BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Boston Celtics 102-91 on Sunday evening at TD Garden:
THE NITTY GRITTY
Rajon Rondo played a season-high 36:33 and mingled with another triple-double (15 points, 12 assists, 8 rebounds) but the Celtics watched their three-game winning streak get snapped. Jared Sullinger extended his double-double streak to five games while putting up 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Chris Johnson gave Boston some late-game energy and finished with 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting (making all four 3-pointers he put up). Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and was a game-best plus-24 in plus/minus, while Jose Calderon added 18 points to pace the Mavericks.
Despite shooting 27.1 percent in the first half (13 of 48 overall), the Celtics were still within six at halftime. The game got away quickly after the intermission. The Mavericks embarked on a 13-3 run bookended by Samuel Dalembert layups as Dallas opened a 60-43 lead midway through the frame. Dalembert had seven rebounds, including four on the offensive glass, in the third quarter as the Mavericks generated nine second-chance points and put a stranglehold on the game.
BRADLEY IN FOCUS
Avery Bradley, who sat out Friday's win over the Sacramento Kings after twisting his right ankle, missed 11 of the 13 shots he put up and didn't play the final 20 minutes of the game. Bradley didn't look particularly hindered by the ankle, but his shot was off and when the game started slipping away, the Celtics likely got cautious. Bradley finished with five points and a turnover; he was minus-11 in plus/minus.
Brandon Bass picked up three fouls in the first six minutes and was limited to less than 15 minutes of total floor time. ... Joel Anthony was a healthy DNP; rookie Vitor Faverani was inactive with a knee injury. ... The two teams combined to shoot 42 percent (21 of 50 overall) beyond the 3-point arc.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (18-34) came crashing back to Earth a bit after a winning streak that feasted on some of the league's basement dwellers. Boston visits Milwaukee on the second night of a back-to-back on Monday, then hosts the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday before getting a week off from game action at the All-Star break.