The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks both look to regain some momentum Wednesday night when they meet in what is the first contest of a six-game homestand for the Celtics.
Despite a career-high 23 points from Josh Green, the Mavericks dropped a 98-97 decision to the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. The Nuggets played without Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Aaron Gordon, but erased a halftime deficit by outscoring the Mavericks 24-18 in the third quarter.
“We just came out flat in that third,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said. “As coaches, myself, we’ve got to be better. We came out flat. They took advantage of that, took control of the game. But again, we fight back and put ourselves in a position to win at the end.”
It wasn’t the first time Dallas came up short against an undermanned team this season. The Mavericks also lost when the Washington Wizards were without Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis. They also fell to the Orlando Magic without Paolo Banchero, and the New Orleans Pelicans when they were without Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson.
“If a player’s out, he’s out,” Green said. “Nothing shifts for me. I’m trying to win, no matter who is on the court. It could be a high school team; I’m still trying to win. So, I don’t think it really matters.”
The Celtics are coming off Monday’s 121-107 loss to the Chicago Bulls that ended a nine-game winning streak.
Boston committed 15 turnovers in the loss. Those miscues helped lead to 22 fastbreak points for the Bulls, who made 14 3-pointers and ended a four-game losing streak. Boston shot 43.7 percent from the field.
“I just thought Chicago did a great job,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said. “They obviously haven’t been playing well. They did a great job coming out (and) just kind of being the desperate team, the hungrier team, and they wanted to win to feel good about themselves.”
Boston point guard Marcus Smart played Monday after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. He had eight points, eight assists and one rebound in 35 minutes.
Wednesday’s game will feature two of the NBA’s top scorers in Boston forward Jayson Tatum and Dallas guard Luka Doncic. Tatum is averaging 30.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, and Doncic enters the matchup averaging an NBA-best 33.5 points to go with 9.1 rebounds, 8.1 assists and 1.9 steals per contest.
If Dallas guard Spencer Dinwiddie plays Wednesday, he may not be at 100 percent. Dinwiddie, who is averaging 17.6 points over his last 10 games, dislocated his left shoulder in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss to Denver. He did not practice Monday and is listed as questionable.
Kidd kept it vague when asked if Dinwiddie might miss time because of the injury.
“Not that I know of,” Kidd said following Monday’s practice. “We’ll see how he feels (Tuesday), but I am hoping that he’s ready to go on Wednesday.”
The Celtics are 6-1 at home this season.
–Field Level Media