Wed, Mar 31, 2021
By Jim Vassallo (Veri.bet Writer)
The Dallas Mavericks (24-21, 1st in the Southwest) visit the Boston Celtics (23-24, 4th in the Atlantic) on Wednesday, March 31, at 7:30 PM ET.
These teams have only met once so far this season, which resulted in a 110-107 win for the Mavericks in Dallas. Tonight will be the final time these teams meet barring them both reaching the NBA Finals.
Both Dallas and Boston sit in seventh place in their respective conferences. However, Dallas is in seventh even while sitting atop the Southwest Division. That's how strong the Western Conference has been this season.
Dallas and Boston have struggled across their last 10 games played. The Mavericks have played to a 5-5 mark, while the Celtics are just 4-6 during that span.
The Mavericks enter tonight having picked up a 127-106 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. Luka Doncic returned to the lineup after missing the last two games to lead Dallas with 27 points.
"Second half, I thought we played to our level and our capabilities against a team that's undermanned, but very well-coached, still skilled, hard-playing, all those kinds of things," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "We were able to take care of business."
The Mavericks also welcomed Kristaps Porzingis back into the lineup after he missed Friday's game. He added 20 points and nine boards for Dallas.
"I thought he was great," Carlisle said of Porzingis. "I don't like the word comfortable because I think you have to have a certain edge when you play in an NBA game, and I thought he had it tonight."
The Celtics are looking to rebound following a 115-109 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday. It was the first game in more than a year where fans were allowed at TD Garden. There were just over 2,200 in attendance to see the Celtics loss.
"Seeing fans occasionally on the road but not here, I'd say it was pretty emotional for me," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "It signals maybe if we can buckle down and get through it, we can have something close to normal."
Jayson Tatum had 34 points and nine rebounds for the Celtics who came into the game having won two in a row.
The injury list continues to grow ahead of tonight's game for both teams:
These teams are not that different from each other and their respective records indicate as much. Boston enters the game as -1-point favorite and has the -115 money line. It's difficult to bet against Dallas, which is why you should take the Over 222 total points if you want to place a wager on NBA action Wednesday night.