Paul Pierce Paces Celtics to Tough 102-93 Victory Over Mavericks

Paul Pierce Paces Celtics to Tough 102-93 Victory Over Mavericks DALLAS — Paul Pierce scored 29 points, Rajon Rondo added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Boston Celtics stretched their winning streak to four games with a 102-93 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points and Jason Terry 18 to pace the Mavericks, who had won 14 of 15.

Rondo converted lay-ups on three straight Boston possessions down the stretch, giving the Celtics a 94-91 lead with 2:47 left.

Pierce drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Rondo scored on a layup to put Boston in front 99-93 with 1:18 remaining.

Ray Allen had 21 points for the Celtics, who were beaten by the Mavericks 99-90 in Boston on Jan. 18 in their only other meeting this season.

Boston's Rasheed Wallace vowed "retribution" in the rematch, complaining after the game in January that the referees give Nowitzki preferential treatment.

Nowitzki had 37 points in the first meeting, but Boston's Kevin Garnett, a longtime Nowitzki nemesis, missed the game with a hyperextended right knee. Had he been healthy, Garnett would have been the primary defender on Nowitzki.

This time, Garnett and Wallace took turns guarding Nowitzki, who still went 11-for-19 from the floor.

Shawn Marion had 16 points for Dallas.

Allen hit a pair of 3-pointers to help Boston open the third quarter with a 13-5 run for a 61-52 advantage.

Pierce scored eight of Boston's last 10 points in the third and the Celtics took a 73-72 edge into the fourth quarter.

Marion had 10 of Dallas' first 14 points, but Pierce scored 10 first-quarter points as Boston carried a 30-24 lead into the second quarter.

Boston held a 48-47 halftime lead despite Terry's nine second-quarter points.

Notes
The Celtics were coming off Friday night's 94-87 victory at Houston. The Mavericks had been off since Wednesday night's 113-106 home win over Chicago. … Dallas G Jose Juan Barea missed Friday's practice with an illness, but he was in uniform 24 hours later, scoring three points in 12 minutes. … Boston has won five of the last six against Dallas.

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