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Celtics aim to clinch NBA Finals at home

Celtics aim to clinch NBA Finals at home

Celtics Finals

The Boston Celtics host the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals on Monday night at TD Garden. The Celtics have a second chance to close out the series after a disappointing Game 4 loss. In Game 4, Boston’s star players combined for just 25 points on 7 of 22 shooting.

The Mavericks won 122-84, recording the third-largest margin of victory in NBA Finals history. Dallas avoided being swept and now faces the task of staving off elimination again on the road. The Celtics are favored by 6.5 points in Game 5, with an over/under line set at 209.5 points.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Boston currently holds a 3-1 series lead and aims to clinch their record 18th NBA championship at home. The Mavericks are trying to become the first team to overcome a three-game deficit in a postseason series.

Derrick White is a key player to watch for the Celtics.

Celtics hold 3-1 series lead

He is the team’s second-best shot-blocker, averaging 1.22 blocks per game in the playoffs.

An AI model predicts that White will exceed 0.5 blocks in Game 5. Recent trends favor Boston, who have gone 8-2 straight up in their last 10 home games against Dallas. However, the Mavericks have covered the spread in five of their last seven road games.

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Analysts are split on whether they were surprised there is a Game 5. Some point to Luka Dončić’s competitive drive, while others note the Celtics’ lead may have overstated their dominance. There is no clear Finals MVP at this point.

Dončić has been valuable despite his team’s struggles, but Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Jrue Holiday are also in the conversation. Dallas’ scoring struggles and Boston’s stifling defense have defined the series so far. The Celtics have limited the Mavericks’ 3-point attempts, which has been a crucial factor.

Game 5 promises to be a critical contest in determining the fate of both teams as the Celtics look to clinch the title and the Mavericks fight to stay alive.

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