Rajon Rondo had a triple-double with 17 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists to lead the host Celtics to a 90-84 overtime victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night and give Boston a two-games-to-one lead in the first-round playoff series.
Ray Allen returned after missing almost a month and scored 13 points in 38 minutes. Kevin Garnett had 20 points and 13 rebounds and Paul Pierce scored 21 points one game after leading Boston with 36 points and 14 rebounds.
Joe Johnson scored 29 points and Jeff Teague had 23 for Atlanta. Tracy McGrady had 12 points for the Hawks - his highest total since he had 40 for Houston in 2008.
Dirk Nowitzki leaned back in the chair at the podium on Thursday night, trying to explain what went wrong for the Dallas Mavericks once they got home for the playoffs.
There was really only one way to put it after they trailed throughout in a 95-79 loss that gave the Oklahoma City Thunder a commanding 3-0 series lead.
"We picked a bad time to put a stinker out there," Nowitzki said.
The Thunder get their first chance to close out the series with Game 4 on Saturday night in Dallas.
After losing the first two games on the road by a combined four points, the defending NBA champions were Thunderstruck by young Oklahoma City and Kevin Durant's 31-point effort.
Dallas surprisingly swept past the Lakers to get to the Western Conference finals last year and needed only five games to eliminate Oklahoma City. Only a week into this year's playoffs, the Mavs find themselves playing for a little pride and trying to at least win one game.
Derek Fisher remembers how it felt to be swept out of the playoffs by Dallas.
"You just never forget not finding a way to win a game in a playoff series," Fisher said Friday. "But you learn from it, you grow from it. I feel like it's made me better in terms of appreciating when you're in an opportunity in the postseason later in your career to really just give everything you have."
No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.
Amar'e Stoudemire worked out with his lacerated left hand wrapped Friday and could be in uniform Sunday when the Knicks try to avoid the sweep against Miami.