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Celtics take 2-0 series lead behind epic games from Jayson Tatum, Jrue Holiday

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The Boston Celtics took a 2-0 NBA Finals lead on Sunday as they held on to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 105-98 in Game 2.

The Celtics survived a 9-0 run from the Mavericks late in the fourth quarter, which cut their lead to five points. Dallas had a chance to get it down to three points following a steal from P.J. Washington. But Derrick White and Jaylen Brown ran down to stop Washington’s shot.

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Jayson Tatum dribbles

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives to the basket against Dallas Mavericks forward P.J. Washington (25) during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Boston.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Brown followed up with a clutch lay-up to go up seven points.

It would be all the Celtics needed to defend home court.

Brown had 21 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals in the win. He played 42 minutes. Jrue Holiday led the way with 26 points and 11 rebounds.

Jayson Tatum nearly gave Boston a triple-double. Even as he was 6-of-22 from the field, he managed to score 18 points, dish out 12 assists and grab nine rebounds.

Luka Doncic backs down

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) pressures Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic, front right, during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Boston.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

CELTICS’ JOE MAZZULLA GIVES FAITH-BASED RESPONSE TO RACE QUESTION AHEAD OF NBA FINALS GAME 2

Dallas shot 47.5% from the field but only 23.1% from 3-point range. But their 15 turnovers, especially late in the game, proved to be the difference-maker.

Luka Doncic, who was playing through a litany of injuries had 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists. He was 12-of-21 from the field and 4-of-9 from deep. But Doncic had a turnover as the team rushed to get the ball up the floor, it thwarted some of their momentum.

Washington had 17 points and seven rebounds. Kyrie Irving added 16 points and six rebounds.

Jaylen Brown questions a call

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown questions a call during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series agains the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, June 9, 2024, in Boston.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

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Dallas will have to regroup and reload as the series moves back to the American Airlines Center on Wednesday night.

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