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Mavericks’ Poor Shooting Leads to Game 1 Loss

Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game One of the 2024 NBA Finals | Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during the second quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game One of the 2024 NBA Finals | Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Boston Celtics 107-89 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals and now trail 1-0 in the series heading into Game 2.

Boston began the game with incredibly hot shooting as they took a lead early in the game, as Mavericks made a big run in the third quarter but were ultimately unable to complete the comeback due to poor shooting and a plethora of untimely turnovers.

The two teams opened Game 1 trading shots. The Mavericks took an early 13-12 lead just minutes into the game, but the Celtics stayed in the game despite a slow shooting start due to multiple offensive rebounds.

Boston got hot shooting as they took a 28-18 lead following a jump shot by center Kristaps Porzingis with 2:20 left in the game, with this being the first that he has played in since injuring his calf in the first round against the Miami Heat.

The Celtics continued their hot shooting, going on a 9-2 run in the final minutes of the first quarter to take a 37-20 lead, the largest lead to end the first quarter of Game 1 in NBA Finals history.

Dallas and Boston played even through the first three minutes of the game, as the Celtics maintained their 17-point lead despite a better offensive offensive start to the quarter for the Mavericks.

Yet another run from the Celtics came through the middle of the second quarter, as Boston doubled the points from the Mavericks to take a 58-29 lead with 4:11 left in the half.

The Mavericks cut the lead slightly to end the half following a 7-0 run by guard Luka Doncic and forward Maxi Kleber, going into the intermission trailing 63-42.

Doncic ended the half with 17 points and shot 7-14 from the field, but the rest of the team struggled to make shots, shooting just 43.9% from the field in the first half.

The Mavericks also made just 23.9% of their three-point attempts to start the game while also committing six turnovers that resulted in nine points for the Celtics.

The start of the second half opened well for Dallas. They started to chip away at the Celtics’ lead, forcing Boston to call a timeout after cutting the lead to just 16 points with 7:42 left in the third quarter.

Dallas’ hot shooting continued as Doncic hit a step-back three-point jump shot to cut Boston’s lead to just 72-64 with 4:27 left in the quarter, prompting yet another timeout by the Celtics in an attempt to slow down the momentum.

Boston quickly responded to this run with one of their own, scoring 11 straight points to take an 83-64 lead with just over a minute remaining in the third quarter.

Despite cutting the lead down to single digits, the Mavericks and Celtics traded shots to end the quarter, and Dallas entered the final 12 minutes of the game down 86-66.

The start of the fourth quarter was more of the same as the Celtics’ lead grew to 94-73 after five minutes of game time, with forward Jayson Tatum making a tough jump shot over the Mavericks defender.

Boston continued to attack through the rest of the game as the Mavericks opted to remove their starters with just over five minutes, sealing the 107-89 victory for the Celtics.

Doncic finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds in the game, making 12 of his 26 shot attempts but shooting just 4-12 from the three-point line.

Dallas ended the game shooting just 41.7% from the field and 25.9% from the three-point line, making only 12 of their 19 attempts from the free-throw line.

The Mavericks also ended the game with more turnovers than assists, as they gave the ball up 11 times but only assisted on nine made field goals during the entirety of the game.

Dallas now looks ahead to Game 2, where they will attempt to avoid going down any further in the series. The two teams are scheduled to match up again in Boston on Sunday at 7 p.m.

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