Celtics drop third straight with uninspiring loss to Mavericks

The last time the Boston Celtics lost three games in a row, Rajon Rondo was running the point.

But the C’s put an end to that stretch in Dallas, losing to the Mavs, 104-94.

Boston never led in this one, getting as close as tying the game at 17-17 with 4:45 left in the first quarter. They made a mini run in the fourth quarter, bringing the defect to five points, but O.J. Mayo hit a wide open three-pointer on the same possession that C’s guard Courtney Lee rolled his ankle to put the Mavs up by eight points, and that would do it.

While Lee’s injury appeared serious at first, after the game it sounded as if it wouldn’t be a long-lasting thing – sprained left ankle, they said.

Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brandon Bass led the C’s in scoring with 16 points apiece, and Jordan Crawford added 9 points off the bench — all of which came in the fourth quarter. Jason Terry didn’t have the return to Dallas he hoped for, finishing with 8 points on 3-9 shooting. Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, and guard Vince Carter added 19 points off the bench.

Boston will hope to put an end to their losing streak Saturday night in Memphis.

What they’ll be saying: Have the Celtics lost their swagger? After a hard-fought loss against the Heat, the C’s have lost two games that, on paper, they should have won. There’s no excuse for losing to the New Orleans Hornets, and the Mavericks haven’t been the Mavericks of past years, either. Boston needs to re-find its identity – especially on defense. On Countless occasions, Boston was killed on the pick-and-roll, allowing Mavs center Brandon Wright to look like an All-Star, scoring 23 points on the night. It will be no easy task to snap the losing streak against Memphis, one of the best teams in the West right now. We could certainly be looking at a C’s four-game losing streak as they head back to Boston to play the Atlantic Division-leading Knicks Tuesday night.



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