BOSTON - Dirk Nowitzki drove to the basket and buried the game-winning layup with 5.1 seconds left and Ray Allen bobbled the ball out of bounds on t he next possession, squandering the Boston Celtics chances of victory in a 90-85 loss to the defending champion Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night at TD Garden.
Nowitzki finished with 16 points and seven rebounds for Dallas, which shot 44.3 percent from the field. Jason Terry led the Mavs with 18 points off the bench while Shawn Marion added 15 points and Delonte West had 12 points in his return.
Rajon Rondo led all scorers with 24 points and had seven assists, and the Celtics made 29-of-64 field goals to shoot 45.3 percent in defeat. Kevin Garnett was the only other Celtics player to reach double digits, scoring 16 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Ray Allen finished with nine points and Paul Pierce scored just seven points for the Celtics.
Boston returns to action on Friday night when it hosts the Chicago Bulls at TD Garden.