BOSTON -- Apparently, Monta Ellis never doubted if he was going to be able to play in Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics for the Dallas Mavericks.
Apparently, a lot of his teammates and coaches thought otherwise.
Ellis suffered a mild strain of his right hamstring during Friday's 22-point win over the Utah Jazz. The nine-year veteran was constantly receiving treatment over the past two days, but the Mavs never gave off any positive vibrations as to whether he would be able to play against the Celtics.
However, after Ellis scored 11 points, collected five rebounds and picked up a pair of steals in the Mavs' 102-91 triumph over the Celtics at TD Garden, coach Rick Carlisle was gushing over the solid performance turned in by his shooting guard.
"It sends a great message to our team, guys just wanting to play and wanting to be there,'' Carlisle said. "And he played well, too.
"He didn’t have huge numbers or anything like that. But him being in the lineup is huge for us.''
Ellis said he felt np pain during or after the game and that he's not concerned about his hamstring going forward.
“I told y’all that’s a minor injury,'' Ellis said. "It might sound big to most people, but for me if I can walk I can play.’’
Dirk Nowitzki was certainly impressed that Ellis was able to play 28 minutes against the Celtics.
"He’s a warrior,'' Nowitzki said. "After seeing him yesterday getting some treatment and moving gingerly on his legs. . .
"But obviously he wanted to be out there and help us get this win. So he’s definitely a warrior.''
-- Dwain Price
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