The Celtics put up a respectable fight for the first three quarters of Saturday's game against the Mavericks, but there was too much JJ Barea and not enough consistent offense down the stretch from the C's, which helped the hosts pull away late for a 113-104 victory. Barea was the difference maker in the second half, posting a team-high 20 points and 8 assists as he torched the C's defense in the pick-and-roll time and time again.
The visitors fought back from a double-double deficit to take the lead at one point in the third quarter (74-73) but the Mavericks managed to re-assert control with a 33-16 run that put the game away midway through the fourth quarter. Harrison Barnes added a team-high 20 points and rookie phenom chipped in with 15 points and 8 assists to led a balanced Dallas scoring attack that featured five players in double figures and plenty of hustle plays, including 12 offensive rebounds.
Jayson Tatum had a team-high 21 points in the loss for an uneven performance that featured a season-high 19 turnovers. Poor shooting nights from Kyrie Irving (9-of-24) and Al Horford (3-of-11) helped sink the offense late and insult was added to injury when Jaylen Brown (tailbone) left the game after a hard fall on his backside during crunch time.
The loss drops Boston to 10-10 on the year. They will wrap up their road trip on Monday night in New Orleans.