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.