Boston Wins Game 3, Closing in on 18th Championship

Written by: Alex Gonzalez

Top Stories

Jayson Tatum Celebrates a Three-Point Make

The NBA Finals went to Dallas for Game 3, with the Celtics leading 2-0 over the Mavericks. With their backs against the wall, the Mavericks came out swinging and opened the game with a 13-point lead midway through the first quarter. With a strong start from Luka and Kyrie, the Mavericks looked poised for a bounce-back game. But the Celtics adjusted and only ended up down one after the first 12 minutes. The game went back and forth throughout the rest of the first half, with the Mavericks leading 51-50 at the break. Kyrie and Luka led the way for the Mavericks as they combined for 37 out of the team’s 51 first-half points. Jayson Tatum led the way for the Celtics with 20 points, which was more than he had in Game 2. A back and forth game through the half, and something had to give.

The Celtics started the second half strong with an explosion of three-pointers and solid defense. Jaylen Brown, who finished the first half with only six points, really woke up in the third quarter, piling on 15 points on 6/9 shooting from the field. The Celtics closed the third quarter and opened the fourth on an extensive run, which gave them a 21-point lead with just over 11 minutes to go. With all hope looking lost for the Mavericks, they returned with a 20-2 run to cut the significant lead to just three points with six minutes remaining in the game. With the Celtics up just three points and just over four minutes remaining in the contest, Luka Dončić took an interesting foul and ultimately fouled out of the game, just the third time he has ever done that. The Celtics and Mavericks went back and forth the rest of the way, but a difficult Kyrie Irving fadeaway miss sealed the deal for the Celtics as they are now in complete control of the NBA finals, up 3-0.

It was a frustrating loss for the Mavericks on their home floor. After a strong start, the offensive energy just wasn’t there for them. Even though the duo of Kyrie and Luka had 62 of the Maverick’s 99 points, the lack of defense and costly errors down the stretch cost them this game. A Kyrie bounce-back game was due, and he played exceptionally well, scoring 35 points on efficient shooting, but it just wasn’t enough. Another bright spot on the Mavericks was Dereck Lively, who piled in a double-double while only missing one shot. Nonetheless, the Mavericks are down 3-0, and coming back from that deficit has never happened before, with a record of 0-156. Kyrie Irving has now lost 13 straight games to the Celtics, and the Mavericks team is now 0-5 against Boston this year. Significant adjustments must be made for the Mavericks if they want any chance to win this series, starting at the defensive end. With the season on the line, we will see how the Mavericks respond in Game 4.

Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum stepped up in the absence of Kristaps Porziņġis. The duo piled in a combined 61 points and logged a combined 82 minutes. Jayson led the way in the first half, and Jaylen closed the door in the second. Jaylen Brown finished with 30 points, 8 assists, and 8 rebounds. The last three players to have the same stat line from the Eastern Conference before Brown include Jimmy Butler, LeBron James, and Micheal Jordan, which is impressive company to be in. With key defensive and offensive players by Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, and Al Horford, the Celtics could hold off the Mavericks even with the absence of one of their best players. This Celtics run has been highly successful and impressive, with a record of 15-2 and 7-0 on the road. They have been the best team all year and in all playoffs, so the numbers don’t lie. The Celtics are one win away from their 18th Championship, which would be their first win in the past 16 years.