The Boston Celtics have almost been perfect since Jan. 25, and that trend continued Monday night with a 111-98 win against the Dallas Mavericks.
Boston finished its West Coast road trip 3-1 and won its 10th game in its last 11 tries.
Isaiah Thomas led all scorers with 29 points and made clutch plays in the fourth quarter to help the C’s pull away from the pesky Mavericks. Thomas was one of six Celtics in double figures as Marcus Smart (19 points), Kelly Olynyk (15 points), Al Horford (11 points), Jae Crowder (10 points) and Gerald Green (10 points) also achieved the feat.
Mavericks rookie point guard Yogi Ferrell led the way with 20 points for Dallas.
The Celtics improve to 36-19 with the win, while the Mavericks fall to 22-33.
Here’s how it all went down.
Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, Amir Johnson, Al Horford
HOT START FOR THE BACKCOURT
The Celtics picked up where they left off against the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, by hitting seven 3-pointers in the frame and shooting 55 percent from the field. Thomas poured in 12 points thanks to three treys, and Smart had 11 of his own on 4-for-5 shooting from the floor.
Despite the Celtics’ hot shooting, they only took a two-point lead into the second quarter thanks in large part to Dirk Nowitzki and Ferrell. The C’s decided to switch pick-and-rolls in the first quarter, and Dallas took advantage of it by getting Thomas to switch onto Nowitzki.
Nowitzki and Ferrell combined for 18 of the Mavericks’ 28 points in the quarter.
Green continued to be a force off the bench, and the Celtics needed it with rookie Jaylen Brown being sidelined with a hip flexor strain. Green scored 10 points in the second frame, including two 3-pointers as the C’s stretched their lead to double digits, taking an 11-point lead into the break.
Thomas led all scorers with 18 points in the first half and Smart added 17 of his own.
The pace of the game slowed down tremendously during the third quarter. The Mavericks were sent to the free-throw line 16 times in the period, which helped them trim the C’s lead to one entering the fourth quarter. Dallas also held Thomas and Smart to five points combined in the frame, while holding the Celtics to 1-for-6 from distance in the third.
THAT TIME AGAIN
The Celtics held a slim lead throughout most of the quarter, until Thomas put his signature on the game, as he has all season. With Boston leading by five, Thomas slashed to the hoop and got an easy deuce. After tallying a good-luck assist on an Olynyk 3-pointer, Thomas hit a trey of his own to increase the lead to 11.
A minute later, Thomas slung a pass to Crowder for the dagger 3-pointer that put the Mavericks away.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Smart put this one on the money.
The Celtics return to TD Garden to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images