WHO: Celtics (23-24) vs. Mavericks (24-21)
WHEN: 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: TD Garden
RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub
TV: NBC Sports Boston
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUPS
G: Kemba Walker
G: Marcus Smart
SF: Jaylen Brown
PF: Jayson Tatum
C: Robert Williams III
G: Josh Richardson
G: Luka Doncic
SF: Dorian Finney-Smith
PF: Kristaps Porzingis
C: Maxi Kleber
The Boston Celtics (23-24, 22-25 ATS) continue their home stand against a Dallas Mavericks (24-21, 21-24 ATS) team, in the midst of a five-game road trip, that beat Boston 110-107 last month.
Jaylen Brown (hip) will play tonight, Romeo Langford (COVID protocol) will not, but this marked the first time Langford was upgraded from out to questionable this season. Semi Ojeleye (side) and Tristan Thompson (COVID protocol) are out too.
Dallas will play without Willie Cauley-Stein (COVID protocol), new addition JJ Redick (heel) and Tyrell Terry (personal).
According to the online sports book Betonline.ag, the Celtics are 1.0 point favorites.
- Celtics vs. Mavericks spread: Celtics -1
- Celtics vs. Mavericks over-under: 222 points
- Celtics vs. Mavericks money line: Celtics -115, Mavericks -105
The Celtics lost at the buzzer to Luka Doncic and the Mavericks last month with Kristaps Porzingis and Maxi Kleber absent. They’re back as the Mavs have won 9-of-15 since, while Boston played .500 basketball.
Dallas and Boston have both played hurt and inconsistent throughout the season, 11th and 12th respectively in offensive rating while 23rd and 22nd in defensive rating. The Mavericks have built a better team by limiting turnovers, attempting the fifth-most three pointers as a percentage of their shots and ranking 14th in free throw attempt rate.
The Celtics, despite a recent emphasis on shooting more threes, rank 17th. They shoot the 18th-most free throws per field goal attempted, while sitting 14th in turnovers percentage committed.
Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum scored 57 points, with an additional 21 from Kemba Walker in the first game, but Boston committed four more turnovers and lost the three point efficiency battle 39-30, with Doncic’s back-to-back makes and his 6-for-8 performance outside delivering a Dallas victory.
Boston has shot 32% or below in back-to-back games from three after a hot stretch going back to the Sacramento loss elevated the Celtics to sixth in offensive rating in March. Along with the boost in efficiency from Tatum, Walker and Brown, they’ve rode the best and worst efforts of Smart.
His efforts on both ends of the floor to control turnovers, shoot efficiently and guard Doncic will control much of the outcome tonight. He’s guarded Porzingis strongly in the past as well, allowing Boston to play smaller with Brown, Tatum and Grant Williams all available tonight.
The Mavericks are 9-7 against the east, not as strong as other western teams Boston has faced this year. Dallas’ defense has made strides and Porzingis is a shot blocker, but the Celtics worked a 47.7% shooting effort in the last game. The C’s, as they did on that night, need to improve in their own end to win games like these again.
Dallas 113, Boston 110 (21–19, 16-21 ATS)