DALLAS, Oct. 12 (AP) -- Paul Pierce had 32 points and 15 rebounds as the Boston Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks 98-96 Friday night in the first NBA preseason game at American Airlines Center.

Nash
Steve Nash looks to get his shot up in traffic.
Sandra Smith/NBAE Photos
Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points, and Tim Hardaway added 17 for the Mavericks.

Antoine Walker added 15 points and nine rebounds, and rookie Joe Johnson had 13 points for the Celtics, who are 2-0 in the preseason.

Boston held an 87-80 lead with just over five minutes to play, but Dallas went on an 11-0 run. The spurt was capped by 3-pointers from Steve Nash and Nowitzki, and Nowitzki's three-point play that gave the Mavericks a 91-87 lead with 2:56 left.

Walker answered with a 3-pointer, and Tony Battie made single free throws on consecutive possessions to give Boston a 92-91 lead with 1:30 left.

Hardaway's 3-pointer at the buzzer reduced Boston's victory margin to two points.