Celtics beat Mavericks for tenth straight win, Friday

Tatum scored just two points in the first quarter, but finished with his 22nd game this season scoring at least 30 points.

BOSTON (AP) — Jayson Tatum made five 3-pointers and scored 32 points and the Boston Celtics overcame Luka Doncic's second straight triple-double to beat the Dallas Mavericks 138-110 on Friday and extend their best streak to 10. wins of the season.

Jaylen Brown added 25 points and seven rebounds as the Celtics made 21 3-pointers in their second win of the season over the Mavericks to improve to 47-12, the best mark in the NBA. Kristaps Porzingis finished with 24 points and seven Celtics reached double figures.

Tatum scored just two points in the first quarter, but finished with his 22nd game this season scoring at least 30 points.

“We've made progress and we understand that every night will be different,” Tatum said. “If I basically need to pass the ball eight possessions in a row because that's the right read, then you have to trust that that's going to help us win the game.”

Doncic recorded his 12th triple-double of the season with 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. He is just the eighth player to record a 30-point triple-double in Boston, and the first since Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook accomplished the feat on Dec. 23, 2016.

Kyrie Irving added 19 points for Dallas, but was just 9 of 23 from the field. Irving, who had a tumultuous two-year stint in Boston, also received a constant stream of boos every time he touched the ball.

It didn't help that the Mavericks couldn't keep up with Boston's shooting, hitting just 9 of 34 from 3-point range.

“We know that if we play the game the right way, there are a lot of options available,” Brown said. “We trust the game plan and we trust our ability to read the game. And we've been doing that pretty much all year.”

Brown said this is the time of year “where we start to move forward a little bit.”

That was shown when Dallas pulled within 81-79 midway through the third quarter and Boston finished the period on a 21-11 run. The Celtics then continued to outscore the Mavericks 36-20 in the fourth.

“You can't have empty possessions against them. And then you can't have any defensive lapses against them,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. “They're going to make you pay for it at the 3-point line, and that's what they did.”

Mavericks guard Dante Exum, who has been dealing with a knee injury, saw his first action since January 26. He scored four points in 15 minutes.

Porzingis scored 10 of the Celtics' first 15 points and hit four of his 10 3-pointers in the first 24 minutes to help them build a lead of as many as 12 points in the first 24 minutes.

Still, Dallas trailed by just seven points at halftime, led by Doncic's 23 points.

Tatum didn't score until he made two free throws with 18 seconds left in the first quarter. But Boston led 38-32 at the end of the first quarter, hitting seven 3-pointers.

Mavericks: visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.

Celtics: Host the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

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