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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