|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT23:30 , February 23, 2021
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas Attendance: 3,338
Celtics look for answers heading into matchup at Dallas
Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks
- The Celtics are 7--1 against the Mavericks over the last five seasons. That's Boston's third-best record against one opponent since the 2016--17 season, and it's Dallas's lowest winning percentage against one opponent over that same time.
- The Celtics won a season-high five straight games from January 3--15, but since that streak ended, they have won consecutive games only once (January 24--25), and they have the fifth-lowest winning percentage in the NBA (7--12, .368).
- The Mavericks are 1--4 this season in games on the second of back-to-back nights, tied for the fourth lowest winning percentage in the NBA. Their lone win came in Houston on January 4. Dallas has not won games on consecutive days in over a year (last time: January 14--15, 2015, at GS/Sac).
- Jayson Tatum (26.0 points per game) and Jaylen Brown (25.5) are one of three pairs of NBA teammates averaging at least 25 points per game this season. They could become the second pair of teammates in NBA history each to average 25 points per game in a season before turning 25 years old (Walt Bellamy and Terry Dischinger, 1962--63 Chicago Zephyrs.)
- Jaylen Brown is the only NBA player who averaged at least 20 points per game last season and who has increased his scoring average by at least five points per game this season.
- Luka Doncic has averaged 31.8 points per game in February, third highest in the NBA this month behind Stephen Curry (34.4) and Joel Embiid (33.9). Doncic was eighth in the NBA in scoring average through the end of January (27.4); he's now up to fifth in the league in points per game.
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The Boston Celtics, losers of nine of their past 14 games and sitting at .500, will look to get back on track when they visit the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
Boston's latest misstep came in epic fashion, with a squandered 24-point lead in the second half of a 120-115 overtime setback to the host New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.
"It hurt. That one stung," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "(Monday's practice) was about being able to put that behind us and learn from it, learn from what we need to do better in that moment, and I think we will do better in that moment."
Kemba Walker followed a season-best, 28-point performance in Boston's 121-109 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday with a disastrous shooting display two days later. He went 5 of 21 from the floor, including 1 of 12 from 3-point range.
"When times get tough, I'm not the type to put my head down and be frustrated over it," Walker said Monday. "Just got to continue to work hard and my time will come."
Walker hopes to rebound on Tuesday when he joins Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown on the court. Walker scored 32 points and combined with Brown and Tatum to record 82 in Boston's 109-103 victory at Dallas in the teams' last meeting on Dec. 18, 2019.
Tatum averages a team-best 26 points per game, with Brown just a fraction lower at 25.5.
There's a significant dip in production from there, and that takes into consideration Walker's efforts to work his way past the lingering effects of offseason knee surgery.
While Boston was unable to hold a sizable lead in its last game, Dallas had no such issues on Monday. The Mavericks, who were playing for the first time since Valentine's Day, scored 20 of the first 25 points of the contest and led wire-to-wire in a 102-92 victory over the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.
Tim Hardaway Jr. drained 7 of 11 3-point attempts to highlight his 29-point performance off the bench. Hardaway made 9 of 14 shots from the floor, a significant improvement after sinking a total of 7 of 20 attempts in his previous two contests combined.
"When I see one or two go in, it's pretty much an ocean for me. The game just comes naturally," Hardaway said. "I just really pride myself in being one of our top shooters, and when I check in the game, I just want to be that sparkplug for the team any way, shape or form I can and make sure I bring that attitude."
Luka Doncic collected 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists as Dallas captured its fifth win in six games.
Doncic scored 34 points in the Mavericks' 116-106 setback at Boston on Nov. 11, 2019. Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 23 points and 13 rebounds in the rematch a month later.
Porzingis, however, sat out Monday's game due to lower back stiffness. It was not known if he would be on the court Tuesday against Boston.
--Field Level Media
Updated February 23, 2021