BOSTON, Massachusetts — The Dallas Mavericks rallied from seven points down in the final 7 1/2 minutes and then held on for their fifth straight win, a 106-102 decision over Boston that ended the Celtics’ three-game winning streak on Wednesday night.
Guard Deron Williams hit two straight baskets, one a 3-pointer, and then set up center Zasa Pachulia for a layup as the Mavs used a 9-0 run to take control of the game.
Dallas (8-4) rallied back from an 18-point first-quarter deficit, caught up but couldn’t go ahead — Boston (6-5) grabbing a seven-point lead with 7:58 remaining.
The Mavs had to hold off a last-minute charge. Their rally had them ahead 102-95 with 30.3 seconds left. But forward and former Mav Jae Crowder hit a 3-pointer and was in on a pressing steal before being fouled with 21.9 seconds left. He made the free throws to make it 102-100.
Williams hit two free throws at 20.9 — and the Celtics would get a chance to tie or go ahead after guard Raymond Felton missed two free throws at 16.5, but guard Isaiah Thomas turned the ball over and Williams nailed it down with two more foul shots.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki, who was taken out with 30.3 seconds left only to have to come back in, led all scorers with 23 points, adding seven rebounds for Dallas. Guard Wesley Matthews, also clutch down the stretch, finished with 18 points, Williams had 16 (11 in the final 6:02) and six assists and Pachulia 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Thomas, who was 1 of 8 from 3-point range, led the Celtics with 19 points and six assists, while forward Jared Sullinger had 18 points and 12 rebounds, guard Avery Bradley also scored 18 — 12 of them in a 1:42 span of the first quarter — and Crowder added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists.
The Celtics jumped out to a 7-0 lead and were ahead 17-11 when Bradley erupted, hitting a 3-pointer, three straight twos, the third after a steal, and then hit a three after he missed a shot and Sullinger grabbed an offensive rebound. Bradley then went down 2-on-1 with Thomas and fed his teammate with a behind-the back pass for a layup that made it 31-13.
Boston, which lost Bradley to a third foul early in the second quarter, went cold for the rest of the first half and Dallas got to within seven before Sullinger ended the half with his ninth and 10th points.
The Mavs opened the second half on an 8-0 run, tied the game at 56 and then, after six straight by Boston, Dallas scored six in a row to tie it again. But the visitors weren’t able to take a lead and the Celtics finished the quarter on an 11-4 run to lead by eight after three.
NOTES: Both coaches took shots at the Rockets after coach Kevin McHale was fired Wednesday. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who played with McHale in Boston, called it “preposterous.” Celtics coach Brad Stevens called McHale “obviously a great Celtic,” thanked him for his guidance and added, “To me, from the outside looking in, it looks like 11 games in making a rash decision. But again, it’s not my call.” … Dallas F Charlie Villanueva missed the game for the birth of his second child. … Mavs owner Mark Cuban, on acquiring Rajon Rondo from Boston last year — a deal that turned out poorly for Dallas and brought F Jae Crowder to the Celtics: “(Stuff) happens, right? There’s a lot of risks I’ve taken that have worked out just fine. They’re not all gonna work. I think when it’s all said and done, that Crowder-for-(Dwight) Powell trade will be a break even.”
Pacers 112, 76ers 85
PHILADELPHIA — Forward Paul George poured in 29 of his 34 points in a little over a quarter as the Indiana Pacers routed the winless Philadelphia 76ers 112-85 on Wednesday night.
Guard C.J. Miles added 20 points for the Pacers, who won for the seventh time in nine games.
Indiana was without point guard George Hill (upper respiratory infection) for the second straight game, but it hardly mattered against the 76ers. Philadelphia committed 31 turnovers, the most since Golden State had 31 against Sacramento on Nov. 8, 2000.
Rookie guard T.J. McConnell had a season-high 16 points to lead Philadelphia, the NBA’s only winless team. The Sixers are five losses away from equaling their franchise-record 0-17 start of a year ago. They have also dropped 22 straight dating back to March 25, when they defeated Denver.
Philadelphia’s 27 turnovers Monday against Dallas were the previous high in the league this season. Wednesday’s total resulted in 37 Indiana points.
George, a two-time All-Star, broke his right leg while playing in a Team USA scrimmage on Aug. 1, 2014, and appeared in just six games last season.
This year he is averaging 26.1 points a game, and Wednesday marked the eighth straight game in which he has notched at least 26. He shot 13-for-24 from the floor, including 5-for-10 from 3-point range.
The Sixers committed 18 turnovers in the first two quarters, two shy of the franchise record for a half, but were down just 36-33 with 4:25 left in the second period. Indiana, however, closed the half on a 16-5 run to take a 52-38 lead.
George sank a free throw with 2:58 left in the half, after the Sixers were assessed a technical foul for having six players on the floor. He added seven more points before halftime, then generated 21 in the third quarter.
His three-point play with 3:16 left in the period gave Indiana a 77-47 lead. The Pacers led by as many as 33 in the fourth quarter.