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Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals Game 2: Celtics win 105-98, stats, highlights, and analysis

This was the Luka Doncic that lifted the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals — a 32-point triple-double with 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

He was brilliant — and it was not enough.

Boston has balance and on a night the 3s didn’t fall — 10-of-39 (25.6%) — they got to the rim, made big defensive plays when they had to and had Jrue Holiday step up with a team-high 26 points, plus 11 boards. He carried the team for stretches, and the Celtics defense is always there.

This sums up the night: Doncic led all scorers, but the next four leading scorers in the game were all Celtics (Holiday, Jaylen Brown with 21, Jayson Tatum and Dereck White each with 18).

Boston now leads the NBA Finals 2-0 as the series heads to Boston.

The one big concern for the Celtics: Kristaps Porzingis left the game with 4:40 left in the game after having not moved well since returning in the fourth. If he re-injured his calf and misses games this series, it will change the vibe as he has been key for their spacing and rim protection.
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FINAL SCORE: Boston 105-Dallas 97
The Celtics have gone up 2-0 as the Finals now head to Dallas.

Luka Doncic had a triple-double of 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, but he didn’t get enough help against a balanced Boston attack led by Jrue Holiday with 26.
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Timeout Dallas — and that last Jaylen Brown bucket may have been the dagger.

The Mavericks got it within five on an and-1 from Doncic, then Dallas got a steal, but a Derrick White block of P.J. Washington at the rim and a Brown layup made ti 105-98 with 29 seconds to go.

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These were the most bet Player Props for Game 2…and which tickets cashed and which are coasters.

PJ Washington over 12.5 points (-115) - CASHED
Luka Doncic under 8.5 assists (-165) - COASTER
Jayson Tatum over 14.5 total rebounds and assists (-135) - CASHED
Kyrie Irving over 22.5 points (-120) - COASTER
Jaylen Brown over 3.5 assists (-105) - CASHED

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Kristaps Porzingis left the game with 4:40 left and there is concern he could have re-injured his calf. He was not moving well and is now sidelined. Boston looks like it will win Game 2 either way, but if he misses time this series the vibe changes. We’ll see what is said postgame.

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Timeout Boston, again!

Boston leads 97-89 with 4:40 remaining in the game — that Pritchard end-of-third half-court 3 is looming large, this would be a five-point game without it.

Odds Update:
Dallas Mavericks (+1300) vs. Boston Celtics (-3200)
Spread: Celtics -8.5 | O\U: 207.5

Scoring Leaders:
Doncic 29pts
Irving 16pts
Washington 15pts
Tatum 18pts
Holiday 23pts
Brown 19pts

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Timeout Boston!

The Celtics just can’t pull away, and a driving layup by Kyrie Irving has Mazzulla calling timeout to talk it over and get Porzingis back in the game (Daniel Gafford had a few good minutes with KP out). Dallas is hanging around within striking distance in spite of itself.

Boston leads 90-83 with 8:06 remaining in the game.

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End of Third Quarter: Boston 83, Dallas 74

The Mavericks were somehow going to be within six entering the fourth quarter — despite non-Luka Mavs shooting 2-of-15 from 3 — until Payton Pritchard did this.

Odds Update:
Dallas Mavericks (+700) vs. Boston Celtics (-1300)
Spread: Celtics -9.5 | O\U: 209.5

Scoring Leaders:
Doncic 29pts
Irving 12pts
Tatum 13pts
Holiday 23pts
Brown 15pts

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For much of the third quarter, it felt like Boston could blow this game open at any point — they were playing much better basketball and doing everything but hitting 3s, and that plus Luka kept it close.

Not anymore.

Boston has stretched the lead out to 12 (75-63) behind a couple of Jrue Holiday buckets at the rim — he is up to 23 — and the Mavericks look shaken by the moment. Boston is in charge, it’s going to take more than Luka to bring Dallas back.
—Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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Timout Dallas!

