Dirk Nowitzki, who assisted on Kidd’s trey, ended with 29 points for the Mavericks, who won both of their meetings with Boston this season.
Jason Terry tallied 17 points off the bench for Dallas, which got 14 points and 15 rebounds from Tyson Chandler. Shawn Marion donated 13 points and nine boards.
“Tight game, all the way, lot of back and forth,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. “Loved the way our guys battled, it comes down to a make or miss here or there, that’s how close it was. Fortunately we were able to hang in and make plays. Kidd’s shot was a huge shot, and we got key stops.”
Ray Allen made a trio of three-pointers en route to 24 points for the Celtics, who were coming off a 3-1 western road trip. Allen is now five three-pointers away from tying Reggie Miller for most threes made in a career. Miller holds the all-time record with 2,560 makes.
Kevin Garnett finished with 16 points and five rebounds for Boston, which got 13 points and 12 boards from Kendrick Perkins.
Allen made a three-pointer to give the Celtics a 95-89 lead with 3:20 to play. The margin remained the same following baskets from Terry and Perkins.
Nowitzki recorded a three-point play with 2:21 left to cut the gap to 97-94. The next points didn’t come until Terry made two from the line with 56.5 seconds remaining to make it 97-96.
Allen missed a three-pointer at the other end, but Garnett stole the ball away from Kidd to give Boston the ball back. Garnett, though, missed a jumper and Nowitzki pulled down a big defensive rebound with 15.3 ticks left.
Following a timeout, Nowitzki drew a crowd of defenders in the lane before dishing the ball to Kidd. Allen went flying past Kidd, who drained a shot from the top of the arc to give Dallas a 99-97 edge with 2.5 seconds to go.
Rajon Rondo’s bad pass on the ensuing inbound pass gave Dallas the ball back. Nowitzki made two from the line to put the game away.
“No, J Kidd if you look at his track record he has hit big shots, he’s put teams on his back, he’s carried the load and responsibility for a long time,” Garnett said. “He’s no shag of a player, nothing like that. He’s a respected player. I think everybody in our organization and our locker room respects this dude.”
Dallas led by as many as eight in the first quarter and held a 34-27 edge after 12 minutes of action.
The Mavericks led throughout the second period and took a 54-51 lead into the locker room.
Boston ripped off six straight points midway through the third to take a 67-66 lead on Allen’s jumper. With the score tied at 69-69 moments later, the Celtics went on another 6-0 flurry.
But Dallas ended the quarter on an 8-2 surge to tie the game. Nowitzki tallied six points during the stretch, including a pair of free throws to make it 77-77 heading to the fourth.
The Mavs have won 16 of the last 22 games in this series…The Celtics fell to 22-4 at home this season…Boston center Shaquille O’Neal (Achilles/hip) missed the game…Dallas guard Jose Barea made his first start of the season and ended with 11 points…Each team turned the ball over 15 times…Kidd had 10 points and nine assists…Paul Pierce tallied 12 points for the Celtics, who shot 50.6 percent from the field…Celtics general manager Danny Ainge announced after the game that center/forward Jermaine O’Neal went arthroscopic surgery on his left knee earlier in the day and will be out 6-8 weeks.