Tatum Leads Celtics to Record 18th Championship in Dominant Win

Jayson Tatum delivered an outstanding performance, scoring 31 points and dishing out 11 assists, leading the Boston Celtics to their league-record 18th championship with a dominant 106-88 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday night (Tuesday, June 18, Manila time).

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Tatum’s all-around brilliance was complemented by his eight rebounds. Jaylen Brown, who was named Finals MVP, added 21 points, eight boards, and six assists for the Celtics. This victory marked the 16th anniversary of Boston’s last title in 2008, as they concluded an impressive 16-3 playoff run.

The Celtics had previously shared the league record of 17 championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, who they defeated in the 2008 Finals. Monday’s win allowed Boston to break the tie and stand-alone with 18 titles.

Jrue Holiday contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Derrick White chipped in 14 points for Boston, who wrapped up the best-of-seven series on their second opportunity.

For the Mavericks, Luka Doncic led the charge with 28 points and 12 rebounds, although he struggled with seven turnovers. Kyrie Irving added 15 points and nine assists, and Josh Green netted 14 points.

The game turned decisively in Boston’s favor late in the second quarter. With 3:11 left and the Mavericks trailing by 11 points, Dallas called a timeout. However, Boston then exploded, scoring 17 of the next 24 points. Brown contributed six points during this run, and Payton Pritchard capped it off dramatically with a 49-foot buzzer-beater to give the Celtics a 67-46 halftime lead.

The Celtics continued their dominance in the third quarter. A layup by Holiday extended Boston’s lead to 78-52 with 9:10 remaining. Although Dallas responded with a 10-2 run, highlighted by a putback and a 3-pointer from Green, they could only cut the deficit to 80-62. Boston maintained a substantial 86-67 lead heading into the fourth quarter and stayed ahead by at least 18 points for the rest of the game.

A pivotal moment occurred when Tatum’s three-point play put the Celtics up 46-31 with 7:08 left in the first half. Despite a brief surge from Dallas, who scored all their points in the paint during an 8-2 run, Al Horford’s layup reestablished Boston’s momentum right before the Mavericks’ timeout set the stage for the Celtics’ decisive burst.

Boston ignited in the closing minutes of the first quarter, finishing with a nine-point run to take a 28-18 lead into the second quarter. The Celtics shot 42.7 percent from the floor compared to Dallas’s 44.9 percent but capitalized on free throws and fewer turnovers, outscoring the Mavericks by 10 points at the foul line while committing just nine turnovers to Dallas’s 13.

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