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Monday, June 17, 2024

Celtics take 2-0 lead in NBA Finals over Mavericks

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The Boston Celtics tightened their grasp on the 2024 NBA Finals, routing the Dallas Mavericks 105-98 in Game 2 at TD Garden. With the win, the Celtics have a 2-0 lead as the series makes its way to Dallas.

Jrue Holiday continued his stellar postseason play, leading the Celtics with 26 points and eleven rebounds.

Celtics forward Jayson Tatum spoke highly of his teammate following the win, saying he is glad they have Holiday and he is not on the other team.

“Good thing we don’t have to find out (about Holiday playing elsewhere),” Tatum said. “We are very fortunate to have him. He was excellent tonight.”

Tatum finished the contest with 18 points, nine rebounds and a game-high 12 assists.

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla calls to his players during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla echoed Tatum’s sentiments while ensuring the media recognized that their wins are a product of a team effort.

“I am really tired of hearing about one guy, this guy or that guy,” Mazzulla said. “Everybody that stepped on that court tonight made winning plays. That is the most important thing. It takes everybody to do it.”

The Celtics held the Mavericks to under 100 points for the second consecutive game, forcing 15 turnovers, ultimately limiting Dallas’ effectiveness on offense.

Despite the Mavericks struggling to find their rhythm offensively, Luka Doncic led the team with a game-high 32 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. Kyrie Irving finished the contest with 16 points and six assists.

Related: Nuggets extinguish Heat, win 2023 NBA Finals

head coach Jason Kidd in NBA Finals
Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd watches his players during the second half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series against the Boston Celtics, Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said the team’s woes are detrimental.

“Boston is a team that can run off (three-pointers) in a hurry; we were trying to keep that from happening,” Kidd said. “We have to do the small things and that is part of the game. We didn’t shoot free throws well and we have to be better.”

Doncic also spoke about a few areas of improvement after the contest.

“Every game that we lose is a missed opportunity for us,” Doncic said. “I think my turnovers and missed free throws cost us the game, I have to do better in those two categories, but at the end of the day, we have to make shots to win the game.”

Luka Doncic during the 2024 NBA Finals
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) takes a shot over Boston Celtics guard Jrue Holiday (4) during Game 2 of the NBA Basketball Finals, Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

The series now moves to Dallas for Games 3 and 4. The Mavericks will need to find a way to turn things around on their home court, or they risk falling into a 3-0 hole from which no team has ever recovered from in the history of the NBA Finals.

The Celtics, on the other hand, appear to be riding high with confidence. They can take a 3-0 lead and put themselves within one win of their 18th NBA championship.

Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals is happening at 8:30 p.m. on June 12 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, airing on ABC and ESPN.

Contact multi-media and senior sports reporter Noral Parham III at 317-762-7846. Follow him on X @3Noral.

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