Celtics Vs. Mavericks: Dirk Nowitzki Scores 26 As Dallas Wins, 89-73

The Dallas Mavericks rebounded from their loss in New York with a win over the struggling Boston Celtics.

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Celtics Vs. Mavericks: Dallas Blows Out Boston Without Rondo, 89-73

Dirk Nowitzki feasted upon the backup big men of the Boston Celtics to lead his Dallas Mavericks to a lopsided 89-73 win at home. The Celtics were without Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass and struggled to get anything going offensively, scoring just 61 points halfway into the fourth quarter before the Mavs pulled their starters and the Celtics started climbing back toward a respectable margin.

Nowitzki had a season-high 16 rebounds, 10 of which came in the first half, and scored 26 (21 in the first half) to set the pace for his team as he was being guarded by either Jermaine O'Neal, who was too slow to stop him on the dribble or close out on his shot, Chris Wilcox, who bit on too many pump fakes, or JaJuan Johnson, who had trouble dealing with Dirk's multiple space-creating moves. Jason Terry scored 16, hitting on four-of-seven three-point attempts, and had six assists.

Paul Pierce led what was left of the Celtics with 20 points, needing only 13 field goal attempts to do it, but turned the ball over five times. Mickael Pietrus was huge on the defensive glass, grabbing 12 rebounds, and he was also one of the only effective defenders on Nowitzki, using his long arms to frustrate the tall German at times. Pietrus also led the Celtics in assists with four, a sure sign that they'll miss Rondo again Wednesday as he serves his suspension.

For more on these two teams, visit CeltcsBlog and Mavs Moneyball.

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Celtics Vs. Mavericks: Rajon Rondo's Absence Hurting Boston, Dallas Leads

The Boston Celtics struggled for any offense in the first half of their Monday night game with point guard Rajon Rondo suspended after throwing a ball at a referee Sunday, and find themselves down, 44-34, to the Dallas Mavericks. Power forwards Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass are also sitting with injuries, so a starting lineup of Avery Bradley, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Chris Wilcox and Jermaine O'Neal hasn't gotten the job done.

Dirk Nowitzki has dominated for the Mavericks as well, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, almost assuring him the season's first 40-20 game. But seriously folks, he's been terrific, taking control of the offense and tearing up the Celtics' depleted front line. Jason Terry has eight in his customary bench scoring role.

Paul Pierce leads the Celtics with 11 points and has three steals, while Bradley and Allen have each scored eight. They're being out-rebounded 28-17 and have seven turnovers, all of which would be better if Rondo and Garnett were in the lineup, it's safe to assume.

For more on these two teams, visit CelticsBlog and Mavs Moneyball.

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Celtics Vs. Mavericks: Can Dirk And Dallas Bounce Back From Loss To Jeremy Lin?

The Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks will attempt to pick up some momentum heading into the NBA's All-Star weekend.

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