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Doc Rivers played for San Antonio and has a son named Austin, so he has some ties to the Lone Star State.
Now he has a Texas-sized accomplishment, too.
With a 94-90 victory over the Mavericks on Thursday night, Rivers' Boston Celtics became the first team to win consecutive games in San Antonio, Houston and Dallas since the Sacramento Kings did it in November 2001.
Considering the milestones attached to each win, it's possible no team has ever handled the so-called Texas triangle like Boston just did.
The Celtics ended the Rockets' 22-game winning streak on Tuesday, the day after they gave the Spurs their first home loss in six weeks. They finished it up by coming to Dallas and handing the Mavs just their sixth home loss.
"We don't want to see Texas again,'' Rivers said. "It's a great state, but we don't want to see these three teams any more. They're too tough.''
The good news for everyone, then, is that the soonest the Celtics could return is the NBA finals.
"That team has got to feel really good coming to Texas, through the triangle, and get all three games,'' Dallas' Jerry Stackhouse said. "I know they have a lot of confidence.''
Ray Allen returned from a three-game injury absence to score 21 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 31.7 seconds left. Allen had to watch the first 10:06 of the fourth quarter from the bench, then nailed the only shot he took in the final period.
In the only other games Thursday night, San Antonio cruised past Chicago 102-80 and the Los Angles Lakers beat Utah 106-95.
Paul Pierce scored 22 and had a season-high 13 rebounds, and Kevin Garnett added 20 and 13. Boston upped its NBA-best record to 55-13 while winning for the 14th time in 15 games. The Celtics ended a seven-game losing streak in Dallas and swept the season series for the first time since 1993-94.
Dirk Nowitzki had 22 points and 19 rebounds, and Jason Kidd had nine assists, 11 rebounds and two points, but Dallas fell to 0-7 against teams with winning records since Kidd arrived.
The Mavericks led for most of the second half, but couldn't pull it out at the end. That's been typical in this new Kidd era, with five of their losses by six points or less. They were coming off a 2-point loss to the Lakers, although in that one they had to claw back from a 25-point deficit.
Dallas needs to snap out of it soon with San Antonio coming to town Sunday. The Mavs had won five straight against losing teams before these back-to-back home losses, the first time that's happened all season.
"The energy was there,'' coach Avery Johnson said. "Some things didn't go our way, but we hung in there.''
Neither team led by more than seven, which kept the intensity going up. Things got snippy in the fourth quarter, especially between Nowitzki and Garnett, although nothing ever escalated beyond tough play.
Nowitzki put Dallas up 88-87 with 1:54 left, then neither team scored until Allen swished his jumper from the left side.
"It was a play Doc drew up in the timeout,'' Allen said. "Stack fell and I got to the 3-point line. I shot it high so that if I missed, KG could go up for the rebound.''
Nowitzki missed the chance for a tying layup, then James Posey stretched the lead with a pair of free throws. A layup by Erick Dampier got Dallas back within two with 6.7 seconds left, but Garnett sealed it with two more foul shots.
The Celtics took 18 free throws in the fourth quarter. They took 17 over the first three quarters combined. Boston made 30 of the 35.
The accuracy from the line was needed because the Celtics shot only 34.5 percent from the field, dragged down by starting point guard Rajon Rondo going 0-for-7 and backup Sam Cassell going 1-for-9. Cassell played the entire fourth quarter, as did Posey, who was 4-of-5 with 12 points.
This program aired on March 21, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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