Celtics-Mavericks review: C's get to Mayo

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Celtics-Mavericks review: C's get to Mayo

BOSTON The Boston Celtics didn't exactly shut down Dallas' O.J. Mayo, who had 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting.

But the C's did force him into making a slew of miscues all game which factored heavily in Boston squeaking out a 117-115 double overtime win.

While Mayo was extremely efficient shooting the ball, his game-high nine turnovers would prove costly in Dallas' attempt at rallying from a double-digit deficit in the second half.

"Nine turnovers just doesn't cut it," Mayo said. "When you get the ball you want to make a play, make a positive play for our team so turnovers really killed us."

Dallas came into Wednesday's game averaging 15 turnovers per game which ranked 16th in the league.

The Mavericks had 17 by the end of the third quarter, and finished with 28 that were converted into 32 points for the Celtics.

For Dallas, figuring out what went wrong was not that difficult to pin-point.

"We had turnovers that throughout the game, killed us," said Mavs forward Shawn Marion who returned to the lineup after missing a couple games with a groin injury. "We can't beat anyone with that many turnovers."

Boston's defense on Mayo was indeed a key factor in the Celtics stringing together back-to-back wins for the first time this month. Here are some other keys identified prior to the tip-off, and how they ultimately played out for the C's.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR: Dallas wants to get into an uptempo game that will generate at least 100 points for them. When they reach triple digits scoring this season, they're 8-1.

WHAT WE SAW: The Mavericks shot 51 percent from the field, scored 115 points in double overtime and still came up short courtesy of 28 turnovers that the Celtics converted into 32 points.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Kevin Garnett vs. Chris Kaman: These are the kind of games when Garnett's ability to stretch the floor from the center position should pay huge dividends for the Celtics.

WHAT WE SAW: Garnett got off to a fast start by making his first three shots from the field and finished with 16 points to go with just two rebounds. Kaman had a good but not great night as well, scoring 12 points to go with five rebounds.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Rajon Rondo has a mismatch most nights, but Derek Fisher presents a different kind of challenge. He doesn't have the athleticism to hold his own against Rondo, but he is a crafty veteran who knows how to play the game at the highest levels and be successful with it.

WHAT WE SAW: Rondo was doing what Rondo does, and that's chipping in with big numbers in all the major statistical categories. He came one rebound shy of a triple-double by tallying 16 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds.

STAT TO TRACK: Bench scoring has picked up lately for Boston, a trend they will need to continue against a Mavs team that gets a lot of point production from its second unit. Dallas' bench averages 42 points scored per game which ranks third in the league among bench units while the Celtics are just 20th with a 30.3 points per game average from their backups.

WHAT WE SAW: The Mavericks' second unit out-scored Boston's backups 41-32, but the C's got some much-needed production from Chris Wilcox (10 points, six rebounds) that was huge in softening the blow that the Celtics normally take when Kevin Garnett sits down for a rest.

Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

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Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars where Patrice Bergeron scored two goals.

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.