Double-digit deficits are becoming just a minor annoyance to the Boston Celtics as they continue their winning ways.
Kyrie Irving on Monday scored 10 of his season-high 47 points in overtime as the Celtics rallied from 13 points down in the fourth quarter to beat the Dallas Mavericks 110-102 and extend their winning streak to 16 games.
The winning streak ties the fourth-longest in franchise history and for the third game in a row Boston trailed by double digits.
In contrast to the wins over Golden State and Atlanta, this one required a fourth-quarter comeback. For that, the Celtics turned to Irving, who delivered his best performance for his new team after Dallas had taken an 87-74 lead with 7 minutes, 47 seconds to play.
“For us it’s just about battling back when teams get a comfortable rhythm, whether it’d be in the first half or the second half,” Irving said. “As a group we continue just to stick together throughout anything and everything.”
Irving stole the ball from Dirk Nowitzki and fed Jayson Tatum for an alley-oop layup that hung on the rim for a full second before dropping through with 1:01 to play to tie the score at 96-96.
In the extra period, Irving scored his team’s first six points. Then after Jaylen Brown gave Boston a 104-102 lead with a jumper with 1:39 to play, Irving went to work on Yogi Ferrell, backing him down and drawing contact on a layup with 48.5 seconds to play.
Though Irving missed the free throw to keep the score 106-102, Dallas never got closer.
“I don’t really see it as a pressure situation,” Irving said. “It’s just like playing basketball, man. It’s just like being in a park 7-7 and game is eight.”
Harrison Barnes scored 31 points and Wesley Matthews had 18 for Dallas.
Barnes missed a jumper with less than a second to go in regulation that could have won it for Dallas, who fell to 3-15.
“We just needed to make a couple more plays at key times,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Probably just one more key play in the last minute or minute and a half. That would have been the difference.”
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