BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 17: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics lifts the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy after Boston's 106-88 win against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 17, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

On Monday night back in Boston the Celtics look to capture banner 18 after a disappointing performance in game 4, the Celtics find themselves back on home court looking to close out the Dallas Mavericks and win the Larry O’Brien trophy. Boston was basically a no show in game 4 after taking a commanding 3-0 series lead. Dallas played their best game of the season when they needed it most and now the Celtics have a chance to end the Mavericks season at home in what fans are hoping will be a massive bounce back.

The big news before tip off was once again regarding the health of Celtics star Kristaps Porzingis. For Celtics fans they got some great news heading into game 5, head coach Joe Mazzulla said pregame that Porzingis was not only available but that he expected to see him play tonight and Porzingis would have no minutes restriction. This is huge news for Boston if Porzingis can give the Celtics anything on Monday night the teams chances to knock out the Mavericks and win the title are greatly increased. For Dallas they’ll look to repeat the script from game 4 and see if they can extend the series back to Dallas.

  • First Quarter:

    Boston would win the opening tip in game 1 and score first with an easy layup from Jrue Holiday a good sign for Holiday and Boston’s offense who both struggled in game 4. Luka who fouled out of game 3 would get an early foul on Jaylen Brown 44 seconds into the game, something to watch for both sides as the game goes on. Both teams would struggle on the offensive end early in this one with bad shots, the teams would start 3/12 with a lot of nerves on both sides. Holiday would score Boston’s first 6 points of the game giving Boston an early 6-2 lead with just under 8:30 to play in the first quarter. 

    Al Horford would hit the first 3 pointer of the night giving Boston a 9-2 lead with 7:26 to go in the opening quarter forcing Jason Kidd to call an early timeout. There was still no sign of Kristaps Porzingis checking in for Boston but he was seen on the exercise bike something he was not doing in game 4 when he didn’t play. Luka would get an and-1 to fall out of the timeout drawing a foul on Jayson Tatum stifling Boston’s early momentum. Celtics fans would make themselves heard at the Garden as Kristaps Porzingis would check into the game with 6:49 left in the first. Green would be a bright spot for Dallas’ offense early hitting a pair of 3’s to cut Boston’s lead to 13-11. 

    Tatum and Brown would start the game 1-9 from the field a little concerning for Boston but the team was still up early even with them struggling. If the nerves settle down for Boston’s superstar tandem and they start hitting some shots Dallas will need to find offense from players other than Doncic and Irving to keep up. Porzingis didn’t look great his first few minutes returning to the series, Dallas was hunting him defensively every time down but he was still able to get to the line on the offensive end. How long would Mazzulla let him play if he continues to struggle on the defensive end?

    Brown and Tatum would score on back to back possessions to give the Celtics a 21-18 lead with just under two minutes to go in the first. Boston would go on a 12-3 run late in the quarter to get their lead up to 28-18 after a couple great defensive stops leading to easy transition buckets. Boston would end the first quarter holding that 28-18 lead after a back and forth slow and ugly at times quarter for both sides. 

     

  • Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JUNE 17: Jayson Tatum #0 high fives Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the second quarter of Game Five of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden on June 17, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

    Second Quarter:

    Sam Hauser would keep Boston’s offensive run going hitting a 3 pointer right out of the gate in the second quarter extending Boston’s lead to 11. Tatum who was struggling a little scoring early in this one was up to six assists already early in the second quarter making his impact felt. Porzingis would get his first basket of the night to give Boston a 36-22 lead with 9:10 to go in the first half. Dallas would try and chip away but Boston would continue to hit 3 pointers like they had all season with Jrue Holiday getting in on the action extending Boston’s lead to 41-27 with just over 8 minutes to go in the half. 

    Jayson Tatum would start scoring in the second quarter as he was up to 11 points 7 assists and 4 rebounds with 7:08 to go in the half, with Boston leading 46-31. Tatum was by far the best player on the court for both sides in the first half impacting the game in every facet.  Luka Doncic would miss a pair of free throws that could have helped cut Boston’s lead 13. Boston would have it’s first turnover of game 5 with just over 6 minutes to go in the half off a bad pass from Jrue Holiday to Sam Hauser. The Mavericks would score a couple easy buckets at the rim to cut Boston’s lead to 9 with 4:53 to go in the half forcing Joe Mazzulla to call a timeout to settle his team down. 

    The old man Al Horford would be the steadying force for Boston in the first half scoring an easy layup to stop Dallas’ run giving the Celtics a 50-39 lead with just over 3 minutes to go in the first half. On the other end Dallas’ two superstars Irving and Doncic were a combined 4-15 to start the game scoring only 10 points to this point. Horford would dive to the floor to save a loose ball that would lead to an easy transition layup for Jaylen Brown giving Boston a 54-39 lead with 2 minutes to go until half time.  

    Jayson Tatum’s great first half would continue with his 9th assist coming on a massive Jaylen Brown 3 pointer to give Boston a 57-42 lead, but all things would continue to come up Boston as Derrick White would hit another 3 pointer on the next possession to give Boston a 60-42 lead with just over a minute to go in the half. Tatum would put the exclamation point on his great first half with a 3 pointer over Luka Doncic to give Boston a 64-44 lead with :13 seconds to go in the half. If Celtics fans thought the Tatum 3 was the exclamation point Peyton Pritchard shot the Garden into a frenzy at the end of the half hitting a half courter to give Boston a 21 point lead 67-46 lead heading into the half. 

