Dallas Mavericks Stumble in Boston: Fall 105-98 to Celtics

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Mavericks Face a 2-0 Deficit in the NBA Finals

Dallas Mavericks Stumble in Boston Fall 105-98 to Celtics
Dallas Mavericks Stumble in Boston Fall 105-98 to Celtics

The Dallas Mavericks faltered against the Boston Celtics on Sunday night, losing 105-98 and returning home facing a daunting 2-0 hole in the NBA Finals. Despite Luka Doncic’s impressive performance, with 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, the Mavericks couldn’t overcome the Celtics’ balanced attack led by Jrue Holiday, who scored 26 points.

A Strong Start Undone by Fouls and Turnovers

The game began with Dallas showing promise, as Doncic scored six quick points, helping the Mavericks to an early 13-6 lead. However, foul trouble and turnovers soon allowed the Celtics to claw back. Boston’s frequent trips to the free-throw line and a late scoring burst by Kyrie Irving kept Dallas ahead by a slim margin, leading 28-25 after the first quarter.

A Tight Second Quarter

Doncic continued to dominate early in the second quarter, but Boston matched their intensity. A 9-0 Celtics run midway through the quarter gave Boston a brief lead before Dallas fought back. The teams traded leads until a late push by the Celtics, capped by free throws from Jaylen Brown and a three-pointer from Holiday, put Boston ahead 54-51 at halftime.

Celtics Pull Away in the Third Quarter

The second half saw Dallas attempting to utilize Daniel Gafford in the post and P.J. Washington on floaters. Despite their efforts, Boston maintained a narrow lead throughout the third quarter. As Dallas’ role players struggled to score, Boston started to pull away, leading by as many as 12 points. A buzzer-beating three-pointer from Peyton Pritchard extended Boston’s lead to 83-74 heading into the final quarter.

Dallas Fights but Falls Short in the Fourth

The Mavericks refused to give up, continuously trading baskets with the Celtics. However, they struggled to cut significantly into Boston’s lead. Key mistakes, including a costly turnover by Washington and missed opportunities, allowed Boston to maintain control. Despite a late 8-0 run that brought Dallas within six points, the Celtics held on for a 105-98 victory, taking a 2-0 series lead.

Critical Mistakes and Missed Opportunities

The Margin for Error is Too Thin

Dallas fans will likely focus on the missed foul call against Washington with 50 seconds left, but the Mavericks’ numerous mistakes were more detrimental. Doncic and Irving combined for 10 turnovers, and Dallas missed eight free throws in a game decided by seven points. Additionally, the Celtics’ 10 offensive rebounds led to crucial second-chance points, and poor three-point shooting plagued everyone except Doncic.

Luka Needs Help

While Doncic’s performance was commendable, he can’t carry the team alone. Kyrie Irving’s disappointing play, shooting 13-37 from the floor and 0-8 from three in the series, highlights the Mavericks’ struggles. Other players, like Dereck Lively and Josh Green, also failed to capitalize on opportunities. The team’s collective performance needs significant improvement.

A Missed Opportunity That May Haunt Dallas

The Celtics’ poor three-point shooting (10-39, just under 25%) presented Dallas with a prime opportunity to steal a game in Boston. Unfortunately, their mistakes proved too costly. This game may haunt the Mavericks as they face an uphill battle to recover in the series. Dallas must regroup and find a way to bounce back, but the road ahead appears challenging.

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