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Celtics improve to 35-10 after defeating the Mavericks and Heat

(Photo Courtesy of NBC 5 Dallas- Fort Worth) “Jason Tatum scores against Mavericks.”

Shaan Baid
Connector Staff

The Boston Celtics took care of business on the road against playoff-caliber teams in the Dallas Mavericks and Miami Heat. Boston maintains its 3.5 lead over the Milwaukee Bucks for first place in the eastern conference. They continue to prove they are far above the competition. 

Against Dallas, Celtics star forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown exploded for 73 points en route to a 119-110 win. Boston won despite star center Kristaps Porzingis being ruled out due to a right knee inflammation. 

The main takeaway was Brown outplaying Maverick’s superstar point guard Luka Doncic on both ends of the court, including a can’t-miss ankle breaker on Doncic midway through the 2nd quarter. 

Boston slowly took over the game after a competitive first quarter, which saw Dallas go up 26-24. 

In the second quarter, Tatum and Brown helped the Celtics offense explode for 41 points, giving them a 65-59 lead at halftime. 

Boston won the third quarter 29-24, extending their lead by 11, going into the 4th quarter. Dallas made several rallies to cut Boston’s lead, but Tatum and Brown kept answering back with timely buckets to close the game. 

Boston penetrated the Dallas defense inside the paint, evidenced by getting to the free throw line 30 times, compared to 14 for Dallas. 

Tatum scored 39 points on 11/21 field goal shooting, 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks. Brown scored 34 points on 13/22 shooting, along with two blocks. Point guard Jrue Holiday chipped in with 17 points on 6/13 shooting. 

On the other end, Doncic had a 30-point triple-double with 33 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists. While the box score looks good, Boston held him to 12/30 field goal shooting as Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla threw multiple bodies on him defensively.  

Ex-Celtic power forward Grant Williams struggled against his former team, scoring just two points in 18 minutes, and struggling on the defensive end. 

After a well-fought victory against the Mavericks, Boston demolished the Miami Heat 143-110. Led by Brown and Porzingis, the Celtics three-pointing shooting set the tone to start the first quarter, outscoring Miami 42-29. Mazzulla’s ball movement led to open looks from the three-point line, where Boston cashed in. 

 Boston’s hot shooting from three continued as they engaged in a 35-35 second-quarter shootout to go up 77-64 at the half. 

 As everything was clicking for Boston, Celtics fans had to catch their breath after Porzingis sprained his ankle midway through the third quarter. Before the injury, Porzingis had 19 points on 6/9 field goal shooting and 3/4 shooting from three in just 21 minutes of action. 

Fortunately, the injury was not as serious as it looked. Porzingis was officially listed as doubtful to return as he sat out the rest of the game. On the bright side, there was footage of Porzingis returning to the bench without any noticeable limp. 

 Nevertheless, Boston pulled away as they won the final two quarters 36-26 and 30-20. Boston had seven players with the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, Payton Pritchard and Luke Kornet scoring in double figures. Tatum led that group in scoring with 26 points on 7/15 field goal shooting. The team shot a ridiculous 55% from three as they torched Miami’s zone defense. 

 With Boston’s bench in a questionable state, Pritchard and Kornet stepped up to the task, helping Boston increase their lead in the second half. 

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