BOSTON — In a season where the Celtics were thought to be fully loaded for a run at a championship some of the most entertaining moments have come when they have been light on ammunition.


That was the case once again Friday night as the Celtics were without Kyrie Irving (eye), Marcus Morris (neck) and Aron Baynes (hand surgery), yet got an array of standout performances on their way to a 114-93 romp past the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden.


"We have so many talented [...]

BOSTON — In a season where the Celtics were thought to be fully loaded for a run at a championship some of the most entertaining moments have come when they have been light on ammunition.

That was the case once again Friday night as the Celtics were without Kyrie Irving (eye), Marcus Morris (neck) and Aron Baynes (hand surgery), yet got an array of standout performances on their way to a 114-93 romp past the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden.

“We have so many talented guys that can go in there,” said Jayson Tatum, who scored 18 points with six rebounds. “When guys are out, we have guys stepping to the plate who are more than capable of playing those big minutes.

“Especially when we’re playing small we’ve got to get up the ball pressure, and just be more active, because we’re lacking in size out there."

Jaylen Brown, starting in place of Morris, scored 21 points on 9-of-15 shooting with three steals. Marcus Smart scored 17 points with five 3-pointers, and Gordon Hayward followed up his 35-point outburst Wednesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves by threatening a triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists in 30 minutes off the bench in the second straight victory.

“He has really strung together a good couple of weeks of basketball,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said of Brown. “We’re going to need him to continue to do that for us. But it was great to be able to find out Morris was out, and you can throw him right in. You’re not quite as big, but you’re just as versatile defensively.”

Al Horford scored 10 points with eight rebounds and eight assists in 25 minutes, Terry Rozier had eight points, five rebounds and seven assists in his second straight start in place of Irving, and Brad Wanamaker provided a surprise lift with a career-high eight points off the bench.

The Celtics hit 21 3-pointers and came up with 12 steals on a night where ball movement, active defense and transition basketball proved a recipe for success for the second straight game with Irving on the shelf.

“It’s one of those nights where we’ve got to do our job and hold guys accountable,” Smart said, “and making sure that everybody is responsible for doing the things that they’re supposed to be doing. If you’re supposed to be in a certain spot you have to be there both defensively and offensively.”

Dirk Nowitzki was scoreless on 0-for-10 shooting in 16 minutes — as Celtics fans cheered him on with every shot — of what may have been his last game in Boston. Garden fans chanted “Dirk! Dirk! Dirk!” in the final minutes of the game with the Celtics up 20-plus points.

“I’ve rooted for the opponent to score two times in my life,” Stevens said, “Paul Pierce [in his last game in Boston] and Dirk Nowitzki. I was sitting over there, like everyone else in the building, saying: 'Go in. Go in.'

“What a special player.”

A 21-5 Dallas run spanning the final 4:39 of the first half and first 96 seconds of the third quarter had a 17-point lead down to 58-57 on a Luka Doncic 3-pointer. But a timeout shook the Celtics out of their shooting funk as Horford and Rozier hit back-to-back 3-pointers to restore the gap to seven.

It was the beginning of a 21-6 Boston run with 3-pointers from Horford and Tatum putting the Celtics up 79-63 with 4:39 left in the third. A Smart 3-pointer and Hayward finish of a Smart feed had the lead at 84-66 with 1:40 left in the quarter before Boston hit the fourth up 16.

Hayward’s 3-pointer made it 91-72 with 8:58 to play before Brown connected for the team’s 16th trey of the night for a 95-72 lead with 7:51 on the clock.

Two more 3-pointers from Brown and Smart had Boston up 101-79 with 6:04 left. Dallas responded with seven quick points for a 15-point game with 5:06 left. Hayward scored for a 17-point gap before Dallas got five more in a row to make it 103-91 with 3:29 remaining.

A Rozier 3-pointer out of a timeout put the Celtics up 15 and the Celtics soon emptied the bench with the lead expanding behind 3-pointers from Daniel Theis and Semi Ojeleye in the final minutes.