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Celtics Beat Mavericks To Take 2-0 Lead In The NBA Finals

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The Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 105-98 last Sunday, securing a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals. NBA FINALS as the series shifts to Dallas.

Doncic Not Enough

This victory was marked by a historic performance by Luka Doncic, who recorded the first triple-double in NBA Finals history for the Mavericks franchise with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Despite Doncic's remarkable effort, Boston's balanced play was instrumental in bringing them closer to their 18th championship, which would set an NBA record.

Key contributions from the Celtics highlighted their collective strength. Jrue Holiday scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Derrick White had a crucial block that energized the team.

Jayson Tatum, despite a poor shooting night in which he hit 6-of-22 shots from the field and 1-of-7 from the three-point line, was outstanding in other areas with 12 assists, nine rebounds and 18 points. Jaylen Brown added 21 points and three steals, bolstering the team's defensive efforts.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla attributed the victory to the team's overall performance rather than individual heroics, emphasizing the contributions of each player. Peyton Pritchard's crucial half-court shot in the final second of the third quarter extended Boston's lead to 83-74, showcasing the depth of their roster.

Luka Doncic, who was listed as questionable before the game, notched his 10th triple-double in the playoffs, but only scored three points in the final quarter. The Mavericks made a late push, cutting a 14-point deficit to five with just over a minute remaining.

However, Boston's defensive resilience, highlighted by key plays by White and Brown, secured the victory. Derrick Jones Jr.'s block on a Tatum dunk attempt was followed by blocks by White and Brown on P.J. Washington, leading to a crucial layup by Brown.

Doncic's would-be comeback shot, a running floater from the three-point line, missed with 28 seconds remaining.

Mavericks coach Jason Kidd praised Doncic as one of the best players in the world, but lamented the team's missed opportunities.

Final Moves to Dallas

Games 3 and 4 are scheduled for Wednesday and Friday in Dallas, where the Celtics look to maintain their undefeated record on the road this postseason. Historically, Boston has a strong record when winning the first two games of the NBA Finals, never having been forced into a Game 7 in such scenarios.

In a strategic move, Kidd attempted to create discord in the Celtics locker room by labeling Jaylen Brown as the team's best player over Jayson Tatum.

However, the Celtics showed their unity and focus, ignoring the comments and acting cohesively. Kristaps Porzingis, though hobbled, contributed 12 points for Boston, while Kyrie Irving, who has a contentious history with Boston fans, scored 16 points, but has now lost 12 straight games to the Celtics.

Unlike Game 1, where Boston's early success from the three-point line led to a comfortable victory, the Celtics struggled from beyond the arc in Game 2, missing their first eight attempts.

They trailed throughout the first quarter and continued to struggle from the three-point line at halftime. Despite the shooting woes, Boston fans remained vocal and supportive, particularly targeting Irving with boos and chants, which he acknowledged by shaking his head.

Overall, Boston's Game 2 victory was a testament to their resiliency and team-oriented play, setting the stage for a crucial stretch in Dallas as they look to secure their record 18th championship.

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