Saturday, June 15, 2024
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2024 NBA Finals Game 2 Preview: Dallas Mavericks (0-1) vs Boston Celtics (1-0)

Boston Celtics stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown aren’t letting Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd create a rift between them ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.

Kidd referred to Brown as Boston’s best player while speaking to reporters on Saturday. Whether he truly meant it or was simply trying to play mind games with the Celtics remains a mystery, but the comment didn’t elicit a reaction from Tatum or Brown.

Boston veteran Al Horford thought Kidd’s intentions were pretty clear.

It will take a lot more than psychological warfare to slow down the Celtics if they manage to replicate their Game 1 performance. Boston cruised to a 107-89 victory on Thursday night, leading by as many as 29.

Brown finished with a team-high 22 points for the Celtics, while Kristaps Porzingis returned from a 10-game absence due to a calf strain to pour in 20 in 21 minutes off the bench. Tatum finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Luka Doncic went for 30 points and 10 boards for Dallas, but Kyrie Irving was held to just 12 points on 6-of-19 shooting. Irving missed all five of his 3-point attempts and committed three turnovers while being taunted by Boston fans all night.

Irving is now 0-11 in his past 11 games against the Celtics, a losing streak that he is confident he can shed on Sunday.

Most of the Mavericks’ struggles stemmed from a lack of ball movement, as Dallas finished with only nine assists — the fewest by any team in a game this season. Kidd is hoping for a more fluid performance in Game 2.

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