Boston Celtics

Mar 31, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives the ball against Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) during the second quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Celtics’ fourth-quarter rally ultimately came up short against the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night. Behind 36 points from Luka Doncic, Dallas won by a 113-108 final at TD Garden.

Doncic really took over in the second quarter, scoring 13 of his 36 points, including 11 in the final 4:04 of the half. The Mavs took a 64-45 lead to the locker room at halftime and never relinquished it. Doncic finished 7-for-11 from three-point range and added eight rebounds and five assists.

Down 17 to start the fourth quarter, the Celtics got to within two points with just 16.4 seconds left in regulation after a Jayson Tatum steal led to a Marcus Smart tip-in off the missed layup. A pair of Jalen Brunson free throws got the two points back for the Mavs, who kept the C’s at bay in the closing seconds.

Perimeter defense continued to be an issue for the Celtics, as Dallas shot 19-for-39 (48.7 percent) as a team from downtown, compared to just 23.4 percent for the Celtics. Tatum finished with 25 points, but shot only 1-for-8 from three.

Up Next: The Celtics get the Houston Rockets next at TD Garden on Friday, April 2.

PHOTOS: Mavs top Celtics 113-108

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at