Dirk Nowitzki had 26 points and moved into the top 20 on the NBA career scoring list and the Dallas Mavericks beat the short-handed and struggling Boston Celtics 89-73 Monday night.
The defending champion Mavericks reached the midpoint of their regular season schedule after never trailing against Boston.
Nowitzki, who also had a season-high 16 rebounds, scored all of Dallas' points in a 10-2 run midway through the second quarter that pushed the Mavericks ahead by 14. They led by double digits the rest of the way.
Already without suspended Rajon Rondo, absent Kevin Garnett and injured Brandon Bass, the Celtics lost starters Jermaine O'Neal (sprained left wrist) and Chris Wilcox (right adductor strain) in the third quarter.
Boston has lost four in a row, and six of seven.
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