Mavericks vs.  Celtics – NBA Game Recap – November 23, 2022

Mavericks vs. Celtics – NBA Game Recap – November 23, 2022

Mavericks vs.  Celtics – NBA Game Recap – November 23, 2022

BOSTON — — As Dallas closed the gap, Jayson Tatum turned his matchup with Luka Doncic into a one-on-one battle.

And the Boston star beat the Mavericks every time.

Tatum had 37 points and 13 rebounds and Jaylen Brown scored 31 on Wednesday night to help the NBA-leading Celtics respond from a rare loss to beat Dallas 125-112.

“His ability to respond to the moment. His ability to make everyone around him better,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said. “You can count on him to play every night.”

Doncic, the NBA’s leading scorer, had 42 points for the Mavericks. Tatum, the league’s No. 4 scorer, had been listed as questionable with a sprained ankle.

“He was going to play. He knew who he was matched with, Brown said. “Don’t let him fool you. He knew he was going to play the whole time.

Boston led by as many as 27 points in the third quarter before Dallas scored 13 of the next 15 points. The Mavericks got within nine, 104-95 with about 3:30 left, and it was 117-107 when the two stars lined up.

Tatum drove for a two-handed, rim-hanging slam, then Doncic was called for an offensive foul. Doncic fouled Tatum, who hit two free throws to give Boston a 121-107 lead, then Tatum blocked Doncic’s layup attempt.

“I told him I didn’t want you to dip it,” Tatum said. “He looked at me like, ‘Did you think I was going to dunk it?’

Brown hit a 3-pointer to make it 124-107 and ice it.

“Luka got it going a little bit, and then the team got it going a little bit,” Brown said. “It’s just weathering the storm.”

The Celtics, who have 14 wins in the league, had won nine straight before losing to the Bulls on Monday.

“Chicago was just one game,” Brown said. “There’s going to be times where you’re not going to make shots and that’s going to put pressure on our defense. More times than not, this team is going to play the right way.”

The Mavericks had beaten Boston four straight times. Three of the wins came on a 3-pointer in the final seconds, and two of them were with no time at all.

“Dallas has gotten the best of us the last few years,” Tatum said, admitting that Brown was “probably right” about the chances of him sitting out. “I’m always going to try to string them together. Sitting out is never really an option.”

But Doncic couldn’t keep this one close.

Spencer Dinwiddie, who was listed as questionable with a sprained shoulder, had 15 points for Dallas.

Boston led 17-14 six minutes into the game before scoring nine straight points – seven of them by Brown. Tatum scored 16 points with five rebounds in the second quarter alone, as the Celtics led by 13 points, 55-42, before scoring 13 of the next 14 points to open a 25-point lead.

HINT

Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak, from NBC’s “The Office,” sat courtside.

NEXT

Mavericks: At Toronto on Saturday.

Celtics: Host Sacramento Friday night.

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