Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (8) controls the ball as Dallas Mavericks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (11) defends during the first half Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Dallas. AP Photo/Sam Hodde

DALLAS — Kemba Walker scored 32 points and Jaylen Brown had 26 as the Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 109-103 on Wednesday night.

Jayson Tatum added 24 points to help Boston prevail on a night when both teams were missing key players and struggled to shoot 40% from the field.

The Celtics held the Mavs 15 points below their season average, including a Dallas season-low 18 in the third quarter, with Luka Doncic’s absence felt more than in Dallas’ win Monday over Milwaukee.

Doncic sat out his second straight game for the Mavericks with a right ankle sprain, while Boston was without Gordon Hayward (left foot soreness) and Marcus Smart (left eye infection).

Kristaps Porzingis led Dallas with 23 points and 13 rebounds but fouled out in the final minute. Seth Curry added 20 points.

In each of the first three quarters, the Mavericks built a lead of at least eight points before Boston rallied to narrow the gap. Grant Williams hit a 3-pointer with 1:27 left in the third quarter to give the Celtics their first lead since early in the second.

Boston flipped the script in the fourth, with Brown hitting a 20-footer and Tatum a 3 to build an 83-78 lead. Tatum converted a three-point play with 6:38 to go to give the Celtics an 88-80 lead. After two Dallas free throws, Walker hit a 3 and then made four free throws in a row to extend the lead to double digits.

Dallas hit five 3s in the final 3:34 to trim the deficit but lost for the fourth time in its last six home games.

Walker scored 10 straight Celtics points to erase an early eight-point deficit and finished the first quarter with 16 points.

But Dallas held Walker scoreless in the second quarter and Curry and Porzingis keyed a 20-8 run to build a 10-point lead before the Celtics closed to 55-50 at halftime.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Coach Brad Stevens said Hayward had soreness in his foot since before the broken hand that cost him 13 games. Hayward didn’t feel better at practice this week despite a cortisone shot last Friday, and he will undergo an MRI on Thursday. … Smart missed his fourth game in a row.

Mavericks: Coach Rick Carlisle said Doncic was improving and would join the team on its two-game road trip to Philadephia and Toronto, but said it was “highly unlikely” he would play in either game. … The Mavericks announced a sellout crowd for the 800th consecutive game, including the playoffs. They joined the Trail Blazers (814 consecutive sellouts from 1977-1995) as the only NBA franchises to do so.

UP NEXT

Celtics: Host the Detroit Pistons on Friday.

Mavericks: At the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.


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