Luka is doing his best to keep it close, but Boston has started to find a groove and stretch out its lead, Kidd called a timeout to try and stop the momentum.
Boston leads 69-63 with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

Odds Update:
Dallas Mavericks (+270) vs. Boston Celtics (-375)
Spread: Celtics -6.5 | O\U: 206.5

Scoring Leaders:
Doncic 25pts
Irving 10pts
Porzingis 12pts
Holiday 19pts
Tatum 11pts

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Luka Doncic is a bad, bad man — and the only reason Game 2 is close.

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Odds Update with 7:29 Left in the 3rd Quarter:
Dallas Mavericks (+200) vs. Boston Celtics (-270)
Spread: Celtics -5.5 | O\U: 210.5

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Timeout Boston!
After a Dereck Lively dunk on the roll after setting a screen for Doncic, Mazzulla wants to talk it over.
Boston leads 63-61 with 7:29 left in the third quarter.

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Dallas got what it needed from Doncic and Irving in the first half — they are playing downhill, making plays and warping the Celtics’ defense. But all of that only works if the role players are using that spacing to hit 3s — Derrick Jones Jr. is 0-of-1, Maxi Kleber 0-of-2, and Josh Green is 0-of-2. Maybe they are bothered by the Celtics’ defense, or maybe they are in their own heads because of the stage, but it has to change if Dallas is going to steal one on the road. (P.J. Washington is 1-of-2, he needs to step up, too.)

Boston is ahead despite struggling from 3 (3-of-15) and a rough half from Jayson Tatum (5 points on 2-of-9 shooting). The Celtics could hit another gear next half and blow this thing open if the “others” on Dallas don’t start making plays.
—Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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Halftime: Boston 54, Dallas 51

Boston got a huge first half from Jrue Holiday, who scored 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting, plus played his usual stellar defense. Boston has the lead despite shooting 3-of-15 from 3.

Dallas got 23 from Luka Doncic, who was fantastic, and Kyrie Irving added 10. Dallas shot 5-of-11 on free throws.

Odds Update:
Dallas Mavericks (+240) vs. Boston Celtics (-330)
Spread: Celtics -6.5 | O\U: 211.5

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3:56 remaining in the 2nd Quarter and we are all tied at 42.

Odds Update:
Dallas Mavericks (+160) vs. Boston Celtics (-210)
Spread: Celtics -4.5 | O/U: 206.5

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Dallas is leaving points on the table — they are 3-of-11 from the free throw line in this game (Boston is 10-of-10). Also, Mavericks not named Luka or Kyrie are shooting 5-of-16 (31.3%). All of that has them in a tie game, 42-42 with 3:56 left in the first half.

Boston is 2-of-14 from 3.
—Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)
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Odds Update with 5 minutes gone in the 2nd Quarter:
Dallas Mavericks (+220) vs. Boston Celtics (-298)
Spread: Celtics -6.5 | O/U: 207.5

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Timeout Boston!
Luka Doncic is on fire and has scored 20, the rest of his teammates have 15 (and eight of those are Kyrie Irving’s), he needs more help.
Boston leads 36-35 with 7:00 left in the second quarter.

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NBC Sports Lead Betting Analyst Jay Croucher (@croucherJD) is in the house.

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Odds Update after one quarter:
Dallas Mavericks (+130) vs. Boston Celtics (-166)
Spread: Celtics -3.5 | O\U: 211.5

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Dallas leads 28-25 after one quarter.

The biggest change from Game 1? Boston was 1-of-9 from 3. The second biggest change was a much more aggressive Doncic and Irving attacking the paint. Doncic has 13 points in the first, Irving 8 — Boston was going to dare them to score, so they did. Porzingis leads Boston with 8 points off the bench, four or those coming from the free throw line.

