Saturday , Dec , 10 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Nowitzki leads Mavs over Celtics

Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and Devin Harris
chipped in 19 as Dallas downed Boston 103-94 at American Airlines Center.

Marquis Daniels added 15 points while Adrian Griffin compiled 11 points and 10
rebounds to help the Mavericks post their fifth consecutive victory.

Paul Pierce poured in a game-high 28 points and Al Jefferson had 21 along with
12 rebounds for the Celtics, who had a fourth-quarter comeback effort fall
short and suffered their third defeat in four games.

Boston, which has lost in its last six visits to Dallas, also received 20
points from Ricky Davis.

Dallas saw a 17-point third-quarter lead dwindle to one after Jefferson
converted a layup with 4:41 remaining to make the score 88-87. However, the
Celtics failed to score over the next four minutes as the Mavericks held on.

Nowitzki buried a clutch jumper with 3:13 to play to put Dallas up 93-87 with
3:13 to go. As Boston continued to miss shots, the Mavericks tacked on three
more points via free throws to build a nine-point cushion in the final minute.

Pierce ended the Boston drought with a three-pointer with 42 seconds to go,
but Dallas preserved the decision by hitting 7-of-8 foul shots down the
stretch.

Keith Van Horn ended a tightly-contested first quarter with a three-pointer to
give the Mavericks a 28-23 lead after the opening 12 minutes.

After Boston’s Dan Dickau hit a basket beyond the arc to make it a two-point
game, a Terry triple highlighted a 7-0 run that put Dallas up by nine early in
the second quarter. The margin grew to 11 at 39-28 after Erick Dampier’s layup
with 7:30 left in the half.

A three-point play from Pierce capped a 7-0 Boston flurry that pulled the
visitors within 44-41 with three minutes remaining before intermission. He
would lead all players with 16 first-half points, but the Celtics would enter
the break down 52-47.

Dallas would catch fire to start the third quarter, as the Mavericks outscored
Boston 12-1 over the first four minutes. Daniels netted five points during the
run, which ended with Griffin’s putback that gave the hosts a comfortable
64-48 advantage.

The Mavericks led 71-54 with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the third quarter before
Boston began to close the gap. Jefferson had six points during a 13-2 burst
that cut the deficit to 73-67 in the final minute of the period.

Dallas was ahead 88-80 with six minutes remaining, but a Davis three-pointer
and Pierce’s jumper preceeded Jefferson’s basket that made it a one-point
game.

Game Notes

Jason Terry, who missed Dallas’ previous two games with a sore hamstring,
returned to action and had 12 points in 22 minutes…Harris ended 13-of-17
from the free throw line and the Mavericks made 33-of-43 shots from the
stripe, compared to just 8-of-14 for Boston…The Celtics wrapped up a five-
game road swing and went 2-3 on the trip…Dallas has won 10 of the last 11
meetings between the teams, including the last four.

BOS DAL