No one can accuse the Celtics of throwing this game. They were never in it.
Unlike last Friday night when the Celtics led most of the way before dropping a 106-101 decision in Dallas, Boston got down early tonight and never recovered. The Mavericks led by 17 at the end of the first quarter.
A Herculean first-half performance by Paul Pierce (22 points) kept the Celtics close on the scoreboard at halftime, but the Mavericks were always in control. When Pierce went cold (1 for 7) in the third quarter, Dallas ran away with it.
Pierce finished the game with 30 points. He made 19 of 21 free throws.
Dallas was led by spark plug Josh Howard, who harassed the Celtics into difficult shots all game. Howard finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds for Avery Johnson’s team.
Jason Terry finished with 29 points, while Dirk Nowitzki had 20 points for the Mavericks.
Northeastern fans in section 320 let out a collective roar with 6:41 left in the fourth quarter as former NU standout Jose Barea entered the game. Barea missed his first three-point attempt to chants of, “Ole, ole ole ole” from about 35 Northeastern fans. Many of them wore red No. 11 shirts. Barea played the rest of the game and finished with five points.
We’ll have reaction from the locker rooms in a little bit.