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Odds Update with 2:20 remaining in the 1st Quarter:
Dallas Mavericks (+135) vs. Boston Celtics (-175)
Spread: Celtics -3.5 | O\U: 209.5
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Boston was down 7, 13-6, when Porzingis entered the game for the first time, and the Celtics quickly went on a 6-0 run. However, the Mavericks settled down and by the time Porzingis checked out it was a five-point Dallas lead, he was +2 in his first run. Not quite Game 1, but a positive.
—Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)
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Timeout Boston!
Dallas is aggressive early, getting downhill and attacking the paint, and the Boston defenders can’t stay in front of Doncic and Irving.
Dallas leads 13-6 with 8:18 left in the first.
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Dallas is making a point of getting into the paint early — 7 of their first 11 shots have come in the paint and they have eight of their 13 points there. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving are making a point of turning the corner off picks and being aggressive getting downhill against Boston’s defenders, it’s a clear adjustment/point of emphasis from Dallas.
—Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)
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The opposite of the Kyrie Irving reaction from the crowd? Listen to the roar when Kristaps Porzingis came out of the tunnel late for warm-ups.

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Most frequently bet player props prior to the Tip-Off of Game 2:

PJ Washington over 12.5 points (-115)
Luka Doncic under 8.5 assists (-165)
Jayson Tatum over 14.5 total rebounds and assists (-135)
Kyrie Irving over 22.5 points (-120)
Jaylen Brown over 3.5 assists (-105)

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“I thought it was going to be a little louder in here.”

When the Mavericks came out to warm up pregame, the Boston Game Ops people put a picture of Kyrie Irving on the Jumbotron superimposed with that postgame quote. It had the desired effect from Boston fans. He’s going to get some extra “love” from the crowd tonight.
—Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)
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From NBC Sports Betting Analyst Drew Dinsick (@whale_capper):

“The key to watch tonight is 3pt. attempts. If the Celtics continue to get up twice the number of 3s compared to the Mavs, then expect another runaway.”

Boston took 42 3-pointers and made 16 in Game 1 (38.1%) compared to only 7 3-pointers on 27 attempts (25.9%) for Dallas (and only one corner 3 all game).
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Which trend continues:

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Here are the latest odds for Game 2:
Dallas (+220) vs. Boston (-270)
Spread: Celtics -7 | O/U: 215
(That’s the same point spread as Game 1)

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To the surprise of literally nobody, Luka Doncic is available and will play in Game 2 on Sunday night.

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While it remains highly likely Luka Doncic will play in Game 2, Jason Kidd said Doncic would be a game-time decision.

“Luka’s questionable. So, we’ll see how he feels when he warms up and make that decision,” Kidd said.

Doncic looked pretty good warming up.

As for how Doncic ended up with a bruised chest (a “thoracic contusion,” which is in addition to his right knee sprain and left ankle soreness), Kidd said, “I think taking a charge or diving on the floor for a loose ball.”
—Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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If you want a more in-depth preview of Game 2, check out Kurt Helin’s three things to watch in Game 2.

Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks Game 2 preview: Three things to watch for, injury news, odds

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Game 1 of the NBA Finals was all Boston. Once Kristaps Porzingis entered the game, the Celtics’ offense became unstoppable, while on defense Boston was able to slow down Kyrie Irving — much to the delight of its fans, who booed Irving all night — and make Luka Doncic work for his 30.

Boston cruised to an 18-point win and a 1-0 series lead, but to a man Dallas seemed calm and confident going into Game 2. This team dropped Game 1 against the Clippers and Thunder in earlier rounds and came back to win, they believe they can adjust and do it again.

Follow along with this live blog and see if Dallas is right to be that confident, or if Boston is about to take command of this series.

NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin is at TD Garden and will offer his perspective throughout the game and NBC Sports’ Betting Analysts Jay Croucher, Drew Dinsick, and Vaughn Dalzell will offer betting insights throughout as well.

Stay tuned throughout Game 2 in this best-of-7 series as NBC Sports brings you the sights, sounds, stats, and betting markets from round two of Luka and Kyrie vs. Jaylen and Jayson.