Posey Comes Up Big
Forward James Posey wasn't a member of the Celtics when they were dependable cannon fodder for the powerful Dallas Mavericks.
Posey, who joined the club in August, recorded four clutch free throws and forced a critical turnover in the final 10 seconds to help the Celtics to a 96-90 victory over the Mavericks last night at TD Banknorth Garden.
Posey's heroics in the final moments put an end to the Mavericks' recent dominance of the Celtics. The Mavs arrived having won seven straight and 13 of their last 14 encounters with the Celtics.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers appreciated Posey's efforts because he'd been on the business end of several lopsided affairs against big man Dirk Nowitzki and the crew from Dallas.
``In those final 30 seconds he made some big plays,'' said Rivers. ``Posey came up with rebounds, came up with steals and he did the dirty work for us.
``He's a like a security blanket for us. You put him out on the floor in matchups that really don't make sense. Nowitzki had him in height and size, but he found a way to get it done.''
With Kevin Garnett sidelined by an abdominal strain, Posey warranted extended minutes and increased responsibilities that included guarding Nowitzki on the low post. Posey scored 13 points that included 3-of-5 shots from behind the arc.
But the reason Celtics fans headed home feeling good can be credited to Posey's work on the free throw line. The Celts were up 92-90 when the Mavericks were forced to foul Posey with 10 seconds remaining. Posey made both, forcing Mavs coach Avery Johnson to call a timeout.
``I had an opportunity to go to the free throw line and knock them down,'' said Posey. ``I thought we did a great job closing out the game with stops when we needed them and buckets when we needed them.''
Posey sized up the Mavs' alignment on the floor and intercepted Jason Terry's feed to Nowitzki off a high screen. Posey sat on the floor for three long seconds before being fouled by Nowitzki. Posey made both free throws to clinch the win.