Ford Keys to the Game: Mavericks 104, Celtics 94

Mavericks 104, Celtics 94
By Peter Stringer, March 22, 2013

Key Moment

The Celtics lost their third straight game Friday night, falling to the Dallas Mavericks 104-94 at the American Airlines Center.

Despite making several mini-runs at the Mavericks, including a late charge that cut the Dallas lead to just five points with 1:51 to play, you could argue that the Key Moment was the tip off on Friday night. The Mavericks led the Celtics wire-to-wire and it never truly felt like the Celtics had a shot to win this game. The Mavs led 55-44 at the half and spent most of the night with a comfortable double-digit cushion.

The Celtics started out by missing jumpers and layups alike in the opening minutes and hit just one of their first six shots. But more troubling was their inconsistent play on both ends of the floor throughout the night.

The offense looked disjointed from the get-go, and the Celtics' pick-and-roll defense was often M.I.A, giving Brandan Wright (who scored a game-high 23 points) multiple wide-open dunks. Paul Pierce (16 points) took just nine shots, and while he turned up the volume in the fourth quarter, the Celtics were behind the eight ball at that point.

The C’s made a concerted effort coming out of the half to work the offense through KG, and the Big Ticket responded with a 16-point, 12-rebound performance. But Dirk Nowitzki (22 points) hurt the C's most of the night with a healthy dose of his scoring touch and the Celtics took another tough loss.

There's more bad news. Courtney Lee appeared to sprain his ankle in the final minutes of the game and his status for Saturday's game in Memphis is unknown for now.


Key Box Score Line

Brandon Bass had one of his best performances of the season Friday night in Dallas, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to lead the Celtics. Bass was working hard in the paint all night, and he showed some of the inside toughness that he demonstrated throughout last season.

Bass grabbed 11 rebounds on the night, and seven of them came on the offensive end as he was busy trying to tip in his own shot on multiple occasions. Bass has grabbed double-digit rebounds in just three other games this season, most recently in Boston's loss at Oklahoma City on March 10.

Box Score Nuggets

  • No Celtic hit more than five field goals in Friday's game.
  • The Celtics connected on 25 of their 27 free throws.
  • Jeff Green scored 10 points on five field goals, but also committed five turnovers and five fouls.
  • Terrence Williams played just 29 seconds off the bench and grabbed one rebound.
  • Kevin Garnett grabbed 12 rebounds in just under 29 minutes.
  • Jason Terry scored eight points on 3-for-9 shooting in his return to Dallas.
  • Brandon Bass hit all eight of his free throws and finished with 16 points.
  • Avery Bradley did not register a steal.
  • Bass grabbed seven of his 11 rebounds on the offensive end.

Quote of the Night

We missed a lot of shots, all through the game. I just thought we got lost a lot on defense. We gave up a 30-point quarter on defense, which we just don't do... I wasn’t real happy with our defense. We're going to have to clean that up. Doc Rivers on the Celtics' poor defensive performance Friday night