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NBA Final: Boston contains a clumsy Dallas and leads 2-0

  • June 10, 2024
  • 7 Min
  • 4

Second home game, second success: the Boston Celtics fulfilled their mission at the start of the NBA final by containing the Dallas Mavericks (105-98) on Sunday to lead 2-0 and look forward to the rest in Texas with serenity.

Without the offensive orgy of the first game, the Celtics collective took the upper hand quite clearly over Dallas and Luka Doncic to find themselves two wins away from a record 18th NBA title in this best-of-seven-match series.

The Slovenian Luka Doncic, first Maverick in history in triple-double (32 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists) during an NBA final, once again carried Dallas, without breaking through the lock of the C’s suffocating defense.

Dallas was far too clumsy from afar (6 out of 26 at 23.1%) despite numerous shots “open” to threaten Boston. A clumsiness which was also felt on the free throw line (16 out of 24 at 67%) and in ball losses (15 against 10 for Boston), because of the stifling defense of the « C’S ».

“Every match lost is a missed opportunity. Shooting, free throws and turnovers, those three things were the key to the game for us. We have to get our shots in. My missed throws and turnovers cost us the match I think”commented Doncic.

Foul not called?

An unfortunate pass from the Slovenian (8 turnovers alone) led to two consecutive long shots from Jrue Holiday then Derrick White to increase Boston’s lead to 14 points 3 minutes 34 from time.

Uncertain before the match because of chest pain, inherited from a blow suffered in the previous match, Doncic indicated that he had “felt good”.

Against Dallas, Boston showed the density of its collective with four players with 18 points or more: Derrick White (18), Jayson Tatum (18), Jaylen Brown (21) and Jrue Holiday (26).

NBA Final: Boston contains a clumsy Dallas and leads 2-0

Luka Doncic, the Slovenian point guard of the Dallas Mavericks, against the Boston Celtics in the second game of the 2024 NBA Finals, in Boston, June 9, 2024 / Adam Glanzman / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

An important recruit last summer, Holiday, crowned champion in 2021 with Milwaukee, brings his experience, his knowledge of defense – he appreciated the « constance » of his own in this matter- and his precision from afar.

Boston took the reins of the game after the break and never let go even if Dallas thought for a time of a comeback in the last minute, after a counter from Derrick Jones Jr. on Tatum.

In the process, PJ Washington, who went for a dunk to bring Dallas back to 3 points, was himself blocked by Derrick White. The action seemed tainted by two contentious acts (Brown’s push and blow on White’s opposing hand), but Dallas was unable to ask the referees to reconsider this fact of play after having lost its « challenge » at the very beginning of the meeting.

“It seems like a foul but it wasn’t called so it’s not a foul”evacuated Dallas coach Jason Kidd.

Porzingis ok according to Mazzulla

The Mavericks find themselves obliged to react in the next match of the final on Wednesday at home, to avoid finding themselves trailing 3-0, a start to the series that no team has managed to overcome in the history of the NBA playoffs.

After an exceptional Game 1, Latvian Kristaps Porzingis was a little more discreet for Boston, still finishing with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.

The giant (2.18 m) seems to have experienced a small scare at the end of the match in his right calf, he who was injured in this muscle and therefore missed more than a month of competition before his return this week.

NBA Final: Boston contains a clumsy Dallas and leads 2-0

Jrue Holiday, Boston Celtics guard, against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals, at TD Garden, June 9, 2024 / Maddie Meyer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP

” He is fine “assured his coach Joe Mazzulla.

The young Celtics coach (35 years old) wanted to highlight Payton Pritchard’s miraculous shot at the buzzer in the third quarter, “the action of the match”according to him, which had given Boston a 9-point lead.