Celtics Take 2-0 Lead in NBA Finals Over Mavericks

Photo of Doncic in the game celtics vs Mavericks.

Luka Doncic made history for the Dallas franchise by achieving its first-ever NBA Finals triple-double, yet Boston persisted in their pursuit of an unprecedented 18th championship. In the Boston showdown, Jrue Holiday displayed his scoring skills, while Derrick White‘s defensive play included a crucial chase-down block. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown also made significant contributions, showcasing their passing and defensive abilities.

The focus on identifying Boston’s standout player became irrelevant as every Celtics member on the court made essential plays, bringing them closer to their historic championship. Tatum compensated for a tough shooting night with 12 assists and nine rebounds in addition to his 18 points.

Brown’s notable contribution included 21 points and three steals, along with White’s 18 points and three steals. Peyton Pritchard’s sole basket, a buzzer-beating half-court shot, widened Boston’s lead to 83-74 by the third quarter’s end.

Despite Doncic’s stellar performance with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, marking a milestone for the franchise, the Mavericks fell short. Doncic’s fourth-quarter scoring was limited to three points. Although Dallas made a late push, closing the gap to 103-98 with nine unanswered points, Boston’s defense ultimately foiled their comeback attempts.

With Games 3 and 4 scheduled in Dallas, the Mavericks seek to end Boston’s undefeated road streak this postseason to avoid a sweep and bring the series back to the Boston Garden. The Celtics’ dominance has fans already imagining another championship banner in the arena’s rafters.

This is the ninth time the Celtics have taken the first two games in the NBA Finals, having emerged victorious in the previous eight instances without needing a Game 7.

A day after Kidd’s attempt to sow discord in the Celtics locker room by labeling Brown as the team’s top player instead of Tatum, who is an All-NBA first-teamer, Boston showed why such distinctions hold little weight.

Despite Kristaps Porzingis struggling with injury and only managing 12 points for the top-seeded Boston, the team came out on top. Tatum had difficulty with his shooting, going 6 for 22 and 1 of 7 from beyond the arc, while the Celtics as a whole shot 10 for 39 from long range.

Kyrie Irving, who has faced animosity from local fans since leaving Boston in 2019, scored 16 points but extended his losing streak against the Celtics to 12 games.

In contrast to their Game 1 victory of 107-89, where Boston quickly built a 17-point lead with a 7-for-15 performance from 3-point range in the first quarter, the Celtics struggled from long distance on Sunday. They missed their first eight attempts from beyond the arc, allowing Dallas to maintain the lead throughout the first quarter.

Tatum failed to score in the opening period and only managed five points by halftime, still unable to connect from 3-point range. Boston’s 3-point shooting improved to just 5 for 30 when Peyton Pritchard’s buzzer-beating half-court shot in the third quarter extended their lead to 83-74.

The crowd, which had spent much of the game taunting Irving with boos and chants, erupted in excitement at Pritchard’s shot, prompting Irving to acknowledge the taunts by shaking his head.


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