Irving leads Celtics to 16 straight

Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

DALLAS (Rossiter Media Group) — The Boston Celtics won their 16th consecutive game on Monday, downing the Dallas Mavericks 110-102 in overtime. Kyrie Irving led the way with a career-high 47 points.

This was the third game in a row that the Celtics trailed by double digits at some point in the game. Dallas led the Celtics 87-74 with just under eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but the Celtics battled back. After a steal from Irving, Jayson Tatum scored a layup to tie the game at 96, which sent them to overtime. Irving’s 10 points in overtime sealed the victory for Boston.

Postgame, Irving reflected on how his team has come from behind in many of their recent wins.

“For us, it’s just about battling back when teams get a comfortable rhythm, whether it’d be in the first half or the second half,” Irving said. “As a group, we continue just to stick together throughout anything and everything.”

Irving dropped a season-high 47 points in this game, shooting 16-22 from the field and 5-7 from three-point range. He also managed six assists and three rebounds.

Both Celtics young players, Tatum and Jaylen Brown, had stellar outings against the Mavericks. Tatum scored 15 points, shooting 6-11 from the field and grabbing nine rebounds. Brown scored 22 points and managed to get nine rebounds as well, many of which came in the overtime period. He also shot 8-13 from the field and 3-6 from three-point range.

Marcus Smart scored 12 points off the bench and managed eight rebounds, but shot abysmally in this game. Smart 3-15 from the field and 2-11 from three-point range in what was one of his worst shooting performances of the season. Al Horford only managed three points in the game, but made up for his lack of scoring with eight rebounds and seven assists.

Harrison Barnes led the Mavericks in scoring with 31 points and he also grabbed six rebounds. Veteran Dirk Nowitzki had a double-double, with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Wesley Matthews and J.J. Barea both had solid nights as well, scoring 18 and 16 points respectively.

A key factor in the win was three-point shooting. While the Celtics took three more deep shots than the Mavericks, they shot 36 percent from beyond the arc, while the Mavericks shot a poor 21 percent. The Mavericks five three-point shots in overtime but failed to convert them, which lead to an easy overtime for the Celtics.

The Celtics (16-2) remain first in the Eastern Conference and travel to Miami to face the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.

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