3 thoughts after Dallas stumbles in Boston, falling 105-98

3 thoughts after Dallas stumbles in Boston, falling 105-98

Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks – Game Highlights
Boston Celtics vs. Dallas Mavericks – Game Highlights
Game Recap: Celtics 105, Mavericks 98
Nightly Notable: Kristaps Porzingis | June 6, 2024
Luka Doncic with 32 Points vs. Boston Celtics
Luka Doncic with 30 Points vs. Boston Celtics
Jaylen Brown with 21 Points vs. Dallas Mavericks
Jrue Holiday with 26 Points vs. Dallas Mavericks

fell to the Boston Celtics in Boston on Sunday night, losing 105-98. Jrue Holiday led another balanced Celtics scoring effort, putting up 26 points. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks in defeat with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.

Despite a questionable injury status for Doncic, the Mavericks started the game with a scoring flurry. Doncic found the bottom of the rim three times early, scoring six points before the first Celtics timeout near the eight-minute mark with the Mavericks up 13-6. The Celtics ended up in the bonus early due to overzealous Dallas defense. But the Mavericks managed to hang on to a lead for most of the quarter, despite turnover issues. The earlier foul troubles caught up with the Mavericks though, as the Celtics went to the line repeatedly. A late scoring burst from Kyrie Irving helped Dallas lead 28-25 after one quarter.

Doncic looked unstoppable early in the second quarter, but so did Boston. A 9-0 Celtics run in the middle of the quarter gave the Celtics a three-point lead. Miscues from Boston resulted in Dallas taking the lead right back. The teams traded leads the rest of the period until the Celtics took a late lead on a pair of Brown free throws then a Holiday three-pointer. Dallas answered on a Daniel Gafford dunk and trailed 54-51 at the half.

Dallas started the second half aiming to get baskets for Gafford on the post-up and Washington on a floater. The Celtics maintained a two-to-four-point lead for most of the quarter. Dallas would score only for Boston to answer right back. Boston started to pull away in the latter half of the quarter, as Dallas role players failed to connect on any look. Like that, the Celtics were up by 12 points. But Dallas responded and whittled it down to six points only for Peyton Prichard to hit a banked three from 35 feet at the buzzer. Dallas trailed 83-74.

The Mavericks just wouldn’t die. The two teams would trade baskets, but Dallas couldn’t seem to cut into the lead for a significant stretch. A Gafford free throw and an Irving layup cut the lead to seven and forced a Boston timeout. Every time Dallas made a run, the Celtics would have an answer and the Celtics lead grew back to 12. Once again, the Irving to Gafford connection brought the lead back down to eight again and the Celtics called a timeout with 4:40 remaining. But after securing a stop, P.J. Washington made a horrible mistake at halfcourt, picking up his dribble. The Celtics forced a turnover then hit a three. Irving missed yet another shot and Boston connected on a three again and Dallas was down 14 in just two possessions. Dallas answered with an 8-0 run to close it to six with 75 seconds remaining. Washington had a chance to cut further into the lead on a fast break, but the refs missed an obvious push in the back which led to a Boston block.. Maxi Kleber got left in the dust on the next Brown drive and the game was effectively over. Boston takes a 2-0 series lead on a 105-98 victory.

The margin for error is too thin for the amount of Dallas miscues

There will be much consternation in Dallas about the lack of a foul call for Washington on that fast break drive with 50 seconds left. However, Dallas made so many mistakes which led to that deficit it’s hard to know where to start. Doncic and Irving combined for 10 brutal turnovers (one of Luka’s was Washington’s fault, the boneheaded play at half-court leading back-to-back Boston threes). Dallas missed EIGHT free throws in a game decided by SEVEN points. The 10 Celtics offensive rebounds led to 10 second chance points. Not to mention the truly horrid three-point shooting from everyone not named Luka Doncic. Dallas has to play better.

Everyone not named Luka Doncic has to play better

Some jerk in the comments is going to say Luka needs to play better defense and not turn the ball over. Okay, there, I said it okay?

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