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Celtics-Mavericks: Results from regular-season matchups

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Mavericks star Luka Doncic logged a triple-double in both games against the Celtics this season, but Boston won the series.

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There’s an old saying about past performances not guaranteeing future results. The Dallas Mavericks hope that’s the case heading into the 2024 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. Both teams last met in January and again in March.

The results: Celtics won the regular-season series, 2-0.

While the two games provided a glimpse at certain schematics, it was just that: a glimpse. 

Lineups have changed due to trades, injuries and coaching decisions. Rotations will rotate differently. Not to mention, peaking at the right time is what matters most. Of the last 10 NBA champions, only four won the regular-season series against the opponent they faced in the Finals (total record: 4-2-4). 

With that context in mind, it’s still worth glancing at the only head-to-head showdowns between Boston and Dallas this season.


First matchup (Jan. 22)

The score 

Celtics 119, Mavericks 110

Player stats

Jayson Tatum: 39 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 stealsJaylen Brown: 34 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocksLuka Doncic: 33 points, 18 rebounds, 13 assists, 2 stealsKyrie Irving: 23 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals

The context: This game was the second of a back-to-back for Boston. Tatum was chilly in Houston the night before, shooting 4-for-17. The Celtics still managed to win that game and followed up with another win with a far different Tatum. 

He and Brown combined for 73 points against the Mavs. It was, to that point, the most impressive 1-2 punch of the season by the duo as they outclassed Doncic (who had a triple-double) and Irving. 

That said, help was on the way for Dallas. Two weeks later, the Mavericks swung a midseason trade that changed the scope of their season. P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford were acquired from the Hornets and Wizards, respectively, giving the Mavericks a pair of rim finishers and rebounders – their biggest weaknesses at the time.

Jayson Tatum and the Celtics defeat the Mavericks, 119-110, on Jan. 22.


Second matchup (March 1)

The score

Celtics 138, Mavericks 110

Player stats

Tatum: 32 points, 8 reboundsBrown: 25 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assistsDoncic: 37 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assistsIrving: 19 points, 4 rebounds

The context: The romp was secured when the Celtics outscored the Mavs 36-20 in a runaway fourth quarter. For the second time this season, the Celtics won despite a triple-double from Doncic. And for the second time, the Tatum-Brown combo was too much for the Mavs to handle. 

The duo combined for 57 points and had help from Kristaps Porzingis, who added 24. The Celtics shot 55.3% from the floor, 48.8% from 3-point range and essentially were the picture of efficiency. Boston won for the 28th time in 31 home games. 

The Mavs would lose three straight games before coach Jason Kidd made a key decision – moving Gafford into the starting lineup at center. The Mavs won 16 of their last 20 games to end the regular season.

The Celtics win their 10th consecutive game as they defeat the Mavericks, 138-110 on March 1.

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