It was a sleepy first quarter that did the Boston Celtics in against the Dallas Mavericks Friday night.
The home team jumped out to an early lead that gave them the cushion necessary to defeat the Celtics, 104-94.
The two teams played each other evenly the rest of the way, but a nine-point deficit after one proved too much to overcome.
Brandan Wright had a career night, going 11-of-16 for 23 points. Dirk Nowitzki poured in 22, and Vince Carter brought 19 points off the bench.
For the Celtics, individual play ranged from mediocre to flat-out duds. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass all posted 16 points, with the latter two registering double-doubles. They got little help from the bench again and shot 41.6 percent from the field overall.
This was the Celtics third straight loss, and things don't get any easier with a visit to the Memphis Grizzlies for a back-to-back. The defeat drops them to 36-31 on the year and further hampers their chances of improving their playoff seed.
The Mavericks aren't dead yet but remain three games out of the final postseason spot in the Western Conference.
Let's hit the Bleacher Report classroom and see how the Celtics graded out in yet another depressing performance.