The Celtics swallowed their second last-minute loss of the season to the Dallas Mavericks, and Jason Kidd’s late 3-pointer all but sealed the Mavs’ 101-97 win. Kidd was sitting wide open at the top of the key when Dirk Nowitzki found him. Ray Allen tried to chase him off the three-point line but lunged hard at Kidd’s pump fake, leaving Kidd all by himself with a clean look and he knocked it down.
“J-Kidd if you look at his track record, he has hit big shots, he’s put teams on his back, he’s carried the load and responsibility for a long time,” said Kevin Garnett. “He’s no shag of a player, nothing like that. He’s a respected player. I think everybody in our organization and our locker room respects [him]. Paul and I understand, we know he has been around a long time. I don’t know what his percentage is this year, but he has hit big shots for them time after time. Tonight was no different.”
The Mavs shot 49.4 percent for the night, and the Celtics sot 50.6 in a shootout. Kidd scored 10 points and dropped nine assists. Nowitzki scored 29 points knocking down all 10 of his free throws. Allen finished with 24 points, leading five Celtics in double-figures.
For the season, teams are shooting just 34.6 percent from 3-point range against the Celtics. Last night the Mavs knocked down 8 of their 17 shots from distance with Kidd’s being the back-breaker.
“That one stood out obviously, but I thought we gave up way too many,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “I thought offensively we played well, we shot 50 percent. We missed a lot of open shots, missed lay-ups. So not a lot of things to be upset there. I just thought defensively we broke a lot of our defensive rules. I thought we played hard, but I thought we tried to cheat a lot defensively as a team, you know gambles, and they made us pay for every one of them.”
Perkins sharp in first start
He got his starting spot back prematurely, with Shaquille O’Neal sitting out with an inflammed Achilles tendon, but Kendrick Perkins gave the Celtics 13 points and 12 rebounds in his first start since Game 6 of the Finals.
“He’s getting better and better for us each game,” Paul Pierce said. “You guys don’t really see the work that he puts in behind the scenes to get to this point. It’s going to be big for us. Hopefully, down the road with his contributions and getting Shaq healthy and Jermaine healthy, it will make us very very deep at that position. We love the way he is playing right now.”
Rivers, who wanted to limit Perkins’ consecutive minutes to around seven, actually extended Perkins minutes in the fourth quarter and it paid off. Perkins played all but two seconds in the fourth, scoring 8 points and grabbing four rebounds.
“It was great,” Rivers said. “Perk, basically, he’s in the right spot and he finished the lay-ups and that’s what we needed him to do. I thought defensively he was terrific, rebounding the ball well. So, we got a lot out of Perk.”
“I’m not worried about the total minutes. I’m more worried about it in a row. We went over that in the fourth quarter, but he looked good so I just kept him in.”