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Mavericks Beat Celtics 118-113 In OT

DALLAS -- Power forward Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 31 points for the Dallas Mavericks, who squandered a big lead and needed overtime to beat the Boston Celtics 118-113 Monday night at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks (24-19) responded to their worst loss of the season Sunday at San Antonio by extending their winning streak against Boston to seven. Dallas has won 11 of the past 12 in the series.

The Celtics (22-20) had their three-game winning streak snapped.

Nowitzki awoke from a poor-shooting night by producing 19 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.

The Mavs were in position to put it away in regulation. Nowitzki's four-point play with 1:27 to go -- he was fouled by reserve center Kelly Olynyk while nailing a 3-pointer -- left Dallas up 94-89.

The Mavs were still leading 98-95 before Boston small forward Jae Crowder was hit on the arm by Dallas guard Raymond Felton with 6.7 seconds remaining while attempting a 3-point shot. Crowder (12 points) hit all three free throws to force overtime.

Dallas found its 3-point stroke in the extra session, hitting four from deep to pull away. Small forward Chandler Parsons started the barrage with a 3-pointer before point guard Deron Williams hit two.

Nowitzki hit the dagger from the corner with 35.4 seconds left for a 112-105 lead.

Nowitzki missed nine of 12 shots from the floor through three quarters, but he was 6-for-9 thereafter. He made 12 of 13 free throws overall and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Williams finished with 20 points and six assists. Parsons scored 16, shooting guard Wesley Matthews scored 15, and Felton had 14 points off the bench.

The Celtics, down as many as 17 points in the first half, were up as many as six points in the fourth quarter. Point guard Isaiah Thomas (20 points) led the second-half charge, but the Boston bench came up big as well.

Reserve shooting guard Marcus Smart, a native of Dallas suburb Flower Mound, had 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Guard Avery Bradley scored 19 points, and Olynyk knocked down five 3-pointers en route to 17 points.

The Mavericks threatened to run away with the game in the first quarter, racing out to a 17-2 lead behind Matthews, who scored 11 in the period.

Boston missed 15 of its first 16 shots, forcing coach Brad Stevens to turn to his backups. The reserves came through, with Smart helping the Celtics close the gap.

The Celtics carried that momentum into the second half and took their first lead. A 15-3 run early in the third quarter set the stage, and Boston went into the fourth up 72-70.

The Mavericks are back home Wednesday to play the Minnesota Timberwolves, while Boston plays the Raptors in Toronto the same night.

NOTES: Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has no regrets about including F Jae Crowder in the trade to Boston last season for PG Rajon Rondo. Crowder has blossomed with the Celtics. "With the circumstances there, he's going to get more minutes," Cuban said. "He's getting a better opportunity than he would have here." Crowder was back in Dallas for the first time since that blockbuster deal on Dec. 18, 2014. "He's gotten better virtually every game," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "This is no surprise for us. We loved him here."... Dallas F Dirk Nowitzki came in averaging 25.9 points against Boston, his highest average against any NBA team.


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