NBA Finals Game 2 highlights: Celtics take 2-0 series lead over Mavericks (2024)

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics have luxuries most teams don’t.

They can withstand a second consecutive off night shooting from Jayson Tatum, their first-team All-NBA forward, and one of the NBA’s best 3-point shooting teams can weather a terrible game from that range (25.6%).

Boston’s talented roster managed both issues for a 105-98 victory against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

It helps to have Jrue Holiday, who had 26 points and 11 rebounds and three assists. It helps to have Kristaps Porzingis contribute 12 points and three blocks off the bench. Derrick White delivered 18 points, five assists, three steals and two blocks, and Jaylen Brown had 21 points, seven assists and three steals.

And Tatum, who made just 6-of-22 shots, ended up with 18 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

There’s just too much coming at Dallas from multiple directions offensively and defensively. It might not be an embarrassment of riches for the Celtics, but it’s close.

Dallas trimmed a 103-89 deficit with 3:34 left in the fourth quarter to 103-98 with 1:15 to go. But White blocked a P.J. Washington shot at the rim. Instead of 103-100, Brown scored on the other end for a 105-98 lead.

The Celtics are halfway to their first title since 2008 and their 18th overall, which would break a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for most championships in NBA history.

Teams that win the first two games of the NBA Finals go on to win the series 86.1% of the time (31-5). Game 3 is Wednesday in Dallas (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC), and the Celtics are 6-0 on the road in the playoffs this season.

Mavericks star Luka Doncic had 32 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for his first Finals triple-double, but he clearly is slowed by health issues. He had 23 points in the first half and didn’t score his first points of the fourth quarter until 1:15 remained and committed eight turnovers.

He was listed as questionable for Game 2 with a sprained right knee, left ankle soreness and a bruised chest, the latter an injury he sustained in Game 1 either taking a charge or diving for a loose ball, according to Dallas coach Jason Kidd.

Doncic took a majority of shots from outside the paint, relaying on his step-back, fadeaway shot to create separation from his defender. P.J. Washington had 17 points and Kryie Irving had a quiet 16 points and six assists for the Mavs who were just 6-for-26 (23.1%) on 3-pointers.

The Mavs were more competitive for longer stretches in Game 2 than they were in Game 1. The result was the same. Jeff Zillgitt

Celtics vs. Mavericks NBA Finals Game 2 highlights

The Celtics moved another win closer to another NBA championship, which would give the franchise a record-setting 18 titles.

Mavs in tough spot heading home against road-warrior Celtics

If the Mavericks thought playing in Boston was difficult, it may get even tougher as the series shifts to Dallas.

The Celtics, winners of both Games 1 and 2 at home, have been a historically great road team during this NBA Finals run. Boston has earned a win in each of the six road games it has played. — Richard Morin

Hobbled Luka Doncic struggles with turnovers, free-throw shooting in Game 2

BOSTON —Luka Doncictook just two shots in the third quarter, didn’t score in the fourth quarter until 1:15 remained in the game, and scored just nine points in the second half and three in the fourth quarter.

Yes, theDallas Mavericks' All-NBA guard recorded his first NBA Finals triple-double with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, but he also had eight turnovers and was 4-for-8 on free throws in Boston’s105-98 victoryagainst Dallasin Game 2 on Sunday. Jeff Zillgitt

Derrick White has game-changing blocked shot

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics’ late-game lead slipped from 14 points to five points in two minutes, 19 seconds.

The Dallas Mavericks were on the verge of making it a three-point game when P.J. Washington went up for a dunk with 50.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

That’s when Celtics guard Derrick White used the skills that made him an All-Defensive selection and blocked Washington’s dunk, leading to a Jaylen Brown layup, making it 105-98, which was the final score of Boston’s Game 2 victory.

Jeff Zillgitt

Payton Pritchard hits buzzer-beater 3 to five Celtics nine-point lead entering fourth quarter

The Celtics can't shoot the three. Luka Doncic is on the verge of a triple-double.

But Boston is ahead.

The Celtics sparked a 10-0 run the third quarter to take command of Game 2, leading 83-74 after three quarters. Jrue Holiday led Boston with 23 points at the stoppage, while Jayson Tatum had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds to along with six rebounds and a steal.

Payton Pritchard came off the bench and hit a long buzzer-beater to end the quarter.

