Celtics go up 2-0 on Mavericks in NBA Finals

By Sports Desk June 09, 2024

Jrue Holiday amassed 26 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way as the Boston Celtics opened up a 2-0 lead on the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals with Sunday's 105-98 win.

Holiday made good on 11 of 14 field goal attempts to help offset a rare off-shooting night from Jayson Tatum and help the Eastern Conference champion Celtics move within two wins of their first NBA title since 2008.

Tatum struggled to a 6-of-22 performance from the field, though the All-Star forward did contribute 12 assists and nine rebounds as Boston withstood a triple-double from Dallas' Luka Dončić and earned its ninth straight win of this post-season.

Doncic compiled 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in 42 minutes despite being a game-time decision. The NBA MVP finalist was listed as questionable for Game 2 due to a chest contusion he presumably sustained during Dallas' 107-89 loss in Thursday's series opener.

He added four steals but committed eight of the Mavericks' 15 turnovers on the night, while backcourt mate Kyrie Irving was held to 7-of-18 shooting while managing 16 points.

The Western Conference champions will attempt to avoid an 0-3 hole when they return home to host Wednesday's Game 3, though the Celtics are 6-0 on the road in these play-offs.

Dallas couldn't overcome a 21-point half-time deficit in Game 1, but it led 55-54 early in the second half of this one before the Celtics began to assert control late in the third quarter.

Boston used a 10-0 run, capped by Holiday's layup off a Tatum feed, to build a 75-63 advantage with under three minutes left in the period. The Celtics never trailed thereafter, though Dallas made a bid to get back in it late.

Down 14 with under 3 1/2 minutes remaining, the Mavericks scored nine straight points to pull within 103-98 on Doncic's 3-point play with 1:15 to go.

Dallas had a chance to move closer, but PJ Washington's dunk attempt in the final minute was blocked by Derrick White. Jaylen Brown then drove the lane and scored on the ensuing possession to extend Boston's margin to seven points with less than 30 seconds left.

Brown finished with 21 points and seven assists, while White had 18 points and went 4 of 10 from 3-point range.

Holiday recorded 17 first-half points on 7-of-9 shooting, though the Celtics took a slim 54-51 lead into the break as Doncic kept Dallas close with 23 points on a 9-of-13 success rate.


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    Irving, who spent two seasons with Boston before signing with the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, went just 5 of 16 from the field while managing 15 points, the third time in the series he produced 16 points or fewer.

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    "I said that I wanted to be remembered as one of the best teams of this era and our last few champions have been a new one each and every year.

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