The Dallas Mavericks were able to get a much-needed win over the Boston Celtics. A 104-94 victory over the Celtics ruined Jason Terry’s return to Dallas. The Mavericks never trailed against the Celtics on Friday (scored was tied four times). It marked the second time this season that Dallas recorded a victory without trailing at any point (also Jan. 14 vs. Minnesota). In the Mavericks’ 113-98 win over the Timberwolves, Dallas never trailed but the score was tied once (at 2-2).
Brandan Wright made his 13th start of the season (44th career) against the Celtics on Friday. In his 100th game with the Mavericks, Wright tallied a season and game-high 23 points to go along with a season-high-tying eight rebounds in 30 minutes. His previous high scoring game this season was a 16-point effort at Phoenix on 12/6. Shawn Marion returned to the starting lineup against the Celtics on Friday, after missing the previous eight games due to a left calf strain. Marion posted his 13th double-double of the season (417th career) with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in 31 minutes. Marion pulled down 10 of Dallas’ 26 rebounds in the opening half.
Dirk Nowitzki totaled 22 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes against the Celtics. He scored 20-plus points for the fourth in his last six games (13th time this season). Nowitzki is averaging 19.4 points and 8.4 rebounds over his last seven games. He is shooting 54.3 percent (50-of-92) from the floor and 50 percent (11-of-22) from deep in that span.
Some notes before the quotes:
- Wright’s 23 points marked the second-highest scoring game of his career (25 points vs. Philadelphia Mar. 20, 2009). It was also just the second 20-point game of his career and his highest scoring game as a Maverick (was 17 vs. Golden State Apr. 20, 2012). Wright pulled down eight rebounds for the fourth time in his last seven games (seventh time this season). He is averaging 12.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 24.3 minutes over his last 11 games. Wright is shooting 63.3 percent (62-of-98) from the field in that span.
- The game against Boston marked the first time since Mar. 12, 2008 vs. New York that Shawn recorded 10-plus boards in the first half of a game (10 rebounds). It was also the first time he totaled 10-plus boards in any half since Apr. 10, 2012 vs. Sacramento (10 boards).
- In his return to Dallas, Jason Terry scored eight points on 3-of-9 shooting with three turnovers over 21:57. He was minus-6 overall.
- The Mavericks announced after the game that they would not sign guard Chris Wright to another 10-day contract, ending his time with Dallas.
Here is the quoteboard for Dallas’ win over Boston.
On the play of Brandan Wright: “It’s his kind of game because there are a lot of small guys out there. That was the reason we started him. He navigates well in an athletic game without a lot of bruisers in it. He played huge for us. I thought a really huge play was when he took the ball out of Green’s hands when Green was driving to the basket. They were starting to make a run and then we go down and score. It was that play and then we had a couple of loose ball plays when O.J. [Mayo] was on the floor a couple of times and came up with a couple of balls that were big. That’s the difference between winning and losing in this league right now, those 50/50 plays. We made a couple of them tonight. It’s a hard game.”
On the return of Shawn Marion: “We miss his abilities as a basketball player, for sure. He’s one of our best athletes. His activity is something you can’t duplicate with just any other normal player. He’s just a very unique guy. He’s played Pierce a million times, so he has a feel for that. He’s the kind of guy you need to guard Green some of the time when they go small. We needed him tonight. He didn’t have a big scoring game, but the rebounding was huge for us.” On the team’s rebounding efforts: “It’s great. It just shows that everybody was really into it and that everyone is starting to understand the importance of going after the ball and not leaking out and things like that. It’s a huge win for us because we’ve got to win as many as we possibly can. Boston’s a team that’s been playing well. We’ve got to validate this by coming out on Sunday and doing it again, playing this kind of game again.”
On getting the ball to Dirk more tonight: “It’s an overblown conversation, to tell you the truth. Did he have more shots than Mike James? That’s my question. He did? Good. I think it’s an awareness we have to have. When we slow down and calling plays, teams lock into us. It’s a harder game for us to play because of how we’re set up. We have to have an awareness. We have to involve Dirk in as many things as we possibly can without calling plays. A lot of the attention is on the point guards for that, but really it’s a responsibility of everyone out there.”
On defending Jason Terry tonight: “I think our guys just gave him the respect he deserved and played him really hard. They just tried to make it tough.”
On his confidence building: “My confidence has never been low. I’ve been ready to play and ready to take advantage of whatever opportunity is given.”
On getting start and scoring 23 points: “It felt good. I know I had to come ready to play. I know this team is very quick with a lot of balls screens and small lineups…so it fits my game.”
On playing against Kevin Garnett: “It was just another game for me. Hall of fame status or not, I respect him as a player. I go out there and play hard, I’ve got a little bit of game too.”
On if he’s seizing control to get more minutes going forward: “I can’t comment on that. We’ll take it one game at a time.”
On what’s leading to his improved played: “I’m just playing basketball. You can say it’s confidence or whatever you want to call it. I’m just feeling good. When you get in a good groove everything comes easy.”
On the shots he was able to get tonight: “I got some touches early and got a couple to go. That always helps … I’m still going to get my touches and I have to make the most out of it when I get them.”
What led to more touches and shots: “I ran to the box a little more. I guess that’s what I’ve got to do if things are not going that well.”
On seeing JET again: “It was great to see him. I knew he was going to get a big ovation … He’s great. I was happy to see him back.”
On his words with Kevin Garnett during the game: “We had a few words there. If you go way back, we got into a lot more than what was today so that was a soft version. We’re both competitors and trying to help our team win. People that play the same position are just going to clash. It happens once in a while. Today was really nothing.”
On OJ Mayo saying he had Dirk’s back during the skirmish: “I didn’t even see OJ in there but he said he had my back. I’ve got to look at the film and make sure he was actually there.”
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.