  • ESPN on X (formerly Twitter): "PAYTON PRITCHARD AT THE HALFTIME BUZZER 😱😱😱#NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/EWNr3Bi3Oj / X"

    PAYTON PRITCHARD AT THE HALFTIME BUZZER 😱😱😱#NBAFinals pic.twitter.com/EWNr3Bi3Oj

    Third Quarter:

    Jayson Tatum would enter elite company as only the second player in NBA history joining Lebron James to have 16+ points and 9+ assists in the first half of an NBA Finals game. Boston would look to keep their foot on the gas in the second half 24 minutes away from banner 18. Both teams would fail to score on their first possession of the second half as Dallas was looking to claw it’s way back into this one and save their season from the brink of elimination. Tatum would continue his great first half scoring Boston’s first bucket of the second half, then Derrick White would hit a 3 pointer to extend Boston’s lead to 24 with just over 10 minutes to go in the third quarter. 

    The run for Boston wouldn’t stop there though as Horford would continue to make his impact felt chasing his first ring, hitting a 3 pointer to give Boston a 75-50 lead with 9:37 to go in the third quarter. Boston would force another Jason Kidd timeout early in a quarter after a Jrue Holiday layup would give Boston a 78-52 lead with 9:10 to go in the third. Kyrie would continue to struggle for Dallas with the Boston crowd all over him, Irving was 2-10 to start the game from the field. Dallas would go on a 7-0 run to cut the Boston lead to 19 with 5:55 to go in the third after a few bad misses for Boston. Jrue Holiday who was their whenever the Celtics needed him most would answer the Dallas run with a mid range jumper to stop the bleeding for Boston. 

    Joe Mazzulla would call a timeout 4:05 to go in the third after Dallas would cut the score to 82-64 to try and settle things down defensively for Boston. The Celtics ended the first two quarters of the game flawlessly would they be able to do it again heading into the 4th? Boston’s offense would come to a screeching halt scoring only 4 points in a six minute stretch during the third quarter in a less than ideal time for the team to go cold. A Dante Exum free throw would extend Dallas’ run to 13-4 cutting Boston’s lead to 82-65 with 3 minutes to go in the third. Boston would start to figure things out late in the quarter though with Hauser and Brown hitting back to back buckets to get Boston right back to a 21 point lead that they started the quarter with. 

    Boston would do a much better job cleaning up the glass in game 5 a massive step up from game 4. Boston would end the quarter with the ball but Jaylen Brown would miss the jumper to extend their lead, so Boston would head to the fourth quarter leading 86-67 with one quarter to go to capture banner 18.

  • Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JUNE 17: Jaylen Brown #7 celebrates with Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics during the second quarter of Game Five of the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden on June 17, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

    Fourth Quarter:

    Derrick White would start the fourth quarter with a massive block on Derrick Lively to keep Boston’s lead at 19. Porzingis would draw two early fouls from Dallas in under a minute to start the quarter. Kyrie’s nightmare in Boston would continue as he was 3/13 from the field with plenty of open looks. While Porzingis would score a big dunk to extend Boston’s lead back to 88-67 with 9:08 to go in the game. 

    Derrick White would hit a 3 pointer to give Boston a 91-70 lead with 8:45 to go and the Celtics closing in on banner 18. Jayson Tatum would continue his unbelievable game 5 hitting a tough and one to give him 23 points 11 assists and 7 rebounds in the biggest game of his life.  Tatum would continue to inch the Celtics closer to the title with a tough layup giving Boston a 20 point lead again.  

    It was the Jayson Tatum show in game 5 cementing his status in the league and cementing every Celtics fans belief in him, Tatum would score back to back buckets to give himself 29 points and the Celtics a 102-78 lead. Boston was doing everything right down the stretch led by their best player putting in his best performance of the playoffs as they inched ever closer to banner 18. 

    Dallas would fight back a little with just over 3 minutes to go scoring on back to back possessions to close the gap to 21, but there just wasn’t enough time left in the game to stop Boston from the inevitability of capturing the title. The Dallas Mavericks would wave the white flag 2:30 to go and the game out of hand pulling Luka and Kyrie from the game and all but guaranteeing the Celtics fate of winning the NBA title. Joe Mazzulla would give Al Horford his moment checking in Luke Kornet in for him with just over two minutes to go if it was the end for Horford it was the perfect ending for the 38 year old ending the night and possibly his career as an NBA Champion. 

    Boston cemented their unbelievable season with an unbelievable playoff run capping it off with a dominant game 5 to seal Banner 18 and cement the teams legacy in not only Celtics history but NBA history.

    Boston would go on to win by the final margin of 106-88 standing alone a top the mountain of the NBA, for all the doubters and naysayers that questioned the teams ability to finish and the core of Boston being kept together these last few years were silenced by Tatum and Brown lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy and etching themselves into the history books. 

     

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