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.


  • 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.

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    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.

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