The Boston Celtics suffered another heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 110-107. Luka Doncic nailed two huge threes late in the game to help hold off a furious Celtics fourth quarter rally, and send the Celtics further plummeting into despair. Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kemba Walker all scored 20+ points, but the Celtics were still unable to get back into the win column. It’s just another disappointing loss for a Celtics team that continues to fail to live up to expectations.
The game was pretty close through the first three quarters, as the largest lead either team held was when the Celtics held a five point lead on a couple of occasions. The Celtics held a one point lead at the half, with Tatum and Brown both in double figures, but saw their progress stall in the third quarter. The Celtics only scored 20 points in the frame, and hit just one three point shot. They trailed by four heading into the fourth quarter, and that’s when the game finally opened up.
The Celtics quickly rallied back and took the lead back early on off a Kemba Walker three. The Mavs quickly went on a 19-6 to take a 12 point lead with just under four minutes left. Jalen Brunson did most of the damage, as he scored 13 of the Mavs 19 points on that run, and then added another three shortly afterwards to give him 16 points in the fourth quarter.
It looked like the C’s were looking at another tough loss, but they rallied all the way back to take 105-104 lead with just over 30 seconds left. The trio of Tatum, Brown, and Walker did all the heavy lifting, and displayed the potential this team has when everyone is firing on all cylinders. The Celtics, just a few minutes after they looked like they were down and out, were back in poll position to pull off a big comeback in the fourth.
Then Luka Doncic arrived to the party. Doncic hit a tough stepback three over Daniel Theis on the ensuing possession to put the Mavs back up by two. Jaylen Brown would tie the game, only for Doncic to one up his last shot, with a ridiculous stepback three from way downtown to win the game for the Mavs.
And so the Celtics find a way to reach yet another rock bottom. With each loss comes more disappointment at how this team just can’t seem to win recently. You know you will get points from Tatum and Brown, but the rest of the roster is just amazingly inconsistent. While the Celtics big three played well tonight, the rest of the Celtics players only managed to combine for 29 points. This roster as it’s currently constructed is clearly not going to contend for a title, and is currently on the fringes of being a playoff team.
With all the assets the Celtics have, they cannot, and will not stand pat come the trade deadline. There is no reason the Celtics should not be contenders this season, and if they don’t start fixing their abundant issues, they will end up wasting a season of Tatum and Brown’s time in Boston. The two stars clearly need help in order to maximize their talents, and it’s time for the Celtics to provide it to them.
The Celtics won’t have much time to recover from this tough loss, as they head to Atlanta for the second half of a back-to-back. They split two games with the Hawks last week, and this game has to be one of the most important of the season so far. After two very tough losses, the Celtics need to pick up a win on this road trip before heading back to Boston. They will have their hands full with Trae Young and company, but if the Celtics have ever needed to pull out a victory to get some momentum, now is the time to do so.
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