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Mavericks dominate Celtics, push winning streak to five

Mar 24, 2007 - 3:41 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- The Dallas Mavericks are on a mission to win the title they missed out on last season.

Jason Terry scored 29 points to lead the Mavericks to their seventh straight victory over the Boston Celtics, 109-95, extending their winning streak to five games overall.

Terry shot 11-of-15 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from the arc, and dished out six assists for Dallas, which outscored Boston, 56-14, in the paint.

"It's something (points in the paint) that we're definitely concentrating on," Terry said. "Trying to make an effort to get the ball in the paint and get easy baskets. We're a decent jump shooting team but we like points in the paint."

Two nights after coach Doc Rivers insisted he was not tanking the game by allowing his second unit to blow a 16-point halftime lead to the lowly Charlotte Bobcats, the Celtics (20-49) again could not find a way to score in the second half.

"I thought we gave in early tonight when they made their run in the second half," Rivers said. "I was really proud of us in the first half that we got back in the game. In the second half they made shots quick, made some tough shots too. Then I thought we got down. I thought we hung our heads a little bit."

The Mavericks held a 56-51 edge at the half, but outscored Boston, 34-20, in the third quarter to put the game away. Rivers left the starters in for the second half but poor shooting and a hot Dallas team doomed the Celtics.

"Dallas is such a good team that they have the ability to turn it on and off when they want to," Boston guard Paul Pierce said. "It seemed like they took their game to another level (in the third quarter). For us to beat a team like that we have to be on point all game. We can't have lulls against the best team in the NBA."

All-Star Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and Josh Howard added 19 points and 11 rebounds for Dallas (57-11).

"We're getting into a groove," Howard said. "Guys are sharing the ball, trusting one another and we're knocking down shots. We're not forcing anything."

Pierce scored 30 points to lead the Celtics, who shot just 36 percent (28-of-77). Gerald Green added 19 points and Al Jefferson pulled down 11 boards but he shot just 1-of-11 from the field.

"We played a better team that obviously was playing for more than we were playing for," Rivers said. "You could see it early. We got back in the game at half time but they just made shots. They're a really good team and we're not. Hopefully some day."

The Mavericks have taken 13 of their last 14 games from the Celtics.

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