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Boston Pushes Dallas on the Brink, Defuses Mavs Rally for a 106-99 Win


PhilBoxing.com





It was a test of nerves.

Actually a series of nerve testing.

In the end, Boston Celtics held on, defusing a Dallas Mavericks last ditch rally to win 106-99 and coming within a victory to claim their first NBA championship since 2008.

No NBA team has ever climbed back from a 3-0 series deficit.

Actually Jason Kidd and the Mavs knew that well before game three opened at the United Airlines Center arena in Dallas. They have to take game three to not to fall in the hole no team had crawled back from.

So it was only fair to expect for Dallas to have prepared well for this all important game.

Early sign of this came in the form of the initial testing of the Celtics nerves with the Mavs taking advantage of the Celtics relative unfamiliarity with the venue, and their own familiarity with the environment to run to a 22-9 lead which ballooned to 25-12 past midway the first quarter.

But Boston regrouped and launched a 19-7 counter attack to bring the score to 32-31 by the end of the first quarter.

With their topscoring duos - Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving for the Mavs and Jason Tatum and Jaylen Brown punching their cards in early with their respective supporting crews, Dallas and Boston went mano a mano almost evenly for the rest of the first half which went to the Mavs by a solitary point, 51-50.

Just as when the crowd at the UAAC was licking their chops for more, suddenly it became the turn of Boston to test the Mavs' mettle in the entire third quarter with Celtics defense sternly trying Doncic and Irving with no little help from the shock troopers going to town with booming triples and shattering dunks.

After Brown gave Boston its first taste of the lead 58-57 with barely two minutes gone in the third, the Celtics began to take control, building up leads of nine or ten, eventually ending the period, 85-70.

The Celtics were holding on a comfortable 91-70 lead with two minutes gone in the final quarter. Then from out of the blue, the Mavs launched a blistering rally that cut the margin to one, 93-92 with less than four minutes to go.

Boston did not panic however, and after a Brown jumper, put the Celtics to a safer 95-92 lead, the crew held their composure even as Derrick Lively put the Mavs closer for the last time 100-98 with less than two minutes left.

Dallas won't score another point until PJ Williamson hit a charity near the final buzzer. On the other hand, Boston would score six more points.

It did not help Dallas that Doncic fouled out with about four minutes remaining.

For the second straight time Dallas came out short.

And it is becoming a sad refrain.

Like it takes more than two to boogie in basketball.

Tatum, despite not really out of shooting slump, topped for Boston with 31 points. He was backstopped by Brown with 30 points. The crew of Derrick White with 16, Jrue Holiday 9 points, Sam Hauser 9 points and Al Horford 8 points provided firepower support.

Irving led Dallas with 35 points. Doncic managed 27 points before fouling out. Only PJ Williamson's 13 points and Lively's 11 points posted significant numbers for Mavs.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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