Rondo and the Celtics got off to another shaky start, falling behind 23-15 after one quarter. Boston rebounded with a much better second quarter, outscoring Dallas 26-19 to cut its halftime deficit to one point with 24 minutes of play remaining.
Kevin Garnett had a solid half, scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds for Boston, which made 18-of-43 field goals to shoot 41.9 percent. Avery Bradley scored four points off the bench, despite missing a straightaway three badly, and Mickael Pietrus made his only shot -- a three pointer -- in his debut in Boston.
Shawn Marion led the Mavericks with nine points. Delonte West, returning to Boston for the first time since signing with the Mavericks this offseason, scored the first six points for Dallas and finished the half with six points and three assists. Jason Terry added eight points and reigning NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki totaled seven points in the opening half.