Celtics ‘were ready to celebrate’ before Game 4 blowout loss



“They let go of the rope pretty early.”

Jason Kidd and the Mavericks snuffed out Boston’s chances of a sweep in the NBA Finals. (Danielle Parhizkaran/Globe Staff)

Jason Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks still have a deep hole to climb out of in the NBA Finals. 

But after keeping their season alive by way of a lopsided 122-84 win over the Celtics in Game 4, the Mavericks head coach offered up some candid comments about a Boston team who let a decisive four-game sweep slip through their fingers on Friday night. 

“They were ready to celebrate,” Kidd said of the Celtics. “Understand, we made a stand. We were desperate. We got to continue to keep playing that way; understand they’re trying to find a way to close the door. The hardest thing in this league is to close the door when you have a group that has nothing to lose. Tonight you saw that. They let go of the rope pretty early.”

It didn’t take very long for Boston’s potential clinching contest to turn into a laugher. Dallas built itself a 13-point lead after the first quarter, with Boston’s lax play on the boards and shooting woes allowing the Mavericks to go into halftime with a commanding 61-35 lead.

By the time Dallas’ lead swelled to 36, Joe Mazzulla pulled all of his starters from the game with 3:18 to go in the third quarter — signaling the start of an extended stretch of garbage time. 

As decisive as Friday’s win was for Dallas, the Mavericks must now try to keep that momentum rolling on Monday at TD Garden, with Boston looking to seal the deal and clinch its sought-after 18th championship on the parquet floor.

But even though no NBA team has ever won a playoff series after trailing, 0-3, Kyrie Irving and the Mavericks are not focused on previous shortcomings. 

“History is going to be made either way. We’d like to be on the right side of it,” Irving said. “It just comes from the same sentiment, same phrase I was using the other day, just putting our best foot forward. We felt like Game 3 we had a good chance to close out that game to at least put is in a competitive spot.

We waited until Game 4 to ultimately play our best game. Took long enough for all of us to get to the party together and to play for each other the way we did tonight.

But it’s definitely a possibility that we can replicate it. We understand we’re going against the same great Boston team that is going to make it tough. We’re going into their home den. We have another opportunity to extend the season. That’s all we can ask for. We handled our business tonight. But the job is still an uphill battle, and we understand that.”

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