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Tatum’s rare triple-double leads Celtics past Mavs

DALLAS (AP) – Jayson Tatum and the Celtics answered a head-scratching loss with the Boston star’s second career triple-double in a blowout of Luka Doncic and the Mavericks.

Tatum had 29 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Celtics ended Dallas’ seven-game winning streak with a 124-95 victory on Thursday night.

Jaylen Brown scored 19 points for the NBA-leading Celtics, who bounced back from a 150-117 loss in Oklahoma City when the Thunder were missing 30-point scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

“They showed me they can do it one time,” interim coach Joe Mazzulla said. “They have to do it over and over again.”

Luka Doncic scored 23 points after averaging 44.5 points the previous five games. The Mavs superstar didn’t play in the fourth quarter, which started with Boston leading by 24.

Doncic hit buzzer-beating three-pointers for the win in Boston’s previous two Dallas visits. There was never a chance for a third, or for the Mavs to extend the longest winning streak since their lone championship season in 2010-11.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum drives between Dallas Mavericks defenders Luka Doncic and Reggie Bullock. PHOTO: AP

Doncic missed all six shots from long range as the Mavericks finished seven of 32. Doncic was seven of 23 overall and Dallas finished at 38 per cent two nights after Oklahoma City shot 59 per cent against the Celtics.

“When we’re at our best, we play really good basketball on both ends of the floor with high effort for a long period of time,” Mazzulla said. “And then we go through a couple of games where we lose that. What I love about tonight was we did bounce back.”

Tatum wasn’t much better than Doncic, going eight of 22 from the field, but his teammates were. Boston shot 16 of 43 from three, with eight players hitting at least one.

The sixth-year pro’s other triple-double came on April 19, 2021, when he had 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 102-96 loss to Chicago.

Marcus Smart and Malcolm Brogdon each scored 15 points, with Smart going four of nine from deep while Brogdon was three of five.

The Celtics never trailed after the middle of the first quarter, and Dallas didn’t get closer than 13 after halftime. The Mavs were swept in the two-game season series after trailing big at halftime in a 125-112 loss at Boston.

“It was kind of like what happened in Boston,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “We just couldn’t score. We had some great looks there early. The ball just didn’t fall for us.”

Grant Williams scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half, when the Boston bench outscored Dallas’ 27-2. Tatum and Brown took over from there, combining for 33 points after the break.

Doncic had nine rebounds but was limited to three assists as the Mavs tied their season low in assists with 15. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 18 but was just six of 15 as the Dallas starters shot 32 per cent.

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