The Boston Celtics looked lackluster in the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden on Wednesday night, and for a time, it looked like they would not get over it.
But the Celtics outscored the Mavs by 13 points in a monstrous fourth quarter to win their sixth win in seven games with a 97-90 victory.
Kyrie Irving dominated in the last quarter, ending the night with 23 points, game leaders. And with Jaylen Brown (eye) out of the lineup, rookie Jayson Tatum gave a massive spark in the wing with 17 points, while Al Horford also ended his night with 17.
The teams exchanged chances often in the first, third and fourth quarters, but after the Mavs put things in 85 with 4:31 to play, the Celtics finally put their foot on the accelerator and finished the game in a 12- 5 runs, beating the Mavs 50-33 in the second half.
The Celtics improve to 22-4 with the win when the Mavericks fall 7-18.
This is how it all happened:
PG: Kyrie Irving
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Jayson Tatum
PF: Al Horford
C: Aron Baynes
BAD PLAY BOOKENDS FIRST QUARTER
It was probably a safe bet to enter the game to guess Celtics head coach Brad Stevens had not planned to take a break in the first two minutes against a 7- 17 Mavs team. But only 1:55 in, the coach of C had to ask for a timeout and get the team to regroup. At that time, the C & # 39; s had fallen into a 6-2 hole, which, despite a low-grade deficit, was worse than the indicated score given that Tatum fouled 15 seconds after the game and the Celtics went 3 for 3 from the field. in that lapse of time.
However, the wait time turned out to be smart, as the Celtics opened the game soon after and quickly moved on. But after opening a six-point lead later in the first game, the Mavs recovered in the final 2:02, with an 8-0 run and finishing the fourth with a pair.
MAVS DO DEPTH DAMAGE
In trying to erase the first quarter's deficit, the Celtics were thrown into one on three separate occasions in the second.
However, the Mavs' perimeter shot was electric, with Dallas at one point hitting from 3-point territory in four runs followed by the court. From the moment that Dennis Smith Jr. hit the first of the four treys with 4:57 to play until the time Stevens called a timeout at 2:51 to stop the bleeding, the Mavs had a run of 12 -4 to put them ahead by nine.
Dallas finished the first half with a 10-point lead while shooting 48 percent from the field, anchored by Smith Jr.'s 12 points. Irving and Tatum kept the Celtics with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
THE LIFE OF C & # 39; S SHOW IN THE THIRD
The third quarter can be defined largely by a game of change at the moment with something less than 10 minutes to go. After Harrison Barnes tried to lead the lane towards Irving, the Celtics guard was able to intercept the ball through a block. Baynes cornered him, hit Smart, who started the quick pause and then hit Horford in an alley.
Although the Celtics kept losing 59-55 after the sequence, he forced Mavs coach Rick Carlisle to a wait time since the Garden was the noisiest he had been all night. At the other end of the detention, Tatum forced a burglary on the top of the key and took it to the other end, ending with a mate.
The Celtics finished the quarter losing 73-70, but the pair of plays early in the quarter gave the Cs their first real sign of life in the game, a sensation that was present for the rest of the quarter.
KYRIE TAKES THE FOURTH
Did you ever have any doubt that Irving would take control in the last quarter? The guard took over when the Celtics needed him, contributing nine points in the last 6:20 of the game.
The Mavs had locked things in 81 and 85, but after the second time Dallas called, Irving ducked his head and went to work. He drove to the lane more often, pulled the trigger of his shot more frequently and helped create more opportunities for his teammates because Dallas had to devote his attention to him.
The Celtics controlled possession and stifled a visibly overwhelmed Mavs squad as the game began to near its end. After a couple of fruitful trips around the court, it was clear that the Celtics were not going to give up the advantage.
Four of the five Celtics on the court got involved in this awesome two-way game.
The Celtics will begin a trip of three games on Friday when they visit the San Antonio Spurs. The advice of the AT & T Center is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson / USA TODAY Sports Images.