Rajon Rondo came up just short of posting back-to-back triple-doubles and looks to stay hot for the Boston Celtics Wednesday night versus the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden.
The tempestuous Rondo had 16 points, 14 assists and 13 rebounds in an overtime loss at Philadelphia Friday night, then recorded seven points, nine boards and 11 assists in a 92-79 win over the Sixers the next evening in Beantown. Rondo, who is averaging 13.0 points, 12.8 assists and 5.1 rebounds, was able to help the Celtics to their third straight home win.
Kevin Garnett scored a team-high 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting and Jeff Green netted 16 points off the bench for Boston, which led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter. The Celtics made 53.3 percent of their shots and gained a measure of revenge for losing the night before.
"I love the way we responded tonight," said Celtics forward Paul Pierce, who recorded 13 points. "A lot of the guys were mad for the fact we lost yesterday and we wanted to take it out on them today. We felt that was a winnable game last night and we wanted to do something about it."
Boston, which has alternated wins and losses over the last seven games, held the 76ers to a season-low 28 points in the first half. The Celtics, owners of a 7-4 home mark, will hit the road following Wednesday's game for a three-game trek against Houston, San Antonio and Chicago.
In milestone news, Garnett is three games shy of tying A.C. Green (1,278) for 16th place on the all-time games played list.
The month of December has started much better than the way last month ended for the Mavericks, who have won three straight and four of five games since closing November with losses in eight of 11 contests.
Dallas kept its winning ways intact with Monday's 119-96 blowout of the Sacramento Kings thanks in part to O.J. Mayo's 19 points. Mayo has led the Mavs in scoring 17 times. Chris Kaman chipped in 18 points and Darren Collison scored 15 in the Mavs' 17th straight home win over the Kings.
"We had a great time out there playing together as a unit," said Dahntay Jones, who was one of three players with 11 points. "I think we're in a good place right now."
The Mavericks shot 55.2 percent for the game and scored 32 points off 20 turnovers. They put the game away with a 34-5 run bridging the first and second quarters for a 61-33 advantage. The Mavericks held the Kings to just 14 points in the second quarter.
During Dallas' three-game winning streak -- the second of the season -- the team is averaging 110.7 ppg on 50 percent shooting. Mayo is posting 27.3 ppg and shooting 57.7 percent during the streak, while Kaman has averaged 17.7 ppg in that stretch.
Dallas will also visit Toronto and Minnesota on the road swing and is 4-7 away from Big D.
The Mavericks will host Boston March 22 and swept last season's series, 2-0. Dallas has won four in a row and 12 of the past 17 meetings between the teams. It has also prevailed in three straight, six of eight and 10 of the last 13 as the visitor in this series.