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The Dallas Mavericks are now down 0-2 in the NBA Finals after a 105-98 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 2. Despite Luka Doncic’s impressive performance, the team struggled to overcome the Celtics’ defense.

Luka Doncic’s Triple-Double Performance

Luka Doncic, playing through an injury, recorded a triple-double with 32 points, 11 assists, and 11 rebounds. His remarkable performance included:

  • Field Goals: 21 attempts, 12 made
  • Three-Point Shooting: 9 attempts, 4 made
  • Free Throws: 4 attempts, 4 made

Doncic became the youngest player in NBA Finals history to achieve a 30-point triple-double at the age of 25. Additionally, this game marked his 10th playoff game this season with over 30 points, setting a new franchise record.

Kyrie Irving’s Struggles Continue

Kyrie Irving’s performance has been underwhelming, particularly against his former team, the Celtics. Irving’s shooting stats in Game 2 were inconsistent:

  • First Quarter: 5 attempts, 4 made, 8 points
  • Second and Third Quarters: 8 attempts, 1 made, 4 points
  • Total: 16 points

Irving has now lost 12 consecutive games against the Celtics. In the Finals, he has averaged 14 points per game with a 32% field goal percentage and 0% from three-point range (0-for-8). His plus-minus over the two games is -22.

First Quarter Success, Subsequent Struggles

Irving and Doncic combined for 21 points in the first quarter, giving the Mavericks a slight lead. However, Irving’s performance dropped in the second quarter, shooting 1-for-5, and his struggles continued into the second half. Despite a late push in the fourth quarter with assists and layups, the Celtics’ three-point shooting kept them ahead.

First Quarter880%
Second Quarter220%
Third Quarter425%
Fourth Quarter250%

Post-Game Reactions

Kyrie Irving

Irving expressed frustration with his shooting performance, saying, “As a highly competitive person, it really frustrates me. I need to perform better offensively.”

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Luka Doncic

Doncic acknowledged his mistakes, particularly his missed free throws and turnovers, stating, “My missed free throws and turnovers cost us the game.”

Doncic’s performance in Game 2 included eight turnovers, and he took responsibility for the loss. Despite the 0-2 deficit, American media believe in Doncic’s potential to lead a comeback, recalling his 2022 Western Conference Semifinals performance where he overcame a 0-2 deficit to defeat the Phoenix Suns.

Historical Challenge

Historically, only five teams have come back to win the Finals after trailing 0-2, a success rate of just 13.9%. The Mavericks face a significant challenge as they prepare for Game 3 at home.

Mavericks’ Next Steps

The Mavericks will need to regroup and strategize to overcome their 0-2 deficit. Game 3 will be crucial for their chances of staying in the series.

The next game is scheduled for Wednesday, and the Mavericks will need to leverage their home-court advantage to turn the series around. The performance of both Doncic and Irving will be critical in the upcoming games.(Superace88)