Doncic, meanwhile, has tried to keep Dallas on life support. His 29 points led all scorers as play entered the fourth. Kyrie Irving had 12 points.

The Celtics, the best 3-point shooting team in the NBA, were just 6-for-30 from beyond the arc. Tatum and Jaylen Brown (15 points) were a combined 1-for-9. — Richard Morin

Boston makes it a double-digit lead

The Celtics can smell blood. They now have their largest lead of the game as a 10-0 run has made it a 75-63 game with less than four minutes left in the third quarter.

The Mavericks haven’t scored in more than three minutes and Boston is causing fits on defense, leading to the Celtic offense pushing the ball. Luka Doncic went to catch a breather, but with the game close to getting out of Dallas’ hand, Jason Kidd may be forced to bring his star back in. — Jordan Mendoza

Jayson Tatum finding rhythm with Celtics in lead

It was a tough first half for Jayson Tatum, but his team stepped up to lead at halftime. Now in the third quarter, the Celtics star is starting to get going.

Tatum has six of Boston’s 13 third quarter points at the halfway mark of the period and the Celtics lead the Mavericks 69-63. The 3-point line remains a struggle for Boston at 1-for-8 from behind the arc, but it's finding baskets near the rim, a consistent theme so far in this game. — Jordan Mendoza

Celtics lead, 54-51, at halftime

It’s becoming a dogfight inside TD Garden, and the Celtics hold a slim lead at halftime with a 54-51 edge over the Mavericks.

Dallas was the one that got out to a fast start, but outside of Luka Doncic, the team cooled down while Boston used the free throw line to not only stay in the game, but take the lead into the break. The Celtics missed their first eight 3-pointers and are 3-for-15 from beyond the arc, but are a perfect 13-for-13 from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, Dallas is only 5-for-11.

It wasn’t a spectacular first half for Jayson Tatum with only five points on 2-for-10 shooting, but Jrue Holiday has gone off for 17 points.

Luka Doncic doesn’t play at a fast pace, and with all the injuries he’s dealing with, he is playing at a slow pace. Still, he’s putting up points at his usual clip, leading the Dallas offense with 23 points. He also made four of Dallas’ nine made shots in the second quarter. But the first minutes of the second quarter might give an indication of what could happen if the rest of the Mavericks don’t step up. No other Dallas player made a basket in the first five minutes of the second quarter, and it coincided with Boston jumping ahead. — Jordan Mendoza

Bill Belichick, Chris Tucker among celebrities in attendance for NBA Finals Game 2

Former New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, actor/comedian Chris Tucker and a host of notable former Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks players are among the celebrities in attendance for Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

Among the Celtics legends in attendance are Dana Barros, M.L. Carr, Tacko Fall, Mal Graham, Glenn McDonald, Paul Pierce and Sam Vincent. Former Mavericks players Sam Perkins is present, as is former Mavericks and Celtics player Jason Terry.

Rappers/songwriters BIA and Travis Scott, as well as music producer Metro Boomin are at TD Garden.

Patriots linebacker Ja'Whaun Bentley, wide receiver K.J. Osborn, defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. and former Patriots player Matthew Slater, a 10-time Pro Bowl selection, also are in attendance.

  • PHOTOS: Celebrities show up for 2024 NBA playoffs

Celtics take second quarter lead

It’s been a little hectic in the second period, but Boston has now jumped ahead of Dallas and leads 36-35 with seven minutes left in the first half.

Luka Doncic continues to do it all for Dallas with 20 points, but he hasn’t gotten much held this quarter as he’s the only one to score in the first five minutes of the frame. Dallas hasn’t scored in more than three minutes. Meanwhile, Boston is starting to find a rhythm offensively, and Derrick White hit only the second 3-pointer so far for his team to take the lead. — Jordan Mendoza

Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving come out strong as Mavericks hold lead after first quarter

Dallas Mavericks guards Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving started Game 2 of the NBA Finals with an aggressive approach. They opened a combined 5-for-8 from the field and had 10 of Dallas’ first 13 points as the Mavs built a 28-25 lead after the first quarter.

It was a much different first quarter than Game 1 when the Mavs fell behind 37-20 after the first 12 minutes.

Doncic, who was listed as questionable for the second game with a left ankle soreness, right knee sprain and now a bruised chest, had 13 points in the first quarter.

