Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and hit the game- winning jumper with 17.9 seconds left, leading Dallas to an 89-87 victory over Boston at American Airlines Center.
Nowitzki added seven rebounds for the Mavericks, who moved to 4-2 on the young season. Jason Terry added 17 points in a reserve role, while Tyson Chandler had 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Caron Butler contributed with 11 points in the victory.
Rajon Rondo had 11 points and 15 assists, but missed a potential go-ahead three-pointer in the closing moments, as Boston saw its five-game win streak come to an end. Kevin Garnett also missed a shot at the buzzer, but scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in a losing effort.
Paul Pierce led the team with 24 points, while Ray Allen had 11 for the Celtics.
With the game tied in the latter stages of the fourth, Garnett grabbed a long defensive rebound and sent a successful outlet pass to a streaking Rondo, who went in for the layup and added a free throw for an 83-80 lead with 3:13 to go.
Nowitzki answered with a driving layup over Garnett, but Rondo’s deep open jumper with 2 1/2 minutes left restored the three-point cushion. After Pierce missed a short layup attempt, Kidd drove to the lane before kicking out to Terry, who hit a wide-open three to tie the game, 87-87, with 1:13 left.
Boston missed two chances to go ahead after the clock moved past the one- minute mark, and Nowitzki’s contested jumper from the wing over Glen Davis with 17.4 seconds left put Dallas ahead, 89-87.
Rondo was left alone for a wide-open three-pointer on the Celtics’ next possession, but he missed the shot with under 10 seconds. Allen grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 1.5 seconds left — Dallas had a foul to give; Garnett was forced to hoist up an off-balance shot from deep in the corner, and the ball fell harmlessly to the floor to end the game.
Dallas held a slight 23-19 lead after the first quarter and pushed its lead to 50-40 at halftime.
Boston used an 8-0 run in the third to tie the game at 57-57 on a Pierce jumper with under five minutes to go, and he added a three several minutes later to give the visitors a 67-63 advantage. Dallas, though, closed on a 7-2 run to grab a 70-69 lead after the quarter on a Nowitzki jumper.
Boston scored 11 of the first 15 points of the fourth to move in front, 80-74, on a Garnett basket with 7:24 left, but Dallas answered with six straight points to tie the game with four minutes remaining.
Rondo now has 118 steals in eight games, an average of 14.75…Kidd finished with 10 assists and no points…Boston has still won five of the last seven meetings…This is the first time in four seasons that the Celtics are not 7-1 or better. This loss put them at 6-2…Boston attempted only seven free throws and made all of them; Dallas went 17-for-20 from the line.