BOSTON (AP) Luka Doncic returned from a hamstring problem to hit a tying 3-pointer with 1:21 left, Spencer Dinwiddie scored the game-winner with 9 seconds left and the Dallas Mavericks ruined the special day. by Kevin Garnett in beating the Boston Celtics 95-92 on Sunday.
With Garnett on the court awaiting the postgame ceremony to retire his No. 5 uniform, the Mavericks won for the seventh time in eight games and snapped Boston’s five-game winning streak.
Doncic, who left in the first half grazing his left leg, finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. He was called for fouling Marcus Smart on a potential tying 3-pointer with five seconds remaining, but a review overturned it.
“I think, the 3:30 start, all parties weren’t awake yet. I don’t think it bothered him in the second half,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said of Doncic. “He loves the stage. There is no stage big enough for him. He understands and wants to win. He did a great job putting this team in position to win.”
Boston coach Ime Udoka said the only explanation he received for the overturned decision was: “They just said it wasn’t a foul.”
The Celtics won the next jump ball between two, calling a timeout and giving the ball to Jayson Tatum, who missed an lopsided 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
“The first look is catch and shoot, knowing they’re going to foul,” Udoka said. “He felt like they hit him when they put their hand in there, it might have affected the appearance of him.”
Tatum had 21 points and 11 rebounds but only made a pair of baskets in the second half and ended a five-game streak of 30-point performances.
Maxi Kleber had 14 rebounds for Dallas.
“That’s the thing about LD, he’s competitive,” teammate Dorian Finney-Smith said of Doncic. “When he’s out there, you won’t be able to tell that he’s hurt. He still put up numbers like he did and he wasn’t even moving as fast as he normally does.”
Doncic appeared limping late in the first quarter and remained in the game, rubbing his left hamstring. At the next beep, he walked away and entered the tunnel.
“It was very tight,” he said. “I landed and it was a cramp, then the whole leg was tight.”
The three-time All-Star returned midway through the second quarter and showed no further ill effects. Doncic is fifth in the NBA in scoring with an average of 28.1 points.
Garnett received a standing ovation as he entered and was honored with video tributes during most breaks. But one of the biggest cheers came early in the fourth quarter, when a ball got stuck high on the backboard in the basket right next to his seat.
A member of the floor crew came out with a mop and offered it to the Hall of Famer as the crowd rose to its feet in cheers.
He refused, smiling. The crew member released him and then received a brotherly hug from Garnett.
The Celtics honored vice president of public relations Heather Walker during a second-quarter break. The longtime executive is battling glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Garnett gave him several long hugs on the court.
The Boston Celtics’ Shamrock Foundation said it will match all donations up to $100,000 to the Heather Walker Glioblastoma Fund at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
The teams, which are two of the top three in scoring defense, combined to allow just 85 points in the first half. … Al Horford blocked two shots in a defensive position. He also had five robberies. …Doncic hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to beat Boston at Dallas on Nov. 6. … The Celtics received a pair of technical fouls in the second quarter, the first on Robert Williams III and the second on the coach. I am Udoka.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Mavericks: In Brooklyn on Wednesday night.
Celtics: At Golden State on Wednesday night.
AP freelance writer Ken Powtak contributed to this report.
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