The Boston Celtics’ win streak has survived. It took an 13-point fourth quarter comeback, overtime, and an impossible Kyrie Irving shot, but Boston has now won 16 consecutive games.
It really looked like the Mavericks would end it. They led by double digits at several points throughout the second half, playing some of the best basketball all year. In particular, Dirk Nowitzki had 14 points and 12 rebounds, his best performance of the season. His plus-8 was a team best, too.
However, Boston is a great basketball team this season, and Dallas won’t make the playoffs. The Celtics made winning plays, and they also had Irving, who finished with 47 points on 16-of-22 shooting.
Boston’s win streak began after an 0-2 start and has even survived the Golden State Warriors last week. Now it has been extended to 16 consecutive games.
The final few minutes of regulation were ridiculous
Here’s a play that sums up nearly everything that happened.
TWO inbounds saves, and Irving knocked down the three-pointer. Irving was guarded by sub-six-foot guards (Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea) for much of the game, and it showed. You can’t match a 6’3 pure scorer like him, but you REALLY can’t match him with someone who gives up several inches.
For example, part two:
I mean, look, Irving is sensational. He had 47 points on 22 shots; there have only been 15 other instances of a player scoring 47 or more points on 22 or fewer shots in NBA history. It has also happened twice in the postseason.
It made Danny Ainge believe the earth is flat.
The Celtics youngsters are still so good
Jaylen Brown: 22 points, nine rebounds, and 8-of-13 shooting. Jayson Tatum: 15 points, nine rebounds, and 6-of-11 shooting. Is there anything they can’t do?
Dirk should’ve gotten a chance at a game-winner
We mentioned above that Nowitzki was great, and he closed the game on the court, but he did not get the final shot. Ignore Dennis Smith Jr. riding the bench most of the fourth quarter and overtime — not getting Nowitzki the final shot was a travesty.
Look, Harrison Barnes created a solid look, even though he was cold for much of the fourth quarter. Here’s his stepback attempt that just barely rimmed out.
Dallas puts the ball in the hands of its top scorer, Harrison Barnes, for the game-winning shot. 19-year-old rookie Jayson Tatum says, "NOT ON MY WATCH!" pic.twitter.com/Jri0iw3gpR— Taylor C. Snow (@taylorcsnow) November 21, 2017
But we may not get another chance to see Nowitzki in an isolation with the game on the line, and that’s especially tragic. All I want is one more Nowitzki game winner. Is that too much to ask?
When will Boston’s win streak end?
The next five games: at Miami, vs. Orlando, at Indiana, vs. Detroit, vs. Philadelphia.
All five teams are competing for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, and all five have a chance. The Heat always get up for games like this, it seems like, so don’t rule them out on Wednesday. If not, I’m putting my money on Detroit. Andre Drummond is a force that the Celtics aren’t quite equipped to handle if he continues playing like he has.
Regardless, the Celtics have made their point and done it well. This team is sensational.