Celtics 105, Mavericks 103

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BOSTON (AP)—Antoine Walker stood in a familiar spot—beyond the 3-point arc on Boston’s court with the game on the line.

His former co-star with the Celtics could only watch.

“I kind of had an out-of-body experience,” said Paul Pierce, whose jumper over Walker had just put Boston ahead. “I was praying to God he wasn’t going to hit that shot because I knew he was going to bring out the wiggle.”

But Walker had no reason to shake his body, as he did when he hit big baskets with Boston. His shot missed at the buzzer and the Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-103 Wednesday night.

“We all live for that kind of shot,” Walker said. “I had a good look but I came up short.”

Walker scored just seven points and missed all six 3-pointers in his first game against the Celtics since they traded him Oct. 20. Pierce scored 25 points, 11 in the fourth quarter, and had 11 rebounds and seven assists.

His last two points came on an 18-footer from the left with 20 seconds left that gave Boston a 104-103 lead.

“You couldn’t ask for a better script,” Pierce said. “Down one and I knock a shot over Antoine Walker. Storybook ending. I like it.”

Walker, who averaged 20.8 points in seven seasons with Boston, had seven rebounds and eight assists.

He was outplayed by Jiri Welsch, who went to Boston in the five-player deal with Dallas. Welsch scored a career-high 21 points. Walter McCarty added 18 in his first start of the season, including a free throw for the final point with nine seconds left.

Before the game, McCarty asked coach Jim O’Brien what he needed to do to play more.

“I said, `Well, perform tonight, because you’re starting,”’ O’Brien said.

While Walker faced the Celtics for the first time, Ricky Davis made his debut with them after a six-player trade Monday with Cleveland. Davis scored eight points.

The Mavericks were led by Dirk Nowitzki with 30 points and Antawn Jamison with 21.

“I thought Walker was tight and wasn’t himself the whole game,” Dallas coach Don Nelson said, “but I wanted to give him the opportunity to play for the fans here in Boston.”

They appreciated seeing him.

He received a standing ovation when he was introduced before the game. One fan held a sign which read “Welcome Back Walker.” Another shouted “We love Antoine.”

“It was nice to see and very surprising,” Walker said. “It kind of puts a closing for me in Boston and I can move on with my career.”

Dallas’ last chance came when Walker got the ball just to the right side at the top of the 3-point arc and hoisted a shot that bounced off the rim. His tendency to take too many 3-pointers was one reason Boston traded him.

The Celtics had cut an 85-77 deficit after three quarters to 98-97 before Walker missed another 3-pointer. Mike James hit a layup on the ensuing possession, putting the Celtics ahead 99-98 with 1:45 left. It was their first lead since midway through the first quarter.

Two free throws by Jamison put Dallas ahead 100-99, then a 3-pointer by McCarty gave Boston a 102-100 lead with 48 seconds left. Steve Nash put Dallas back on top with a 3-pointer with 36 seconds remaining.

Boston inbounded the ball with 27 seconds left and Pierce got it on the left side for the winning shot. Then Jamison missed with nine seconds left andMcCarty got the rebound, was fouled, and scored the final point.


Injured Mavericks Michael Finley and Shawn Bradley were not with the team. … The Celtics broke a six-game losing streak against Dallas. … Boston also obtained Chris Mihm and Michael Stewart from Cleveland for Eric Williams, Tony Battie and Kedrick Brown. … The Mavericks got Walker eight days before their season opener with Tony Delk for Welsch, Raef LaFrentz and Chris Mills. LaFrentz and Mills are on the injured list and expected to miss the rest of theseason.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
D. Nowitzki D. Nowitzki
11-28,  30 Pts
13 Rebs, 1 Assists
P. Pierce P. Pierce
7-19,  25 Pts
11 Rebs, 7 Assists

Team Stat Leaders