The NBA Finals: Preview, How to Watch Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 3

Down 2-0, the Dallas Mavericks need a win at home in Game 3 over the Boston Celtics to avoid reaching to a series deficit that has historically been insurmountable.
Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) high fives forward P.J. Washington (25) after a play against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden.
Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) high fives forward P.J. Washington (25) after a play against the Boston Celtics during the third quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden. / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
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Ninety-two percent isn't exactly a good statistic to be on the wrong side of.

After taking a 2-0 series lead over the Dallas Mavericks, the Boston Celtics are officially halfway to their 18th NBA championship, which would put them in sole possession of first place for the most titles in franchise history, surpassing the Los Angeles Lakers' 17.

Standing between them and another Larry O'Brien trophy, however, are the still-kicking Mavericks. Luka Doncic, who's averaged 29 points, 9.7 rebounds and 8.5 assists this postseason, is the biggest player to watch, but he's run into some trouble without a double-team to take advantage of.

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One of Doncic's top qualities is his ability to pass out of trouble, so with Boston playing strong, individual defense, that's become much more difficult — especially with the Slovenian star battling an injury. The Celtics, however, are also no longer guaranteed to be at full strength.

Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in Game 2.
Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in Game 2 of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden. / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Kristaps Porzingis was diagnosed with a "rare" torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of posterior tibialis tendon in his left leg, which — if it doesn't sideline him — will likely inhibit his impact. If he does play, that will certainly be something to watch.

Porzingis or not, here is everything you need to know for Mavericks vs. Celtics Game 3:

General Info, How to Watch

Mavericks vs. Celtics Injury Report

Dallas Mavericks

  • PG Luka Doncic - QUESTIONABLE (throatic)

Boston Celtics

  • C Kristaps Porzingis - QUESTIONABLE (leg)

Biggest Storyline(s) to Watch

So far, the Mavericks' matchup against the Celtics has been one-sided.

Doncic has shown up to play, yes, but his running mate Kyrie Irving — to be blunt — did not in Game 1. The second installment of the series was much more evenly-matched, but ultimately Boston got the edge behind a late-game defensive stop.

Assuming Doncic is cleared to play, he's likely going to find a way to make his presence felt. Should Irving and the other Mavericks do the same, Boston won't be able to run away with the game. That's where the main difference in Game 3 comes to the forefront.

Since Dallas will be at home, they'll get to reap the benefits of home court advantage for the first time of the season, and could secure a much-needed win at American Airlines center to avoid going down 3-0, at which point a fourth loss would become a foregone conclusion.

Ensuring strong, balanced play will be the key for Dallas. Being at home should help.

Then again, the Celtics are notable worse at home than on the road.


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Matt Guzman

MATT GUZMAN

Matt Guzman is a sports journalist and storyteller from Austin, Texas. He serves as a credentialed reporter and site manager for San Antonio Spurs On SI and a staff writer for multiple collegiate sites in the same network. In the world of professional sports, he is a firm believer that athletes are people, too, and intends to tell stories of players and teams’ true, behind-the-scenes character that otherwise would not be seen through strong narrative writing, hooking ledes and passionate words.