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Starting 5, May 26: Here’s how rare that Celtics comeback was



Starting 5

While you go up 3-0, however you wanted somewhat historical past to get there.


Jrue & Jayson: Vacation’s clutch performs & Tatum’s monster evening paced the C’s in a historic comeback

Function Gamers Rise: Al Horford & Andrew Nembhard put in work on Saturday

Kyrie & Luka: How their chemistry & friendship have elevated their play — and their crew

3 Issues For Sport 3: What to look at earlier than Wolves-Mavs heads to Dallas tonight (8 ET, TNT)

Fan Favorites 2024: Who took dwelling {hardware} for prime dunk, dime, type & extra?


As we speak: The Western Convention Finals shifts to Dallas (8 ET, TNT), the place the Mavs look to go up 3-0 and the Wolves look to remain red-hot on the highway within the postseason.


Weighed by an sickness, Jrue Vacation needed to skip shootaround on Saturday morning.

However after logging 38 minutes in Sport 3, Vacation used no matter he had left to make two of the largest performs of the Celtics’ season – finishing Boston’s 18-point comeback and lifting the Celtics to a 114-111 win over the Pacers & a 3-0 ECF lead. | Recap | The Comeback

  • Historic Comeback: The Celtics grew to become simply the sixth NBA crew since 1997-98 to win a Playoff recreation after trailing by 18 or extra within the 2nd half
  • Jrue’s And-1: With 39 seconds left and Boston on the verge of its first lead since early within the 2nd Q, Vacation powered his approach to an And-1 layup to place the C’s up 112-111
  • Jrue’s Steal: With Andrew Nembhard (32 pts) driving, Vacation swiped the rock and hit 2 free throws to extend the result in 114-111 with 3 seconds left. Hear him name it

  • Deja Vu: For the second time this sequence, a Vacation cease in crunch time helped seal a win. In Sport 1, his protection on Ty Haliburton compelled a late turnover that led to a Jayson Tatum dagger trey
  • 🗣️ Mentioned Tatum: “Man, I’m glad we bought him.”

As for Tatum … the Celtics’ All-NBA First Teamer put collectively among the finest Convention Finals video games within the historical past of one of many NBA’s unique groups. | Tatum’s Highlights

  • No Celtic has ever matched his line of 36+ pts, 10+ reb, 8+ ast and a couple of+ blk within the Convention Finals
  • Just one participant ever has within the Conf Finals, since blocks had been first recorded in 1973-74: Charles Barkley, who went 43-15-10-2 in opposition to Seattle on June 1, 1993
  • Tatum grew to become the youngest participant ever to succeed in 2500+ pts, 800+ reb & 500+ ast within the Playoffs, and the 4th Celtic ever – becoming a member of Invoice Russell, John Havlicek and Paul Pierce

About That Comeback: Boston had jumped out to an early lead, however a 63.6% first-half taking pictures efficiency by the Pacers put Indy up 69-57 on the break – a lead that jumped to 84-66 with 6 minutes left within the third.

  • From that time on, the No. 1 seed outscored the Pacers 48-27, taking pictures 50% from the sector and limiting Indy’s high-powered offense to only 30.6%
  • That included a 13-2 run to complete the sport
  • One different standout stat? The Celtics blocked 8 pictures within the closing 18 minutes, in comparison with zero from the Pacers. Tatum & Derrick White led with 2, as each Celtic starter bought one
  • Mentioned Tatum: “No lead is secure within the NBA no extra. … However you gotta imagine. We all the time believed we bought an opportunity to win the sport.”

Sport 4 ideas Monday at 8 ET on ESPN.


Andrew Nembhard and Al Horford had led their groups in scoring as soon as this 12 months. Mixed.

However over the course of Saturday’s Sport 3, the pair – that includes a participant (Horford) in his seventeenth 12 months and the opposite in his second – starred for his or her squads in a battle of position gamers going huge.

