Boston was last in action on Friday, when it suffered an 87-74 setback to the visiting Indiana Pacers. Ray Allen paced the Celtics with 23 points, Kevin Garnett added 12 points and six rebounds, and Paul Pierce ended with only 10 points for the Celtics, who are 2-1 on a five-game homestand and had a season- high four-game winning streak come to an end.
"Ray's doing what he does, he knocks down shots so we get him open but unfortunately myself and some other guys didn't step up enough offensively for us to win," Pierce said.
The four-game win streak followed a season-opening 0-3 hole. Pierce missed 14 of his 17 attempts from the field and also had five turnovers. He is two games shy of tying Kevin McHale (971) for third on the franchise's all-time games played list. Boston will also host Indiana on the homestand and is in the midst of playing eight of nine games in front of the home crowd. It is 3-1 in Beantown this season.
In other Celtics news, forward Jeff Green underwent successful surgery Monday to repair an aortic aneurysm that was detected during a physical on December 9. Green will miss the entire 2011-12 season. Forward Mickael Pietrus says he is close to making his season debut after missing the first two weeks while rehabbing from arthroscopic right knee surgery. The Celtics signed Pietrus on December 24, one day before the season began.
Meanwhile, the Mavericks have been playing well since starting the season with three consecutive defeats. They have won two straight, four of five and five of the last seven games, including Tuesday's 100-86 victory over Detroit.
Dirk Nowitzki netted a team-high 18 points, while Shawn Marion netted 14 points, Vince Carter had 11 and Delonte West finished with 10 assists for the Mavericks, who shot 55.1 percent from the field and scored 29 points off of 21 turnovers by the Pistons.
"We've figured out the formula for us to win, now if we can do that consistently on a night in and night out basis, play good solid defense, turn it into offense, move the ball, then we're going to have success," Dallas guard Jason Terry said.
The Mavs are in the midst of playing two straight and six of eight games on the road, and are just 1-3 away from Big D this season. Guard Jason Kidd (lower back) is expected to miss his third straight game tonight.
Dallas swept a two-game series with the Celtics a season ago and has won 10 of the past 15 matchups in this series. Dallas has won five of seven and nine of its last 12 trips to Beantown.
Pierce averaged 18.0 points in both meetings against the Mavs, while Garnett posted 17.0 points and 10.0 rebounds. Nowitzki, the reigning NBA finals MVP, averaged 27.0 points per game and made all 17 of his free throws last season against the Celtics.