Keys to the Game: Celtics 116, Mavericks 106

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

Kemba Walker came to Boston for the big moments. Give him credit: He’s owning them.

Walker came up clutch yet again Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks, canning a trio of 3-pointers in a span of 70 seconds while the game hung in the balance. His treys, coupled with a free throw from Daniel Theis following a flagrant foul, turned a two-point deficit into a seven-point lead with 4:12 left on the clock. They also turned up the volume inside TD Garden, which gave Boston all of the momentum it needed to seal its eighth straight victory.

The Celtics’ lead grew to as many as 14 points during the final four minutes and never dropped below nine points en route to a 116-106 victory. They were in complete control following Walker’s big shots.

The point guard was forced out of the game with whiplash with 2:42 remaining, but Brad Stevens said he was in good spirits after the game, as he should be. Walker provided the Celtics with everything they needed to seal the win, as he continued to own the big moment Monday night and keep the Celtics atop the NBA’s standings.

Key Player

Kemba Walker earned the limelight with his clutch performance down the stretch of Monday’s win against Dallas, but Jaylen Brown earned our Key Player award for the night.

Brown was outstanding – yet again – while taking on the Mavs. He scored 25 points on an efficient 9-for-16 shooting performance, which included two treys on four attempts. He was outstanding around the basket – yet again – where he made six of his nine shot attempts from in or around the restricted area.

This may have been Brown’s best overall performance of the season. It featured his first double-double that was highlighted by his 25 points and his game-high 11 rebounds. Three of those rebounds were snagged at the offensive end. Brown rounded out his night by adding in three assists.

Opposing teams cannot like what they’re seeing out of Brown. He is playing with power off of the dribble and finishing at a dangerous rate around the basket. Boston will need more of the same as it attempts to navigate the next six or so weeks without star wing Gordon Hayward.

Box Score Nuggets

  • All five of Boston's starters logged plus/minus ratings of at least plus-12, with Daniel Theis leading the way at plus-27.
  • Kemba Walker scored a team-high 29 points, while Luka Doncic scored a game-high 34 for Dallas.
  • Boston had a great shooting night, making 47.7 percent of its shots, 42.9 percent of its 3s and 76 percent of its free throws.
  • Jaylen Brown grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to go along with 25 points.
  • The Celtics dished out 25 assists, while the Mavs dished 22.
  • Marcus Smart shot 4-for-7 from long distance and scored 17 points.
  • Both teams grabbed 46 rebounds.
  • The teams combined to commit only 15 turnovers - nine by Boston and six by Dallas.
  • Doncic also led the game in assists with nine.
  • Boston received strong performances off of the bench from Brad Wanamaker, who tallied 10 points and four rebounds, and Javonte Green, who scored nine points.
  • Both teams scored 48 points in the paint.
  • Boston led by as many as 14 points, while Dallas never led by more than two.

Quote of the Night

Brad Stevens on Brad Wanamaker