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Jun 9, 2024 10:39 pm

Jrue Holiday, Celtics take 2-0 NBA Finals lead over Mavs

jrue holiday

BOSTON — Jrue Holiday racked up a team-high 26 points and Jayson Tatum flirted with a triple-double as the Boston Celtics picked up a 105-98 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Holiday went 11-for-14 from the field as Boston opened up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. Tatum finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists, and the Celtics also got 21 points from Jaylen Brown and 18 from Derrick White.

Luka Doncic supplied 32 points, 11 boards, 11 assists and four steals for Dallas, which still managed to outshoot Boston 47.5 percent to 45.2 percent overall. P.J. Washington chipped in 17 points, Kyrie Irving had 16 and Daniel Gafford went for 13.

Game 3 is set for Wednesday in Dallas.

The Mavericks tried to mount a late rally after 3-pointers from Holiday and White on back-to-back possessions put Boston ahead 103-89 with 3:34 left in the game.

Derrick Jones Jr. scored four straight points as part of a 9-0 spurt that ended with a three-point play from Doncic, but Brown’s layup with 29.8 seconds to go dashed any hope Dallas had left.

Dereck Lively II threw home a dunk to get the Mavericks within 63-61 with 7:30 left in the third quarter, but the Celtics then started to pull away. Boston scored 17 of the next 23 points, with Brown’s trey making it 80-67 with 2:04 remaining in the period.

Dallas cut its deficit to six before quarter’s end, but Payton Pritchard nailed a 34-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to send Boston into the fourth with an 83-74 cushion.

Doncic took over in the first quarter, scoring 13 points to lift Dallas to a 28-25 lead. The Celtics stayed close by going 10-for-10 from the free-throw line through the first 12 minutes of action.

After Doncic canned a fadeaway with 10:08 left in the second quarter to push the Mavericks’ advantage to 35-29, Boston put together an 11-2 run to go up 40-37.

Neither team led by more than three until Holiday knocked down a triple with 37.1 seconds remaining in the first half to give Boston a five-point edge. Gafford answered with a dunk, forcing the Celtics to settle for a 54-51 lead at the break.

–Nick Galle, Field Level Media

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