That all important 3-point for the Celtics? One of the best and high-volume 3-point shooting teams, the Celtics missed their first eight 3s and didn’t make one until Al Horford got the ninth attempt to go in with 3.6 seconds left in the quarter.

Boston shot just 36.8% from the field, however, it kept the game close, making its 10 free throw attempts. Dallas was 4-for-9 from the free throw line.

Oddly, the Mavs challenged a foul call on P.J. Washington with 7:11 left in the first quarter. It was an obvious foul, and the Mavericks no longer have a replay challenge available for the remainder of Game 2.

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis continued to make an impact off the bench. Returning to the playoffs in Game 1 of the Finals after missing more than a month with a right calf injury, Porzingis had eight points in the opening quarter. Jeff Zillgitt

Mavericks jump out to early lead

Luka Doncic might be nursing injuries, but he isn’t shying away from making an impact in the game.

Doncic has six points and Dallas is off to a good start, up 13-6 nearly four minutes into Game 2. The Mavericks were hitting shots out of the gate with three straight makes, and Kyrie Irving hit a tough step back jumper that forced Joe Mazzulla to take an early timeout. The former Celtics guard has heard it from the Boston crowd this series, and he had some words for the crowd after hitting the shot. — Jordan Mendoza

NBA Finals Game 2 uniforms

The Boston Celtics won’t be wearing their traditional home white uniforms, instead opting to don their black “statement edition” uniforms. The Mavericks will be wearing their white “association edition” uniforms.

NBA Finals Game 2 highlights: Celtics take 2-0 series lead over Mavericks (2)

NBA Finals Game 2 referees

The referees for Sunday’s matchup are Tony Brothers, John Goble and Bill Kennedy.

When is NBA Finals Game 2?

Game 2 of the NBA Finals is Sunday, June 9 with tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. ET from TD Garden in Boston.

How to watch NBA Finals Game 2

ABC will broadcast every game of the 2024 NBA Finals.

How to stream NBA Finals Game 2

Each game of the 2024 NBA Finals can be streamed on ESPN+ or on Fubo.

NBA Finals Game 2 starting lineups: Luka Doncic in for Mavericks

Though listed as questionable with multiple health issues (left ankle soreness, right knee sprain and now a bruised chest), Mavericks star Luka Doncic is in the starting lineup for Game 2 against Boston.

For Boston, center Al Horford remains in the starting lineup, and Kristaps Porzingis, who missed more than a month of the playoffs with a right calf injury but returned in Game 1 for 20 points, will continue to come off the bench.

Mavericks starting lineup:

  • Luka Doncic
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Derrick Jones Jr.
  • Daniel Gafford
  • P.J. Washington

Celtics starting lineup:

  • Jaylen Brown
  • Jayson Tatum
  • Al Horford
  • Derrick White
  • Jrue Holiday

Is Mavericks star Luka Doncic playing tonight?

Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic is listed as questionable for Game 2 Sunday evening with multiple health issues: left ankle soreness, right knee sprain and now a thoracic contusion (bruised chest).

“We'll see how he feels when he warms up and make that decision.,” Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said.

Though questionable, it will be a stunner if Doncic doesn’t play.

Doncic has dealt with the knee and ankle for much of the playoffs, and Kidd said Doncic sustained the bruised chest diving for a loose ball or taking a charge in Boston’s Game 1 victory Thursday.

“If he's out, we're prepared to go without him, next man up,” Kidd said. “If he's going, the game plan doesn't change.” Jeff Zillgitt

NBA Finals Game 2 odds for Mavericks-Celtics

Odds via BetMGM:


  • Mavericks: +220
  • Celtics: -275


  • Celtics: -7.5


  • Over 214.5: -115
  • Under 214.5: -105

NBA Finals Game 2 Mavericks-Celtics predictions

Here's how our NBA reporters and editors see Game 2 playing out:

Scooby Axson

  • Celtics 110, Mavericks 105

Heather Tucker

  • Celtics 103, Mavericks 99

Dan Wolken

  • Celtics 112, Mavericks 103

Jeff Zillgitt

  • Celtics 111, Mavericks 107

NBA Finals odds

According to BetMGM, the Celtics are -450 to win the NBA championship against the Mavericks. Dallas is +340.

