Final, Mavericks 105-90: Boston’s comeback bid sputters down the stretch, the Rajon Rondo will leave victorious in his first game back at TD Garden.
Rondo was brilliant for the Mavericks in the win, finishing with 29 points on 12-of-19 shooting (including 5 of 7 from beyond the arc), six rebounds and five assists.
The Celtics will have a short turnaround, as they take on the Bulls on Saturday night in Chicago.
Fourth quarter 4:45, Mavericks 105-90: Fifteen of Avery Bradley’s 20 points have come here in the fourth. The Celtics got to within 10, but the Mavs have scored eight of the last 11 points to bump up their cushion.
Fourth quarter 7:05, Mavericks 97-85: The Celtics nearly beat the Mavericks earlier this season after falling behind by 31 points. They’re making another valiant comeback bid tonight after trailing by as many as 28.
Fourth quarter 7:56, Mavericks 97-81: Boston keeps chipping away. But even after an Avery Bradley three, the deficit still sits at 16.
Fourth quarter 10:33, Mavericks 92-71: The C’s start off the fourth on a 7-0 run, punctuated by an emphatic fast-break dunk by Brandon Bass.
End third quarter, Mavericks 92-64: Boos cascade down from the Garden cheap seats as the Mavericks hold the Celtics to just three points over the final 4:18 of the third quarter.
Hoops fans, the rout officially is on.
Third quarter 5:54, Mavericks 74-59: This has been a very streaky third quarter for the Celtics. They ripped off an 8-0 run to cut Dallas’ lead to seven, only to have the Mavs follow with an identical run of their own.
Four of the Mavs’ five starters have reached double figures, and the exception, Tyson Chandler, finally is on the board after posting an oh-fer in the first half.
Third quarter 11:59, Mavericks 59-46: Rajon Rondo brings the ball up to begin the second half.
Halftime, Mavericks 59-46: Thanks to an appearance by Bizarro Rajon Rondo (18 points, one assist), the Mavericks take a double-digit lead into the locker room.
Second quarter 2:56, Mavericks 53-40:Don’t count these Celtics out yet.
Five points from Tyler Zeller and a Jeff Green three have helped them trim the deficit to 13. Zeller has played very well for the C’s tonight, coming up with eight points (3-of-5 shooting), three rebounds and a steal in his first 10 minutes of action.
Second quarter 6:21, Mavericks 47-27: With a 7-0 run, the Mavs have stretched their lead to 20 points. This one could get out of hand before long.
Second quarter 8:34, Mavericks 40-26: Rondo is outscoring the entire Celtics starting lineup so far. They have 17 points. He has 18.
Boston’s backup point guards have had success from the floor, though. Marcus Smart and Jameer Nelson have combined for nine points and have gone 3-for-6 from beyond the arc.
End first quarter, Mavericks 31-17: Holy Rondo.
The point guard put on one heck of a show in the first quarter, pouring in 15 points as the Mavs began to extend their lead in the latter part of the frame. Nine of those points came on three 3-pointers, and another two came on a fantastic, off-balance flip shot in the lane.
It’s safe to say he came to play tonight.
The Celtics also honored Rondo with a video tribute between quarters, and he responded with a wave to the crowd.
Mark Cuban (@mcuban) January 03, 2015
First quarter 2:57, Mavericks 23-17: Both teams are letting it fly from 3-point land tonight, and the Mavs have been more the more successful of the two. Dallas is 3-for-5 from beyond the arc; Boston is 1-for-4.
First quarter 5:53, Mavericks 16-12: Whelp, Rajon Rondo came to play tonight. The point guard had each of the Mavericks’ first 10 points, including six via 3-pointer.
The Celtics’ have kept pace, though, with all five of their starters getting in on the scoring.
First quarter 11:59, 0-0: As expected, a massive ovation follows Rondo’s introduction. Now, it’s time to play some basketball.
Tyler Zeller wins the opening tip for the Celtics, and we are underway.
7:10 p.m.: Rajon Rondo spent quite a bit of time catching up with old friends during warmups, chatting at center court with Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and trainer Bryan Doo (photos via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images).
Here’s Rondo having a lengthy chat with Brandon Bass and Bryan Doo during warmups. http://t.co/74wptf4HmZ
Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) January 02, 2015
“He’s obviously a great player, so he’s a tough player to play against,” Celtics center Kelly Olynyk said before the game. “But I’m definitely looking forward to playing on the same floor as him again. I know it’s going to be fun.”
It should be fun for the C’s fans in attendance, too. A Rondo video tribute is expected sometime during the first quarter.
7 p.m. ET: The final member of the 2008 NBA championship squad will have his homecoming Friday night, as Rajon Rondo returns to TD Garden for the first time as a Dallas Maverick.
The Mavericks enter their tilt with the Boston Celtics on a roll, riding a three-game winning streak and boasting the NBA’s highest-scoring offense.
The Celtics, meanwhile, have not been as fortunate since shipping Rondo — along with rookie forward Dwight Powell — to Dallas back on Dec. 18. They’re just 2-4 since the trade, though they are coming off a 106-84 beatdown of the Sacramento Kings on New Year’s Eve.
After doing a bit of shuffling to find Rondo’s short-term replacement, it appears that Brad Stevens has found his man, at least for the time being. Evan Turner, who finished with a career-high 11 assists against the Kings, will start at point guard again Friday.
Here are the full starting lineups for both teams:
Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Follow along with all the action right here, and follow NESN.com Celtics beat writer Zack Cox on Twitter for instant updates and analysis.
Photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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