Boston Celtics Capture Record 18th NBA Title

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum holds, center, up the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy as he celebrates with the team after they won the NBA basketball championship with a Game 5 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, Monday, June 17, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa).

Source: Loop Sport
Jayson Tatum delivered a magnificent performance in Game 5 of the NBA Finals with 31 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists, and the Boston Celtics capped a dominant season by cruising to a 106-88 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday to capture their first league championship since 2008.

Returning home off a 38-point Game 4 loss that extended the series, the Celtics bounced back with authority by leading the clincher from start to finish to put the finishing touches on an unquestionably title-worthy 2023-24 campaign.

After recording the league’s best regular-season record at 64-18, Boston went 16-3 in the post-season to earn the 18th NBA title in franchise history, breaking a tie with the Lakers for the most by any team.

Jaylen Brown compiled 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Game 5 and was named Finals MVP. The All-Star forward averaged 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and five assists per game for the series in addition to playing lock-down defence on Mavericks star Kyrie Irving, who was held to under 39 per cent shooting in three of Dallas’ four losses.

Irving, who spent two seasons with Boston before signing with the Brooklyn Nets in 2019, went just 5 of 16 from the field while managing 15 points in Game 5, the third time in the series he produced 16 points or fewer.

Luka Doncic led Dallas with 28 points, though most of that total came in the second half with the Mavericks facing what would be an insurmountable deficit. The NBA MVP finalist added 12 rebounds.

Boston never trailed after opening the game on a 9-2 run and scored the last nine points of the first quarter to open up a 28-18 lead.

The Celtics closed out the second quarter with a flourish as well, outscoring Dallas by a 19-7 margin over the final 3 1/2 minutes to take a commanding 67-46 advantage into the break. Brown had six points during the spurt, which reserve Payton Pritchard capped by draining a 3-pointer from near half-court at the buzzer.

Dallas never seriously threatened thereafter, as they never got the deficit under 17 points over the final two quarters.

Tatum ensured there would be no comeback by scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter to become just the fifth player with at least 30 points and 10 assists in a series-clinching NBA Finals game.

Boston also got solid contributions from their starting backcourt, as Jrue Holiday recorded 15 points and 11 rebounds and Derrick White went 4 of 8 from 3-point range while scoring 14 points.

The Celtics also got Kristaps Porzingis back after the standout big man missed Games 3 and 4 with a lower leg injury, though he was limited to 16 minutes off the bench while contributing five points.

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