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NBA: Celtics win against Mavericks and are two games away from the title

Celtics Win against Mavericks

Rising to the Challenge: Mavericks vs. Celtics Showdown

The Boston Celtics confirmed their home court advantage and won the second game of the NBA Finals series against the Dallas Mavericks with a score of 105-98, in another outstanding team performance. “We are all determined as a team. We all want this. It’s something that is collective,” said Jrue Holiday in the post-game press conference, leading the team with 26 points for the night.

Luka Doncic once again delivered an outstanding performance and became the youngest player to record a triple-double in an NBA Finals game: scoring 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. He was the focal point of Boston’s defense throughout the game, despite being listed as questionable due to a sprained right knee, pain in the left ankle, and a rib contusion.

The series now heads to Texas, where games 3 and 4 will take place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The home team will seek to avoid a sweep and even the series in front of their fans. The next game will take place on Wednesday, June 12, at 9:30 pm, and game four will be on Friday, June 14, also at 9:30 pm.

Dallas Mavericks 98 x 105 Boston Celtics In contrast to game one, the Dallas Mavericks came into the TD Garden much more focused and active in the game. With good ball movement in the attack, exchanges, and double-team defenses to close the gaps, the team managed to open a seven-point lead. However, a timeout by Mazzulla and the entry of Porzings brought balance to the game: the Latvian scored 8 points in 7 minutes and helped challenge the pivot pairs that the Mavs used. Despite being doubtful for the game, Doncic played nearly 10 minutes in the first quarter and scored 13 points.

In the second half, the Mavericks struggled due to the team’s inability to convert, despite another strong quarter from Doncic. The Slovenian scored an additional 10 points in the quarter but ended with only two assists, as his teammates wasted numerous shot attempts. Derrick Jones Jr. was the only one to provide assistance in crucial moments, but it was not enough to compensate for the team’s 3 baskets in 12 attempts during the quarter.

On the Celtics’ side, Jason Tatum faced significant challenges in scoring points in the first half. Despite making good shot selections and executing excellent plays, the forward converted only two of his 9 attempts. However, when his shots weren’t falling, the Boston star took charge in orchestrating the team, contributing 8 assists and playing a key role in turning the game around to a 54-51 lead before halftime.

Celtics’ Resilience and Mavericks’ Response

Jrue Holiday shoots over Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington
During the Celtics’ 105-98 triumph over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, Boston’s guard Jrue Holiday takes a shot over Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington. (Image credit: Steven Senne / Associated Press)

With a poor performance from all Mavericks players, the home team returned to the court with a single objective: neutralize Luka Doncic. Possession after possession, the Boston defense doubled down on marking and made life difficult for the Slovenian, who had to make increasingly difficult and risky passes to escape these situations, resulting in a significant accumulation of turnovers. On the other side, the strategy of finding the best possible shot, regardless of who was in that position, continued to bear fruit, opening up a 9-point advantage heading into the decisive quarter after Payton Pritchard beat the halftime buzzer with a shot from midcourt.

The Boston Celtics displayed relentless intensity in the final quarter, thwarting any attempts by the Mavericks to reverse the score, whether through the defensive efforts of Derrick White and Jrue Holiday or the offensive contributions of Tatum and Brown. After an excellent run that saw Boston establish its largest lead of the game, 14 points, the team encountered some difficulties as the Mavericks closed the gap to 5 points. However, the Celtics managed the clock when in possession, and Jaylen Brown converted a crucial layup with 30 seconds remaining, securing the victory and bringing the team within two games of the title.

Key Performances:

  • Jrue Holiday delivered an outstanding performance with 26 points and 11 rebounds.
  • Despite struggling to score in the first half, Jayson Tatum flirted with a triple-double, tallying 18 points, 12 assists, and 9 rebounds.
  • Jaylen Brown contributed 22 points and 7 assists, while Derrick White scored 18 points.
  • Luka Doncic, despite facing relentless defensive pressure from Boston, became the youngest player to record a triple-double in a finals game, achieving 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
  • P.J. Washington finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds, closely followed by Kyrie with 16 points, despite shooting 7/18 from the field for the night.

 

Image Credit (Featured Image): Getty Images