The Boston Celtics hot streak continues as they win their eighth consecutive game with a victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
This was the Mavericks first road loss of the season, an impressive feat for a team that struggled mightily away from home a season ago. Luka Doncic did everything he could to carry his team to victory with 34 points, nine assists and six rebounds, but Kemba Walker was clutch in the fourth quarter with 10 points late in the game to lead the Celtics to another victory.
For more on a tight contest in Boston, we have you covered with takeaways below...
Brown and Doncic shine
Luka Doncic has been incredible to start the season and his outing against the Celtics was no different.
The 20-year-old forward is playing well beyond his years, knocking down shots and making passes that very few players in the NBA have the capablity of doing. For example, this poetry-in-motion behind the back to draw the defence, followed by a no-look pass to a wide-open Maxi Kleber in the corner.
Luka Doncic doing whatever he wants to the Celtics defense right now pic.twitter.com/6AB3Sqn3Ka- Dime (@DimeUPROXX) November 12, 2019
In the third quarter, Doncic really had things rolling as the young forward went off for 15 points to single-handedly bring the Mavericks back into the game.
Luka's on FIRE 😤- Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) November 12, 2019
📺: https://t.co/SVuWeC5NJ9 pic.twitter.com/6mE1YSI8bo
He scored a team-high eight points in the fourth quarter, but couldn't go shot-for-shot with Kemba Walker down the stretch to bring Dallas to victory.
As for Jaylen Brown - he notched the second 20-and-10 game of his career with a double-double of 25 points and 11 rebounds for the Celtics. With Gordon Hayward out with a fractured left hand, Brown will be called upon to step up and take Hayward's place as one of the Celtics' go-to scorers. He's succeeded in doing that so far, going for 30 points in a win over the Spurs over the weekend, followed by this well-rounded game in a win over the Mavericks.
This was the first time in Brown's career that he's scored 25 or more points in back-to-back games - that's no coincidence as he's stepping up with one of the team's leading scorers out of the lineup. He's been attacking the rim with aggression, just like this exclamation point to close out today's win.
Jaylen Brown has had enough of this game pic.twitter.com/y5RUGq8zW4- Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) November 12, 2019
If he can continue to produce like this on the offensive end for the six weeks that Hayward is out, the Celtics' offence shouldn't skip a beat.
Tatum and Porzingis struggle
It was a historically forgettable game for Celtics' forward Jayson Tatum.
Tatum, simply put, did not have it in this one - he shot 1-for-18 from the field, something only eight other players have done in NBA history! He missed the first 10 shots of the game, but did not hesitate to keep shooting. He was taking good shots and getting to his spots, just couldn't get anything to fall. He finally got a layup to fall early in the third quarter, but proceeded to miss the final seven shots of the contest.
He finished shooting 0-for-3 from 3-point range and 3-for-4 from the free throw line, tallying five points for the game. However, he was a plus-16 +/-, adding eight rebounds, four assists and one steal to the box score.
Tatum struggled with his efficiency to start the season, shooting 34.4% from the field through the Celtics' first three games, but has sense then ironed out that issue until tonight. After this poor shooting performance, Tatum is shooting 39.0% from the field and 42.1% from beyond the arc.
As for Porzingis, had he provided Doncic a bit of help, the outcome of this one could have been different.
With the Celtics' lack of frontcourt depth, you would have thought this was going to be a big performance from the 7-foot-3 forward. He struggled just as much as Tatum did, going 1-for-11 from the field for four points with just five rebounds, only playing 20 minutes the entire game.
Boston had a revolving door of Daniel Theis, Robert Williams and Jayson Tatum defending Porzingis, and even at times, Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. He was shut down by all of the aforementioned posting an offensive rating of 42.5 - his worst this season and fourth-worst of his career.
Walker comes up clutch, leaves with late injury
The Mavericks cut things close, looking poised to complete a comeback at the TD Garden and Kemba Walker shut that down quickly.
Dallas held a one-point lead with just under six minutes to play when Walker took over the game. The Celtics called their All-Star guard's number three consecutive times down the floor and Walker buried three 3s in a row to turn Boston's one-point deficit into a seven-point lead that they would not surrender.
K3MBA! pic.twitter.com/XbSqUIcpns- Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 12, 2019
Walker scored 10 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc when his team needed him most. He knocked down eight 3-pointers in the game - a season-high - to go with five assists and five rebounds.
After his barrage of 3-pointers in the final frame, Walker collided with Luka Doncic and missed the final two and a half minutes of the contest. After the game, head coach Brad Stevens announced that Walker got "whiplash," but the All-NBA guard appears to be okay.
Kemba Walker is being checked out right now. He got "whiplash," according to Brad Stevens, and was in good spirits in the locker room.- Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) November 12, 2019
The Celtics take the floor on Wednesday when they host the Washington Wizards. The Mavericks travel to New York to take on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.