teams know every other team’s set plays by heart. It’s tough to beat a five-man unit that knows exactly what you’re doing. When you incorporate random movement, as Rick Carlisle put it, your players are reacting instead of thinking. They take the open shot when it’s there and cut to the open spot when they see it instead of sticking to the script. It benefited Matthews’ game tonight; he hit four 3-pointers.

  • Here’s your feel-good highlight of the game: J.J. Barea was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and fell down. His entire team ran over to help him up.

    That might seem hokey or unnecessary but I assure you the Mavs coaches will be smile when they see that on the film tomorrow. Everyone is engaged and playing together and that reflected itself in the intensity and final scoreline against the best team in the league right now.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (3-15) will play the Memphis Grizzlies (7-8) on Wednesday at FexEx Forum at 7 p.m. Central.

  • Game 18: Mavs vs. Celtics

    Powell Alley-Oop From Barea

    J. J. Barea lobs up a pass to Dwight Powell who finishes the alley-oop over Daniel Theis.

    Game 55: Mavs vs. Celtics

    Highlights: Mavs vs. Celtics

    Check out all the top plays from Monday night's game against the Boston Celtics.

    Despite piling injuries, Mavs take positives away from loss in Boston

    Postgame: J.J. Barea

    Mavs G J.J. Barea talks about the left calf strain he suffered in Wednesday's game against Boston.

    DALLAS — Despite adding another name to their list of piling injuries Wednesday night in Boston before eventually falling to a hard-fought 90-83 loss on the road, the Dallas Mavericks returned home with a bit of encouragement as they prepare to face a Southwest Division opponent on Friday.

    Already playing without 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki (right Achilles soreness) and veteran reserve Devin Harris (right great toe sprain), the Mavericks (2-8) thought they’d receive a boost by the return of starting point guard Deron Williams to the lineup following a four-game absence with a left calf strain. Instead, the Mavericks would see Williams exit the game in the first half after experiencing tightness in his aching calf, forcing the three-time All-Star lead guard to the bench as the team battled without him. The Mavericks would then lose another key contributor in the backcourt during the fourth quarter when undersized guard J.J. Barea went down awkwardly while operating around a screen set by a teammate. And with Barea expected to be out of the lineup for an extended period of time with a left calf strain, the banged-up Mavs could find themselves further handicapped when they welcome in the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

    “There’s no real secret. We’re just going through some adversity right now,” leading scorer Harrison Barnes admitted after posting a team-high 28 points on 12-of-24 shooting in Wednesday’s loss. “I think we caught a little bit of a break with J.J. You know, he thought it was his Achilles on the court, and then we found out it was his calf, so that’s good. But we’ve just got to keep fighting. I mean, we’re putting ourselves in position to win. … We’ve just got to be better in that situation, but we didn’t have a great first half. We battled back, we got right there, and we had a great opportunity to win. So, coming back home against Memphis, it’s a must-win game.”

    Forced to leave TD Garden in a walking boot, Barea admits that he was pleased to learn that the injury wasn’t to his Achilles. However, with his team in need of every healthy body available, the 10-year veteran couldn’t deny his disappointment after learning that he’ll be forced to miss time.

    Barea has filled up the stat sheet during the early stage of his 11th season, averaging 16.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists a game. He’ll now try to rehab his way back onto the court in time to assist in an early-season turnaround. That said, Barea admits that he will face an uphill battle in order to return to the court in the near future.

    “It was awful. I never felt that before playing in my basketball career,” Barea said of the injury. “I thought it was the Achilles. The little bit of good news is it’s the calf. Hopefully I don’t need surgery or anything, but we’ve just got to wait. I never felt that feeling before, so hopefully it’s not that bad.

    “You know, it’s been a tough start and frustrating,” he added. “You know, I was playing good. I know I was playing a lot, but I was playing good. I was helping the team out, and (Wednesday) we finally got in a rhythm there at the end and I go down. So, yeah, we’re going to do a good job of staying together. We’ve got a good coaching staff and good players, so we’re going to stay together, try to fight this out and get back strong.”

