DALLAS MAVERICKS (11-10)
at BOSTON CELTICS (11-9)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Boston -6, Total: 196.5
The Mavericks seek a fifth straight series win over the Celtics when the two clubs clash at TD Garden on Wednesday night.
Dallas has not only won four in a row (3-1 ATS) overall in this series, but the team is 3-0 (SU and ATS) in its past three trips to Boston, holding the Celtics to just 90.7 PPG. The Mavs have also been playing great basketball this month, going 4-1 (SU and ATS), including pumping in 110.7 PPG over a season-high, three-game win streak. Boston has alternated wins and losses in each of the past seven games, knocking off Philadelphia in the back-end of a home-and-home in its most recent game on Saturday. The C's team defense has been much better recently, allowing 40.2% FG in the past six games after surrendering 46.3% FG in the first 14 games this season.
Can the Mavericks win for a fourth straight time in Boston? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are sizzling with a collective 15-9 ATS (63%) mark in Best Bets over the past three days, and are now at 54% ATS (129-112-10) on Best Bets for the season. StatFox Gary is 13-5-1 ATS (72%) since Nov. 26 and 65% ATS (24-13-3) Best Bets for the year. For NBA Totals, StatFox Scott is 3-0 in the past three days and 36-18 (66%) for the season, while Gary is 13-6 (68%) in Totals since Nov. 24, and 53% (20-18-1) on totals this season. Scott is at 57% ATS (31-23) Best Bets for the season, while StatFox Dave is 67% ATS (6-3) on Best Bets in the past four days, including 3-0 ATS on Monday.
The Mavericks offense was highly efficient in Monday's 119-96 blowout of the Kings, making 55.2% FG and committing a season-low-tying eight turnovers. Eleven different players scored at least five points, with six of those finishing with 11+ points. O.J. Mayo led the way with team highs in points (19) and rebounds (7), giving him 27.3 PPG on 58% FG and a blistering 12-of-18 threes during the three-game win streak. He is clearly the team's most important player with Dirk Nowitzki sidelined, as Mayo has 25.1 PPG on 55% FG (61% threes) in the 11 Dallas wins this season, but just 16.0 PPG on 41% FG (40% threes) in his team's 10 losses. PG Darren Collison has also played well during the three-game surge with 14.3 PPG on 54% FG, but the Mavs want him to focus more on his defense Wednesday in trying to put pressure on Celtics star PG Rajon Rondo. The Mavs have played better defense recently, allowing just 43.3% FG in the past five games, and they got some good news when versatile defender F Shawn Marion said he would play on Wednesday after missing two games with a strained groin.
The Celtics are 7-2 SU (5-3-1 ATS) in their past nine home games, but the team remains the worst rebounding club in the NBA with just 38.3 RPG. However, Dallas (minus-4.7 RPG) is the only NBA team with a worse rebounding margin in the league than Boston's minus-4.0 RPG. The Celtics continue to be paced by Rondo's league-best 12.8 APG and team-best 2.0 SPG on defense. SF Paul Pierce leads the Celtics in scoring at 17.8 PPG, but has made just 38% FG and 4-of-27 threes (15%) over his past six games. Sixth man SG Jason Terry will be facing his former team for the first time since he signed with Boston in the offseason. Terry, who played eight seasons with Dallas, is averaging just 11.5 PPG, his lowest output since his rookie year in 1999-00. But his 46.0% FG clip is better than it had been in any of the past three seasons with Dallas.