  • Nembhard’s team-high 32 pts shattered his earlier Playoff career-high of 20 (from earlier this 12 months), as he stuffed in for the injured Tyrese Haliburton
  • Horford (23 pts) hit a Playoff career-high 7 threes, together with 4 within the first half to maintain the Celtics from falling additional behind, then two extra throughout the 18-point comeback

Thrust Into Highlight: Nembhard had began 47 video games this 12 months, however constructed a rep extra as a defensive participant and dependable ballhandler than a marquee scorer. Til Saturday no less than.

  • Nembhard ranked 1st in DefRtg on the Pacers this 12 months (min 15 mpg) and third in AST/TO ratio – however simply eleventh on the crew in PPG. He’d led Indy in scoring as soon as.
  • However his 17 factors within the 2nd quarter – probably the most he’s ever scored in 1 / 4 in any recreation – powered the Pacers to a 38-25 second body
  • On an evening when 4 Pacers scored 20+ in Haliburton’s absence (TJ McConnell, Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner), Nembhard led Indy in scoring throughout Boston’s comeback, too, with 9 pts

Horford Heats Up: The 17-year vet’s 23 factors gave him probably the most he’s had because the 2022 postseason, with 8 of them coming because the Celtics climbed again within the 4th quarter.

  • Oldest Ever: The 37-year-old, who turns 38 on June 3, grew to become the oldest participant to empty 7+ treys in a Convention Finals recreation
  • Mentioned Tatum: “He’s a man that retains us all collectively.”


Going into this season — after taking part in lower than 20 video games collectively in a 2022-23 marketing campaign that noticed the Mavs miss the Playoffs — Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic talked about their hopes in constructing chemistry.

Now, coming into tonight’s West Finals Sport 3 (8 ET, TNT) with a 2-0 sequence lead, they’re sounding like longtime mates — and crediting their relationship as a catalyst for fulfillment.

  • 🗣️ Luka on Kyrie: “He simply helped me mature loads. And notice to see the sport another way. And clearly on the courtroom, he’s wonderful to play with.”
  • 🗣️ Kyrie on Luka: “I feel the large phrase that we each can agree on is simply maturity… Off the courtroom, I knew ultimately that I might get him to open up. He’s a teddy bear that likes to compete.”

The Partnership: Kyrie & Luka mixed for 50+ factors in a league-high 41 video games within the common season and now discover themselves two wins away from the NBA Finals.

  • Within the common season, Doncic (33.9 ppg) and Irving (25.6 ppg) had been the highest-scoring duo amongst gamers certified as a league chief (min. 58+ video games performed)
  • This postseason, they’ve already mixed for 50+ factors seven instances, together with in Dallas’ final three video games — all of which have been wins
  • Mavericks All-Time Checklist: Kyrie & Luka be part of Nick Van Exel and Steve Nash as the one Mavs teammates to each notch 300 factors and 75 assists in a Playoff run

The Progress: However the stats solely inform a part of the story — Luka mentioned he’s seen Kyrie step into his position as a pacesetter, and Kyrie mentioned he’s seen Luka take his place among the many greats.

  • 🗣️ Luka: “Everyone appears as much as him… He’s been wonderful to us. Serving to us out. Speaking to us. Conserving us constructive. I’m actually glad he’s on our crew.”
  • 🗣️ Kyrie: “I’m amazed… Watching him ascend into turning into an all-time nice is wonderful, and I don’t take it as a right.”

The 1-2 Punch: When one’s been off, the opposite’s taken over — like in Sport 1 when Irving scored 24 factors within the 1st half and Doncic dropped 19 within the 2nd — and once they’re each on, it’s dangerous information for his or her opponents.

  • Candy 60: The Mavericks are 15-8 this season when Kyrie & Luka mix for 60+ factors
  • In Sport 1 of the WCF, Kyrie & Luka grew to become simply the sixth pair of teammates to every rating 30+ factors of their first Convention Finals recreation collectively
  • In Sport 2, they mixed for 52 factors, and every had a 3 within the closing 1:05 of regulation, stamped by Doncic’s game-winner with 3.1 seconds remaining

Will Kyrie & Luka lead the Mavs to a 3rd straight win in opposition to the Wolves in Dallas, or will Minnesota bounce again in Sport 3? Discover out tonight at 8 ET on TNT.


