Jrue Holiday leads Celtics to 2-0 series lead over Mavericks in NBA Finals

Jrue Holiday scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Jayson Tatum made up for a tough shooting night with 12 assists and nine rebounds as the Boston Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks 105-98 on Sunday night. The win gives the Celtics a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

Luka Doncic is a Triple-Double

Luka Doncic, who was questionable until hours before the game due to various injuries, scored 32 points to go with 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

That meant a first NBA Finals triple-double in Mavericks franchise history. However, his past one-footer from three-point range with 28 seconds left dashed Dallas’ last hopes of a comeback.

Upcoming games

Game 3 is scheduled for Wednesday night in Dallas. The Mavericks need to win either Game 3 or Game 4 on Friday to avoid a shootout and secure a return to the Boston Garden, where local fans are already anticipating their team’s 18th game. NBA Championship banner. Historically, the Celtics have never lost a series after winning the first two games of the NBA Finals.

Contributions from key players

Jaylen Brown added 21 points for the Celtics, while Tatum scored 18 and Derrick White also contributed 18 points.

Despite his shooting issues, Tatum’s playmaking was key as he finished with 12 assists and nine rebounds. Kristaps Porzingis, despite limping through the game, scored 12 points.

The Celtics overcame their shooting woes

The Celtics had their shooting challenges, going just 10-of-39 from long range. Tatum was especially off, going 6-for-22 from the field and 1-of-7 from 3-point range.

The Celtics missed their first eight attempts from beyond the arc and hovered around 20% shooting for most of the game. Despite these struggles, they managed to maintain control and secure the win.

Maverick’s Struggles

Kyrie Irving, a polarizing figure for Celtics fans since his departure in 2019, scored 16 points but has now lost 12 straight games against his former team.

The Mavericks struggled from beyond the arc, shooting just 6-for-26 (23.1%) from three-point range. PJ Washington added 17 points for the Mavericks.

Critical moments

Peyton Pritchard’s half-court shot late in the third quarter extended Boston’s lead to 83-74, a critical shift. Dallas cut the deficit to 103-98 with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter, but Derrick White’s crucial block on PJ Washington, followed by a basket by Brown, sealed the game for the Celtics.

Dončić’s heroism and limitations

Doncic’s triple-double performance was impressive, but he struggled with injuries in the second half. He had 23 points in the first half, but didn’t score his first points of the fourth quarter until just over a minute remained.

Additionally, he committed eight turnovers, reflecting the Celtics’ intense pressure and defensive effort.

Resilience of the Celts

The Celtics showed off their depth and resilience, overcoming poor shooting and a formidable opponent. With Holiday leading the way and Tatum finding ways to contribute despite his shooting woes, Boston showed why it is the top seed and a formidable title contender.

Historical context

The Celtics are now halfway to their first title since 2008 and are 18th overall, which would tie them with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most championships in NBA history.

Teams that win the first two games of the NBA Finals win the series 86.1% of the time (31-5). The Celtics’ undefeated road playoff record (6-0) this season boosts their confidence as they head to Dallas for Game 3.

The Celtics’ ability to rely on multiple players and adjust their strategy mid-game has put them in a strong position. As the Mavericks prepare for more games in Dallas, they will need to find answers quickly to prevent Boston from running away with the series.

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Information taken from Yahoo Sports and Reuters

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