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Celtics keep Dallas’ big comeback at bay and win 106:99

DALLAS – Jayson Tatum scored 31 points, Jaylen Brown added 30 and the Boston Celtics fended off a furious Dallas comeback to move close to their record 18th championship and a 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals with a 106-99 win over the Mavericks on Wednesday night.


What you need to know

  • Boston can win the series with a win on Friday in Dallas and break the tie with the Lakers for most NBA championships
  • The Mavs nearly pulled off a crazy comeback to avoid the big hole – 13 years after the only comparable comeback in the NBA Finals sparked Dallas’ run to its only title against Miami.
  • Luka Doncic picked up his sixth foul with 4:12 left when a tackle was unsuccessful before Kyrie Irving, who scored 35 points, hit a jump shot to bring Dallas within one point.

Brown had eight rebounds and eight assists as the Celtics extended their franchise record with a 10th consecutive playoff win and improved their road record to 7-0 this postseason. With a win in Dallas on Friday, they can win the series and break the tie with the Lakers for most NBA championships.

Boston improved its record in these playoffs to 10-1 even without Kristaps Porzingis, after the 7-foot-1 Latvian was ruled out about two hours before the game due to a rare tendon injury in his left lower leg that he sustained in Game 2.

Porzingis’ status for the rest of the series seems uncertain, but that may not matter. None of the previous 156 teams to face a 3-0 deficit have been able to rally and win an NBA playoff series.

The Mavs nearly pulled off a crazy comeback to escape the big hole – 13 years after the only comparable comeback in the NBA Finals sparked Dallas’ run to its only title against Miami.

Boston led 91-70 at the end of a 20-5 run to start the fourth quarter before Dallas responded with a 22-2 spurt to pull within one point with 3 1/2 minutes left.

The problem was that Luka Doncic picked up his sixth foul with 4:12 minutes left when a tackle was unsuccessful before Kyrie Irving, who scored 35 points, brought Dallas within one point with a jumper.

From there, Tatum and Brown rescued the Celtics, with some help from Derrick White, who scored 16 points. These three combined to score the remaining 13 points for Boston.

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