Boston survives Dallas’ late scoring rally to grab 3-0 NBA Finals lead

One more win for Boston and the series is over (

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Boston Celtics just showed poise under pressure and resisted a late scoring rally from the Dallas Mavericks, 106-99, to move a win away from capturing the 2024 NBA Finals trophy on June 13, 2024.

After letting their 21-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter when the Mavericks cut their deficit to just three points, the Celtics remained calm and executed their plays in the most crucial stretch of the nip-and-tuck ball game.

Boston kicked off the fourth quarter flat, allowing Dallas to mount a momentum-boosting 22-2 scoring run that got them to within just three points with 3:30 remaining in the game.

However, Dallas received a huge blow during their final stand as Luka Doncic already exited the game when he fouled out at the 4:12 mark of the fourth.

Without Doncic, the Mavericks banked on Kyrie Irving’s isolation prowess for the rest of the game. Although it did work, it wasn’t enough to sustain them, especially against a well-oiled Boston squad.

With Boston only protecting a three-point lead, 95-92, in the final 2:47 of the game, Derrick White kicked off their clutch end-game performance after knocking down a huge three-pointer that ballooned their lead back to six points, 98-92.

Despite a two-point answer from the Mavericks, Boston was quick to counter with a Jayson Tatum slam dunk. Dereck Lively kept Dallas’ hopes alive after a dunk that got them to within two points, 100-98.

Unfortunately for the Mavericks, that Lively slam in the 1:20 mark became their last converted field goal in the game and failed to pile up the much-needed buckets to stay close against the Celtics.

After getting the switch mismatch that he wanted, Jaylen Brown stepped up in the bright lights at Dallas and sank the cold-blooded perimeter jump shot that increased Boston’s lead to four points, 104-98, with only a minute remaining in the game.

White and Tatum then officially iced the game for the Celtics as the duo had a perfect trip from the free throw line in the final 25 seconds of the game.

Tatum finally had his best-scoring performance in the ongoing finals series after dropping 31 points, six rebounds, five assists, and a steal.

Meanwhile, Brown backstopped Tatum with 30 markers and tallied a near triple-double when he registered eight rebounds and eight dimes.

Despite a 35-point outing from Irving, Dallas still struggled to match Boston’s balanced offensive rally and fell to a dangerous 0-3 hole.

Before fouling out in the game, Doncic already amassed 27 points, six rebounds, and six assists. This is the first time in the series that the Slovenian maestro used up all of his fouls.