4. That’s what number of whole factors separate the Mavs and Wolves within the Western Convention Finals.

The opening two contests in Minnesota every got here down to at least one possession, and whereas Dallas returns dwelling with a 2-0 sequence lead, the scoreboard tells a more in-depth story.

With Minnesota trying to make it 2-1 after a change of surroundings, and Dallas trying to take a commanding 3-0 lead, lock in on 3 issues to know earlier than Sport 3 (8 ET, TNT).

1. Highway Warriors: Or ought to we are saying Highway Wolves? Minnesota has gone 5-1 on the highway within the Playoffs — in comparison with its 3-4 report at dwelling — and went 3-1 in Denver final sequence.

  • Dwelling Away From Dwelling: The Wolves have averaged extra factors (109.2 vs. 107.1) and shot a better share (47.7% vs. 45.3%) on the highway this postseason than at dwelling
  • Ant & KAT: Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Cities have been notably higher on the highway within the Playoffs, as Ant’s scoring common (30.0 ppg vs. 25.4 ppg) jumps 4.6 factors and Kat’s (23.2 vs. 14.1) jumps 9.1
  • Avoiding A Second Third: Earlier than shedding Video games 3-5 in opposition to the Nuggets, Minnesota hadn’t dropped three straight video games all season

2. Ant & KAT (Once more): Edwards and Cities — the Wolves’ two prime scorers this season — shot a mixed 9-33 in Sport 2. Can they return to type tonight?

  • Ending: Earlier than this sequence, Ant was taking pictures 69.1% inside 5 ft of the basket, whereas KAT was taking pictures 63.3% — this sequence they’re taking pictures 20.0% and 46.2% across the rim
  • Factors In The Paint: Within the first two rounds, Ant averaged 11.1 PITP per recreation, and KAT averaged 8.2 — within the WCF, Dallas has restricted them to three.0 and 6.0 PITP per recreation, respectively

  • The ‘Massive’ 3: Dallas’ trio of Daniel Gafford, Dereck Full of life II and P.J. Washington have dominated the paint, holding Minnesota gamers to 20% decrease FG% than crew averages once they’re defending inside 6 ft
  • KAT: Sport 2 marked the second time all season that KAT (4-16 fg) shot 25% or worse on 10+ makes an attempt, and he didn’t see motion after subbing out on the 8:40 mark of the 4th quarter, whereas a scorching-hot Naz Reid stuffed in
  • 🗣️KAT: “I’m with successful, so no matter it takes to win… Coach’s resolution. Received’t query it one bit.”
  • 🗣️Ant: “I ain’t trippin’. I’m probably not stressing about me getting going. Simply maintain making the precise performs.”

3. The Clutch: Sport 1 was determined by three factors (108-105). Sport 2 was determined by one level (109-108). The Mavs have taken each — Why?

  • Luka Doncic: In 10 whole minutes of clutch time (the ultimate 5 minutes of every recreation), Luka’s scored a series-high 10 factors, together with 5 within the closing 60 seconds of each video games mixed
  • 3s: Dallas has shot 4-7 (57.1%) from downtown in clutch time, whereas Minnesota has shot 2-7 (28.6%)
  • Turnovers: The Mavs additionally solely have three turnovers in clutch time in comparison with the Wolves’ 5
  • Remaining Minute: Within the closing 60 seconds of every recreation, Dallas has outscored Minnesota 7-3, going 2-4 from the sector with no turnovers whereas the Wolves’ have shot 1-4 from the sector and turned it over twice


NBA ID Members around the globe voted.

And on Friday, the winners of this 12 months’s NBA Fan Favorites powered by NBA ID had been unveiled.

See which gamers took dwelling the {hardware} in classes like finest dunk, finest dime, finest type and extra – together with a trio of awards to one of many recreation’s greatest rising stars.

AT&T Dunk of the Yr: Anthony Edwards

Block of the Yr: Anthony Edwards

State Farm Help of the Yr: DeMar DeRozan

Kumho Tire Deal with of the Yr: Kyrie Irving

Michelob Extremely Drip Type of the Yr: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

How’d the gamers react?

  • Kyrie dealt with his new {hardware} with care
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