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Marcus Smart appreciates Texas homecoming

Celtics guard Marcus Smart had 7 points and six rebounds in 25 minutes in Monday’s loss at Dallas.LM Otero/AP

DALLAS — Coming home carried special significance for Marcus Smart. Not only was he able to distribute 30-plus tickets for Monday’s 118-113 Celtics’ loss to the Mavericks, he visited the home he purchased for his mother in his hometown of Flower Mound.

Smart spent some time at the home Sunday evening, although his mother has yet to move in because the home was recently purchased. It was a special moment for the 20-year-old, who credits his mother, Camellia, for helping him survive an arduous childhood.

Smart has reiterated the main focus of this trip was to notch victories, but he couldn’t help but reflect on fulfilling a dream for his mother.


“She picked out an awesome place,” said Smart, who finished with 7 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 24 minutes and 36 seconds. “I love it. She did a good job. I got my own room, the whole upstairs is mine. It’s crazy. I looked at my mom and she was smiling from ear to ear. I just felt proud.”

There is a sense of pride in Smart, who endured a successful but rocky tenure at Oklahoma State before becoming the sixth overall pick in June’s draft. His mother attended the Celtics’ draft press conference and gushed about her son.

“It’s probably one of the biggest accomplishments as a young man, give your mom what she always wanted and to take care of her,” Smart said. “She’s taken care of you all those years and make her happy. It’s a blessing.”

His career began splendidly with a strong performance in the season opener against Brooklyn, but in his first game in his home state Saturday against Houston, Smart struggled, going 0-for-7 from the field in 12 minutes.

On Monday, Smart hit a clutch 3-pointer to bring the Celtics to within 3 points in the fourth period, converted an improbable one-handed putback of a missed shot, and whipped a behind-the-back pass for an assist.


“It amplifies things, you want to bring that energy, you want to keep that energy up,” Smart said of playing at home. “I love it when my family comes to watch because when I was growing up they really weren’t there to watch because they were always busy or couldn’t afford to, so they’re all coming out tonight.”

Tag team

Evan Turner and Marcus Thornton understand their responsibility. They are supposed to bring energy and scoring off the bench. That has been Thornton’s role most of his career, but Turner has been mostly a starter and is adjusting to the new role.

The duo struggled Monday, combining for 5 points on 2-for-10 shooting with three turnovers.

“That type of energy [we bring] can lead to more minutes,” Turner said. “You try to come in and play well together and try not to have a drop off. I never have [come off the bench], so I’m pretty much learning as we go.’’

I’m just going to play how I play and let the game come to me and do what I can in those minutes.”

Turner said despite many newcomers and younger players, the team is growing closer and developing chemistry.

“I think the guys get along really well,” he said. “Once again we’re going as on-court-teammates.”

Checking up

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is an ex-Celtic who keeps tabs on his former team and he has developed a strong relationship with Celtics coach Brad Stevens. They struck up a coaching friendship when Carlisle coached the Indiana Pacers and Stevens was an assistant at Butler University.


“Very well coached, No. 1. No. 2, high energy; they do a great job of manufacturing shots,” Carlisle said.

“I know they didn’t knock down a lot of shots against Houston, but they are a dangerous team, they’re deep. They’re getting better.”

Carlisle wasn’t kidding. The Celtics outscored the Mavericks, 72-51, in the second half and Rajon Rondo finished with a game-high 15 assists. He has 35 through the first three games.

“We’ve been victim of a lot of his games where he’s done everything,” Carlisle said. “He’s a great player.’’

And Carlisle gushed about Stevens.

“He’s one of the best coaches in the world, he proved that in college,” Carlisle said. “And he’s got this team going in the right direction.’’

Stevens returned the favor.

“He’s really been great to me,” Stevens said. “For a long time but certainly since I’ve been hired.’’

You watch his team play and it can be a clinic of and in itself. He runs great offensive stuff. They’re not afraid to try things defensively. They probably play as much zone or more zone as anybody in the league. He’s got a great feel for ‘hey, I’m not afraid to try something on the fly.’ It’s proven over time to be very successful for him.”

Gary Washburn can be reached at gwashburn@globe.com.