DALLAS -- Monta Ellis hasn't been feeling his best the last two games. But the nine-year veteran guard sure came up big Monday night when the Dallas Mavericks needed him the most.
With the Boston Celtics staging a frantic comeback, Ellis buried a 3-pointer to give Dallas an 85-80 lead with 2:15 left in the game. Later on, he added a pair of free throws with 19.8 seconds to go to push the Mavs ahead 92-89.
That, plus two free throws by Shawn Marion with five seconds left, were more than enough for the Mavs to eke out a 94-89 victory over the Celtics at American Airlines Center.
"The three (by Ellis) in the left corner was probably the biggest basket of the game because they were in the midst of a big run,'' coach Carlisle. "That kept them at bay somewhat, and he made big free throws down at the end.
"He took three charges, I think. That's doing a lot.''
After winning at Oklahoma City on Sunday night, Ellis knew it was going to be challenging trying to beat a Celtic squad which lost Sunday night in overtime in New Orleans. And it was very apparent that neither team had much energy left after playing and traveling Sunday night.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/p9Y744w4a-I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
"We knew it was going to be a dog fight,'' said Ellis, who finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and five turnovers in 37 minutes. "But we stuck with it, made plays down the stretch when we needed, got defensive stops and got rebounds and came away wiuth the win.''
Despite the win, Ellis was involved in a weird play near midcourt when Avery Bradley stripped the ball from him and zipped in for an uncontested dunk which got Boston within 90-89 with 21.6 seconds left.
"I mean, it can got both ways,'' said Ellis, who, along with Carlisle, thought he was fouled on the play. "But at the end of the day we came out with the win.''
A win that pushed the Mavs to 41-27, thanks to some late-game heroics by Ellis.
"He was tired tonight because he's still getting over whatever the illness is,'' Carlisle said. "He didn't feel well (Sunday) night, but he's doing a little better today.
"It's tough playing two nights in a row when you're not feeling good.''
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter