It took ten extra minutes for this one to be decided, but the Boston Celtics preserve a victory against a Dirk-less Dallas Mavericks team 117-115.
The Celtics were playing beautiful basketball for three quarters. They were moving the ball fluidly, getting to the cup, making easy shots. You name it and they did it. After the fourth quarter that all came to an abrupt stop. The Celtics couldn’t buy themselves a bucket and they couldn’t get to the line either. They only scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to the Mavs’ 26 points.
The Mavs implemented a small line up with Shawn Marion playing the 5 with Darren Collison, Derek Fisher, O.J Mayo, and Vince Carter at all other positions. The Celtics didn’t know what to do with that defensively. There was so much penetration and very little help defense to go along with that.
Through all of the excess ugly, Rajon Rondo shined scoring 16 points and racking up 15 assists along with nine rebounds. He didn’t come close to hitting a game winning opportunity at the end of regulation where Derek Fisher put a seatbelt on him. At that point, both teams should’ve been fined for, well…er…just making our eyes bleed.
Paul Pierce came through for Boston in the end and scored 12 of his 34 points in the first and second overtimes. Those points include five made free throws to close the game out for the C’s.
Rondo’s defense on O.J Mayo was remarkable tonight. Mayo’s scoring total of 24 is totally misleading. He was harassed on the offensive end all night long and only had one easy look–a wide open three that he missed–all night. He had 9 turnovers and shot the ball 18 times. He went to the free throw line only one time all night long and that was at the end of the fourth quarter.
All in all, the Celtics will take this win. It wasn’t a pretty one, but they rarely are pretty with this team. That’s something that we’ve grown accustom to for better or for worse. The Celtics will play again on Friday night against the Houston Rockets in the Toyota Center.