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The Celtics' Jayson Tatum, seen raising a hand in the fourth quarter, led his team with 31 points in Wednesday's game in Dallas. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

Boston Celtics take 3-0 lead in NBA finals

June 13, 2024

By Jacob Lev, CNN

(CNN) — The Boston Celtics took a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Mavericks with a 106-99 win in Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Dallas on Wednesday – and are now one victory from clinching an NBA record 18th championship.

The Celtics’ Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown finished with 31 points and 30 points, respectively. The team has to “stay in the moment,” Brown said after the game when asked how Boston can win the series.

“Smile, appreciate everything,” Brown told the ABC broadcast. “I’m grateful to be here. … Just stay in the moment.”

Boston played without center Kristaps Porzingis, who had been diagnosed with a left posterior tibialis dislocation – and his team seemed to miss him early as the Mavericks jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the early stages of the first quarter.

But Boston slowly chipped away at the lead to make it a one-point game heading into the second quarter.

The contest remained close until the third quarter, when the Celtics got hot from 3-point range and built a 85-70 lead.

The Mavericks tried to stage a comeback, going on a 22-2 run to cut the deficit to one point. However, Mavericks star Luka Doncic fouled out of the game with about four minutes left, helping to stymie momentum. It was the first time in the 25-year-old Slovenian’s NBA career that he fouled out in a playoff game.

Dallas guard Kyrie Irving would finish with a game-high 35 points while Doncic added 27 points.

Game 4 is scheduled for Friday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

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