NBA Basketball
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110
Final-OT 1 2 3 4 OT Tot
Boston 34 19 16 27 14 110
Dallas 22 27 28 19 6 102
102
5:30 PM PT6:30 PM MT7:30 PM CT8:30 PM ET1:30 GMT9:30 6:30 PM MST8:30 PM EST5:30 UAE (+1)02:3020:30 ET7:30 PM CTNaN:� , November 20, 2017
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas  Attendance: 20,302

Celtics look to keep win streak going vs. Mavs

According to STATS
According to STATS

Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks

  1. Boston swept two games from the Mavericks last season, after losing the previous seven games overall in the series (and the previous six in Dallas).
  2. The Celtics' 15-game win streak is the fifth longest in franchise history (single-season streaks only), and longest since they won a franchise-record 19 in a row in 2008-09.
  3. Dallas snapped a four-game losing streak with a 111-79 home victory versus the Bucks on Saturday. The Mavericks tied a franchise record with 19 three-pointers in the game, going 19-for-38 (50.0 percent).
  4. Wesley Matthews scored a season-high 22 points Saturday, making 6-of-8 three-pointers. He's made 1230 three-pointers since the start of the 2010-11 season, fourth most in the NBA over that span.
  5. The Mavericks' Dennis Smith Jr. ranks fifth among NBA rookies with 14.5 points per game, while the Celtics' Jayson Tatum ranks sixth with 13.9.
  6. Kyrie Irving (30) and Jaylen Brown (27) combined for 57 points on 20-of-25 shooting (80.0 percent) in the Celtics' 110-99 win over the Hawks Saturday. Brown's 27 points were a career high.
(Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

DALLAS -- The Boston Celtics aren't yet halfway to the NBA record for consecutive victories, a mark the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers still hold, but at 15 in a row, they are in rare territory.

Since 1946-47, there have only been 35 instances of a 15-game win streak or longer. And of all the legendary Celtics teams, this squad already holds the franchise's fifth-longest win streak. A victory Monday night against the Dallas Mavericks, who are an NBA-worst 3-14 overall and 2-8 at American Airlines Center, would tie the 1964-65 Boston team's 16-game win streak.

If the Celtics (15-2) get the win, they would climb closer to the 1959-60 team's 18-game win streak, and then comes the club mark of 19 in a row accomplished by the 2008-09 team.

This version of the Celtics has to be considered the most unexpected to string together so many wins. The team has a slew of new players, starting with guard Kyrie Irving, and Boston lost another prized newcomer, forward Gordon Hayward, in the season opener.

After starting 0-2, Boston hasn't lost. Yet, it's not exactly as if the Celtics are steamrolling the league. For the Mavericks, who are coming off snapping the Milwaukee Bucks' four-game win streak Saturday, the fact that Boston has actually had to rally to get a handful of its wins must be seen as an opportunity to steal a decision.

In fact, four of the Celtics' victories during the streak have come after Boston trailed by 16 points, including a 110-109 win against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday.

"Most of us have never been on a winning streak like this," Irving said following the win over Atlanta. "I don't know if we even know how to pay attention to all the hoopla that goes on in terms of the excitement of it. I just think that every single game we take it as a challenge."

Irving has been accepting that challenge with tremendous success after asking to be traded away from Cleveland, where he won one title with LeBron James and lost twice in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors.

He closed out those same Warriors last week, scoring 11 of the last 15 points in the final 4:21. The clutch play has Irving already being talked about as an MVP candidate.

"He's so good in those moments that you want to give him the appropriate amount of room," Celtics coach Brad Stevens told the Boston Globe about Irving. "Maybe it's finding a matchup. Maybe it's creating a two-man game with Al (Horford)."

Irving will be a major test for Mavs rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who has displayed some tremendous flashes while also showing he is a green 19-year-old with one season of college ball under his belt.

Dallas, one of the league's lowest-scoring offensive teams, is relying heavily on Smith and Harrison Barnes to carry the load. Dirk Nowitzki, 39, has dropped off significantly, averaging just 10.3 points a game, his lowest output since his rookie season in 1998-99.

Unlike the Celtics, Dallas has lost its share of games by being unable to close out games late. On Saturday, the Mavericks won a rare game going away, blitzing the Bucks with a franchise-tying 19 3-pointers. Guard Wesley Matthews said he thinks all the hard work is starting to pay off.

The history-chasing Celtics will put that claim to test.

"We can actually see everything that we've been trying to do come together, and hopefully that just carries the momentum into the off day where everybody's feeling good," Matthews said after Dallas' victory. "We've got another tough battle Monday against Boston, who is the hottest team in the league right now, but it's another opportunity for us."

Updated November 20, 2017

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