NBA Finals: Celtics Hold Off Mavs, Win Ninth Straight; Luka Doncic Takes Blame

It’s the Boston Celtics’ world, the rest of us are just trying to survive in it. Now they have to take their act on the road. But they should feel pretty good in doing so — defeating the visiting Dallas Mavericks by a 105-98 count in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday.Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks, Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtis, NBA

Boston leads the series, 2-0, and has won nine straight in the playoffs overall.

The Mavericks kept things considerably closer this time and had a chance to cut it to three with 50 seconds left, but Derrick White and Jaylen Brown thwarted a P.J. Washington attempt at the rim. It was just another example that the Celtics are getting it done with defense.

“Individual defense, we take great pride in it,” White said on ESPN’s NBA Countdown. 

The series now shifts to Dallas for Game 3.

Jrue Holiday was magnificent for the Celtics, finishing with 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting and 11 rebounds. He also is the team’s biggest defensive pest. Jaylen Brown scored 22 points and Jayson Tatum had 18.

Meanwhile, Luka Doncic was again brilliant with a triple-double of 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists — but also committed eight turnovers.

He took the blame for the loss.

“My turnovers and my missed free throws (4-of-8) cost us the game,” he told reporters. “I’ve got to do way better in those two categories.”

Mavs star Kyrie Irving, who was held to 13 points in Game 1, was limited to 16 on 7-of-18 shooting in this one. Overall, Dallas was just 6-of-26 on 3-pointers.

“We know they’re a great team, we can’t relax, can’t be satisfied,” White said. “We know each game will get more difficult.”

Teams that hold a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals are 31-5 all-time.

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