Boston Celtics Hit The Road for The First Time in This Year’s NBA Finals

The Dallas Mavericks got off to a fast 13-6 start, but the Boston Celtics gradually crept back into the game, took over in the second half and emerged with a hard-fought victory.

“I think we played harder than them tonight,” said Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. “And I think that’s just going to be the key. If we want to win, we just got to be the harder-playing team.”

Here are the top 10 takeaways from Game 2 of the NBA Finals:

1. LUKA IS THAT GOOD
Even though Luka Doncic was listed as questionable (thoracic contusion) before Game 2, there was no way he was going to miss Game 2. Doncic not only played but was once again the most dominant force offensively. He had a triple-double of 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists and was two turnovers shy of a quadruple-double with eight turnovers. It was his seventh triple-double this year which ties him for second place all-time with Wilt Chamberlain for most triple-doubles in a single postseason. 

2. MORE CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS
Game 2 of the NBA Finals was a much more star-studded affair among those attending. Rapper/songwriter Bia performed at halftime. Other notables in attendance were music producer Metro Boomin, rapper, songwriter and producer Travis Scott and actor/comedian Chris Tucker.

3. IT’S HOLIDAY SEASON
One of the strongest contenders for the NBA Finals MVP award is Boston’s Jrue Holiday. In addition to playing strong defense, the veteran guard had a team-high 26 points. “Jrue has been an example of just excellence,” said Celtics guard Jaylen Brown. “Since he’s been here, his role has been different from what it was the last few years on Milwaukee, and he’s been able to adapt. Not a lot of guys can do that; be versatile, play different roles and different styles and still have an effect on the game.”

4. CELTICS STREAKING CONTINUES
With a Game 2 win, the Celtics have added one more victory to their franchise-record streak of nine straight playoff wins.

5. ANOTHER ROUGH GAME FOR KYRIE IRVING
The Dallas Mavericks needed Kyrie Irving to be one of the top two players in Game 2, for the Mavs to have a shot at winning. Instead, he wasn’t even one of the top two players on this team as he struggled to score before finishing with 16 points on 7-for-18 shooting. And on top of that, Boston shooters were 9-for-15 when guarded by Irving.

6. NEW TERRAIN FOR THE MAVERICKS
With Sunday’s loss, the Mavericks have lost back-to-back playoff games for the first time this season.

7. TATUM CHANGING UP HIS GAME
Jayson Tatum has taken some heat for his struggle to make shots. But Game 2 was yet another performance in which he was able to impact the game in other ways. He had a double-double of 18 points and 12 assists with nine rebounds. Seven of his 12 assists came in the second quarter, the most in a single quarter of the NBA Finals since Utah Jazz legend John Stockton had eight assists in a quarter on June 10, 1998.

8. THE DERRICK WHITE BLOCK
Boston’s Derrick White led all NBA guards in blocked shots this season. Few were as important as the last-second swat of a P.J. Washington dunk attempt that would have made it a one-possession game. “I think just that not being afraid to get dunked on allows me to get some that maybe some other people wouldn’t have gotten.”

9. MORE HOLIDAY NEWS
By scoring 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting (78.6%) along with grabbing 11 rebounds, Holiday became the first guard to have at least 25 points and 10 rebounds and shoot at least 75% from the field in an NBA Finals game.

10. ODDS STACKED HEAVILY IN CELTICS FAVOR NOW
Teams that have won the first two games of the NBA Finals at home have gone on to win the series 84.4% (27-5) of the time.

Updated: June 10, 2024 — 6:03 pm