Celtics overcome Mavericks in double OT, 117-115

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Celtics overcome Mavericks in double OT, 117-115

BOSTON The Boston Celtics have a tendency to make things much harder on themselves than they should be. 
If ever there was a game that was indicative of that, it was Wednesday night's 117-115 double overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 34 points, which included him making five of his last six free throws in the final seconds of Boston's second overtime. 
Dallas had one last shot at tying up the game, but Darren Collison threw the ball away with 5.3 seconds to play in the second overtime, a fitting end to the night for a Dallas team that turned the ball over 28 times that resulted in 34 points for the Celtics. 
Collison then fouled Courtney Lee with 4.1 seconds to play. Lee went to the line and made both to secure the Celtics victory. 
O.J. Mayo led the Mavericks with 24 points which included an end-of-the-game buzzer beater that meant nothing other than another 3-pointer to pad his individual stats line.
Rajon Rondo, who came about as close as you can to a triple-double, finished with 16 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds.
So much of the chatter leading up to Wednesday's game against Dallas was centered around Celtics guard Jason Terry seeing his former team for the first time since leaving. 
But that wasn't the reunion of sorts that had the Celtics feeling good afterward.
It was them re-introducing themselves to an old friend called winning streak, a friend they haven't seen much of this season. 
Bringing the two together was not easy as the Celtics made a slew of miscues in the fourth that led to the first of two overtime sessions.
Boston led most of the night, but the Mavericks chipped away at Boston's lead and eventually tied the game at 92 on a driving lay-up by Collison with 2:20 to play and then took their first lead of the night on a 3-pointer from Derek Fisher, 95-94, with 1:47 to play in the fourth quarter. 
Boston regained the lead just 17 seconds later on a jumper by Pierce. 
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle came into Wednesday's game well aware that the Celtics were a better team than their slightly-above .500 record.
"I like their team," Carlisle, a former Celtic, said prior to the game. "I like their veteran savvy. They have a real good mixture of different kinds of players. They're tough and physical and they're obviously well coached. They're a team that's going to get better as the year goes on."
Boston (12-9) is three games over .500 for the first time this season after winning their second straight game -- something they had not done since wins on Nov. 23 and 25 against Oklahoma City and Orlando, respectively. 
The Celtics also snapped a four-game losing skid to the Mavericks.
Getting off to a great start for the Celtics was Kevin Garnett, who made his first three field goals before finishing the night with 16 points and five rebounds.
Boston pushed its lead back to double digits in the third quarter after a Brandon Bass put-back basket gave the Celtics a 63-52 lead.
The first half belonged to Boston which led by as many as 10 points, only to see its lead cut down to 48-43 at the half.

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

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McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.