NBA Finals predictionsfor Celtics vs. Mavericks

Here are USA TODAY Sports’ NBA experts’ picks and predictions for the 2024 NBA Finals:

  • Scooby Axson: Celtics in 6
  • Cydney Henderson: Mavericks in 6
  • Lindsay Schnell: Mavericks in 7
  • Jeff Zillgitt: Celtics in 6

NBA Finals MVP odds

According to BetMGM:

  • Jayson Tatum, Celtics: +115
  • Jaylen Brown, Celtics: +260
  • Luka Dončić, Mavericks: +350
  • Kristaps Porzingis, Celtics: +650
  • Kyrie Irving, Mavericks: +4000
  • Derrick White, Celtics: +6600

Why Kristaps Porzingis’ instant impact is exactly what Celtics needed

Coming off the bench for just the second time in his career and playing in his first game since sustaining a calf injury April 29, Kristaps Porzingis scored 20 points, including 18 in the first half, and added six rebounds and three blocks as the Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 107-89 in Game 1 on Thursday.

The Celtics didn’t "miss" Porzingis in that they still reached the NBA Finals with Porzingis sidelined due to his right calf injury. But the Celtics, who acquired Porzingis from the Washington Wizards in a 2023 offseason trade, missed his production, and that was evident in Porzingis’ return against the Mavericks.

Read Jeff Zillgitt’s complete story.

Kyrie Irving flat in return to Boston for NBA Finals

Kyrie Irving knew Boston would be an unfriendly environment. It’s been that way for a few years now.

The TD Garden crowd serenaded the former Celtics guard with boos from the moment he touched the ball in warmups until he checked out for the final time with 5:17 left in the game. Celtics fans weren’t happy to see him and, based on Irving’s performance in the Mavericks' loss in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, he wasn’t too happy out there, either.

Read Richard Morin’s complete story.

What is a thoracic contusion – one of Luka Doncic's injuries?

This is a chest bruise caused by a fall or blow to the chest. While that doesn't seem very serious, it could develop into something worse with continued trauma. If it is something to be taken seriously, it could affect Luka Doncic's ability to do things like rebound or drive into scoring lanes. Any contact could cause a flare up and force the Dallas Mavericks star to miss time. Jon Hoefling

NBA Finals schedule

Boston leads series 2-0

  • Game 1: Celtics 107, Mavericks 89
  • Game 2: Celtics 105, Mavericks 98
  • Wednesday, June 12: Game 3 at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Friday, June 14: Game 4 at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC
  • *Monday, June 17: Game 5 at Boston, 8:30 p.m. on ABC
  • *Thursday, June 20: Game 6 at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. on ABC
  • *Sunday, June 23: Game 7 at Boston, 8 p.m. on ABC

Who owns the Dallas Mavericks?

The Adelson and Dumont families reached a binding agreement to purchase a majority ownership of the Dallas Mavericks from owner Mark Cuban back in November.

Miriam Adelson, the widow of Las Vegas Sands Corp. founder Sheldon Adelson, and her family said in an SEC filing it is selling $2 billion of LVS stock and “they currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, along with additional cash on hand, to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise pursuant to a binding purchase agreement, subject to customary league approvals.”

Cuban has been one of the NBA’s most prominent owners in the past two decades and one of the most fined, racking up nearly $4 million in fines — and that doesn’t include $10 million Cuban donated to women’s groups following an investigation into a toxic work environment, including sexual harassment and workplace misconduct, within the Mavericks’ organization. Jeff Zillgitt

How many championships have the Celtics won?

Boston’s 17 NBA championships are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for most in league history. The Celtics’ last NBA Finals win came in 2008 when Doc Rivers’ team, led by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, knocked off the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers in six games. The Celtics lost in the NBA Finals in 2010 (to same Lakers in seven games) and 2022 (to Golden State Warriors in six games).

How many championships have the Mavericks won?

Dallas has one NBA title to its name, coming in 2011 when Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd (the Mavericks’ current coach) beat the Miami Heat in six games. It was Miami’s first season as the Heatles, a nickname given due to their worldwide appeal with stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh teaming up. The Mavericks went to the NBA Finals only one other time, losing in 2006 to a Heat team that had Wade, but also Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Terry and Antoine Walker.

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NBA Finals Game 2 highlights: Celtics take 2-0 series lead over Mavericks (2024)
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