    Seeing Barea go down with 7:37 remaining in Wednesday’s game, the Mavericks would begin to run out of steam after a valiant comeback in the second half. Still, according to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, there are positives that the team can carry forward in order to bounce back at home.

    Trailing 39-31 at the halftime intermission, the Mavericks were outshot by the Celtics from the field through two quarters, 39.5 percent to 31.1 percent. The Celtics also held a 33-20 rebounding advantage, overcoming their nine turnovers in the first half with a dominance on the glass. Boston’s 43.4 percent shooting then just slightly bettered Dallas’ 41 percent at the other end to conclude the night, adding a 53-32 rebounding edge to overcome 19 turnovers. And after seeing his team battle against the odds to remain competitive, Carlisle says the Mavericks will have something to build on entering Friday night’s matchup against Memphis.

    “Our level of force, I think, was better in the second half. Our defense was better, which got us into some transition situations. And Barnes carried a big load for us offensively in the second half,” Carlisle confessed. “I really loved our fight, particularly in the second half, and we’ve just got to stay with it.”

    Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Friday, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

    Injury updates:

    Devin Harris (right great toe sprain) — out

    J.J. Barea (left calf strain) — out

    Deron Williams (left calf strain) — questionable

    Dirk Nowitzki (right Achilles soreness) — questionable

    The Fast Break: Mavs at Celtics

    Final: Celtics 90, Mavs 83

    Box Score | Highlights

    Behind the Box Score

    The Mavs limited the Celtics to just 0.455 points per possession in the second quarter, outscoring Boston 14-10 in the frame.

    The Dallas offense erupted in the third quarter, scoring 1.211 points per possession, thanks to a concerted effort to get to the free throw line. The Mavs as a team shot seven from the stripe in the third. Wesley Matthews’ 3-point barrage also contributed.

    Notebook

  • Harrison Barnes was magnificent again, overcoming a 4-of-14 shooting start to finish with 28 points, his fifth consecutive game with at least 20 points. Per Basketball-Reference, the last Mavericks forward to score at least 20 points in five straight games was Josh Howard in 2008. He did it on the block, in the mid-range, and at the rim — so, in other words, it’s been business as usual of late for Barnes, who has suddenly become a reliable go-to option. He hit so many shots in this game. It’s been so amazing to watch his growth.

  • Wesley Matthews erupted from his 3-point shooting slump in this game, connecting on six of his 13 attempts. It’s been a difficult start to the 2016-17 season from Matthews, at least on the offensive end, but it was good to see him shoot the ball so well tonight. The Mavs certainly needed all the scoring they could get. Hopefully Matthews’ start is now behind him and he can carry this momentum into Friday’s game against Memphis.

  • The Mavs’ defense had one of its finest performances of the season, if not its best, in this one. The club came into the game forcing turnovers more often than any other team in the NBA and, true to form, Dallas forced 19 giveaways in this one to stay close enough through the early going. The Mavericks force mistakes by taking charges, jumping pass lanes, and keeping active hands against driving opponents. I can’t count how many times a Mavericks player will swipe at the ball or reach in against a driving opponent from a help position. Those types of things add up across an entire game, especially in this game, when Boston started so hot from the field.

  • J.J. Barea suffered what appeared to be a non-contact injury to his lower left leg midway through the fourth quarter. He immediately fell to the ground and got up slowly, walking to the locker room with help without putting any pressure on his left leg. Needless to say, it was a scary moment and the hope is for the best for Barea. According to Mavericks PR, the injury is being described as a left calf strain. Elsewhere on the injury front, Deron Williams started the game but left early after his calf injury further bothered him. Dirk Nowitzki did not play.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (2-8) play the Memphis Grizzlies (5-5) on Friday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.