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2024 NBA Finals: What to know

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The Celtics lead the series 2-0 after winning the first two games at home in Boston. Here are the storylines you need to know if you are just tuning in.
2024 NBA Finals

On Thursday, the Dallas Mavericks will play the Boston Celtics in the third game of the best-of-seven 2024 NBA Finals Series in Dallas, Texas.

The Celtics lead the series 2-0 after winning the first two games at home in Boston.

Here are the storylines you need to know if you are just tuning in.

Celtics v Mavericks this season

The Mavericks and Celtics played each other twice during the regular season. The Celtics won both encounters.

Since those two games, Mavericks coach (and former player) Jason Kidd has made changes to his starting five which dramatically improved the team’s regular-season performance.

The Celtics had the best regular season record in the league for the year, winning 64 of their 82 games, while the Mavericks won 50.

Finals history

The Mavericks have appeared in the NBA finals twice before and won their sole Championship in 2011.

The Celtics, on the other hand, have a rich NBA finals history, having won 17 championships from 22 appearances. Their last win was back in 2008.

This year’s NBA Finals series will be the first time the Mavericks and Celtics have met in the NBA playoffs.

Personalities

The two teams in this year’s finals are led by two dominant pairings.

For the Mavericks it is the duo of Luka Dončić and Kyrie Iriving. Dončić, a 25-year old Slovenian, led the NBA in scoring this year with an average of 33.9 points per game. Irving, who is 32, is an eight-time all-star and has already starred in an NBA Championship victory with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016.

Notably, Irving is widely disliked by Celtics’ fans after leaving the team for the Brooklyn Nets following just two seasons in 2019. He was fined $US50,000 ($AU75k) in 2022 for flipping his middle finger at Celtics fans during his tenure at the Nets.

The Celtics’ are led by All-NBA wings Jayson Taytum and Jaylen Brown. Brown and Taytum are seeking redemption after losing together in the 2022 finals to the Golden State Warriors.

Brown was awarded the NBA’s first $US300 million ($AU450m) contract last year and Taytum is expected to be awarded one of his own this season.

Trivia

It is the first NBA Finals series since 1975 to feature two Black coaches, Dallas’ Jason Kidd and Boston’s Joe Mazzulla.

How to watch

You can watch Game Three on Thursday at 10:30am AEST on Kayo or Foxtel.

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