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THE STORY: The Dallas Mavericks had a six-game winning streak snapped by Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks on Sunday and seek to start a new one against struggling Boston. The Celtics have lost three straight and five of six games after falling to Detroit by 15 points on Sunday. Boston committed a season-high 24 turnovers. Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki had a season-best 34 against the Knicks but the Mavericks streak of holding 10 straight opponents under 100 points ended.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE CELTICS (15-15): Forward Kevin Garnett missed the game with Detroit because of personal reasons and coach Doc Rivers is unsure whether the veteran will show up in Dallas to play against the Mavericks. “There’s a chance he’ll be there,” Rivers said. “I’m leaving that entirely up to him.” Garnett was replaced in the lineup by Chris Wilcox, who had 14 points and six rebounds. Forward Brandon Bass (knee) is expected to miss his fifth consecutive game.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (20-12): Nowitzki is playing like the guy who carried Dallas to the NBA title last season. The 34-point outing against New York marked his third 30-point game in nine contests after a slow start and a break to get himself in better physical condition. Nowitzki is averaging 25.3 points during the stretch and Dallas has recovered to have the fourth-best record in the Western Conference. Nowitzki is averaging 27.0 points in 25 career games against Boston.
1. Dallas has won the last three meetings, including a 90-85 win earlier this season.
2. Mavericks guard Jason Terry returned from a two-game absence to score 13 points against the Knicks.
3. The Celtics are averaging only 84.2 points over the last six games.
PREDICTION: Mavericks 97, Celtics 88. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$