DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The Dallas Mavericks seemed to miss Luka Doncic while the Boston Celtics turned to a new Big Three to earn a key road win.
Kemba Walker scored 32 points and combined with teammates Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum for 82 as the Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 109-103 on Wednesday night.
Brown had 26 points and Tatum added 24 to help Boston prevail on a night when both teams were missing key players and struggled to shoot 40% from the field. The trio combined for 27 of the Celtics’ 33 points in the final quarter when Boston pulled away from a Mavericks team missing star guard Doncic.
Boston had injuries of its own, playing without Gordon Hayward (left foot soreness) and Marcus Smart (left eye infection). No other Celtics player scored more than seven points.
“The three guys we were going to play through were very clear tonight,” coach Brad Stevens said. “Those guys all had good scoring nights, thankfully.”
Doncic sat out his second straight game with a right ankle sprain, and his absence was felt more than in Dallas’ win Monday over Milwaukee. The Mavs scored a season-low 18 points in the third quarter and finished 15 points below their season average despite hitting a flurry of 3-pointers in the final minutes.
Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 23 points and 13 rebounds but fouled out in the last minute. Seth Curry added 20 points.
Jalen Brunson started at point guard in place of Doncic and tied his career high with 11 assists, but struggled with 4-for-13 shooting and had two crucial turnovers in the fourth quarter.
“Most importantly, I’ve got to stop turning the ball over so late in the game,” Brunson said. “Two straight home games turning the ball over late — that’s on me.”
After falling behind early in each of the first three quarters before rallying, Boston jumped out front in the fourth with Brown hitting a 20-footer and Tatum a 3 to build an 83-78 lead. Tatum converted a three-point play with 6:38 to go to give the Celtics an 88-80 edge. After two Dallas free throws, Walker hit a 3 and then made four free throws in a row to extend the lead to double digits.
“Our development together is getting better,” Walker said. “Chemistry’s getting better each and every day.”
Dallas hit five 3s in the final 3:34 to trim the deficit.
The Mavericks will look to bounce back at home again against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)