Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/12/12
By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange BOSTON -- The Celtics blew a 14-point, third-quarter lead and had to go two overtimes to finally dispose of the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night. Paul Pierce scored eight of his team- and season-high 34 points in the second OT and Rajon Rondo converted a crucial drive down the line with 35.5 seconds left to give Boston a 117-115 victory. Dallas, which led only once, 95-94 with 1:47 left in regulation, almost rallied again in the second overtime. After Pierce missed the second of two free throws with 19.3 seconds left with the Celtics leading by four, Vince Carter nailed a twisting 3-pointer with 9.3 on the remaining. After a timeout, the Mavs fouled Pierce again and this time he hit both free throws. Dallas called time and Boston fouled intentionally with 5.8 seconds left. Darren Collison (20 points, six assists five rebounds off the bench) made both foul shots and the Mavs fouled Pierce again with 5.3 seconds left. Once again, he made both shots. Dallas, out of timeouts, was then guilty of its 28th turnover of the night when Collison threw the ball away. Courtney Lee added two free throws for the icing on the cake, making O.J. Mayo's buzzer-beating 3-pointer meaningless. The craziness at the end capped a sloppy second overtime that saw the Celtics survive to win their fourth straight home game after a 4-4 season start on their home floor. Boston is 3-1 in overtime games. Dallas, still playing without star Dirk Nowitzki who is working his way back from knee surgery and was on the bench in street clothes, is 0-3 in overtime games. The Mavs played without a big man for most of the stretch run, essentially going with five guards/swingmen. Rondo just missed his second triple-double in the past three games, registering 16 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds. Kevin Garnett also had 16 points while Jeff Green chipped in with 15. Mayo led the Mavericks with 24 points and six rebounds, but was guilty of nine turnovers. Collison turned the ball over seven times. Mayo and Collison combined for more turnovers than the entire Celtics team. Sean Marion had 16 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Mavs. NOTES: Before the opening tap, Celtics guard Jason Terry, who spent the past eight seasons with the Mavs, went over to the Dallas bench and hugged coach Rick Carlisle. Terry downplayed the first game against his old team, saying before the game, "It's going to be more special when we go to Dallas, because then you've got the fans involved. I know they'll be watching tonight, but it's a lot different when you're on the court and you're in that arena again. So, tonight's going to be good. I'll see everybody, say 'What's up?' but again, March 22, it's going to be special." ... Shawn Marion returned to the Dallas lineup after missing two games with a groin injury. "I'm good to go," Marion said before the game. ... Center Chris Kaman played on an injured left ankle he thought would keep him out when he hurt it. ... The Celtics open a three-game road trip in Houston on Friday night. They also visit San Antonio and Chicago before returning home. The Mavericks are at Toronto on Friday and Minnesota on Saturday.
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