What to know about the NBA Finals, including the schedule and how to watch

The 2024 NBA Finals will decide whether the Boston Celtics or the Dallas Mavericks are crowned champions.

The Celtics have the early leg up, winning the opening game 107-89 on June 6. Star forwards Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown scored 16 and 22 points, respectively. But center Kristaps Porzingis was the real hero, returning from a calf injury sustained in April and scoring 20 points.

The Mavericks' powerhouse duo, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic, scored 12 and 30 points, respectively.

A series win would mark the Celtics' 18th championship, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for most in NBA history, but their first since 2008. A championship win would be the Mavericks' second in franchise history.

The series is expected to potentially get fiery. Irving previously played for the Celtics during the 2017-2019 seasons, but left a year after vowing to re-sign with the team.

He returned to Boston's home court as a Brooklyn Net for a playoff game in 2021, when a Boston fan was accused of throwing a water bottle at him and was arrested. During the 2022 playoff series between the two teams, the league fined Irving $50,000 for flipping off Celtics fans.

Irving said recently he has grown since those incidents and looks forward to some competitive play against Boston.

“I’m built for these moments, to be able to handle circumstances like that, and I’ve been able to grow since then," he said after a recent practice session, according to Mavs.com. "So of course it’s going to be a hectic environment, but I’m looking forward to it and I see it as a healthy relationship that I have with the fans. I almost think about ‘Gladiator,’ just winning the crowd over. It is good to hear the TD Garden silent when you’re playing well. They still respect great basketball.”

Here's everything to know about the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks.

When do the NBA Finals start?

The NBA Finals began Thursday, June 6.

How to watch the NBA Finals

The series will be broadcast on ABC beginning 8 p.m. ET or 8:30 p.m. ET, depending on the game.

What is the NBA Finals schedule?

  • Game 1: Celtics won 107-89 on Thursday, June 6, at TD Garden in Boston

  • Game 2: Sunday, June 9, at 8 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston

  • Game 3: Wednesday, June 12, at 8:30 p.m. ET at American Airlines Center in Dallas

  • Game 4: Friday, June 14, at 8:30 p.m. ET at American Airlines Center in Dallas

  • Game 5: Monday, June 17, at 8:30 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston (if necessary)

  • Game 6: Thursday, June 20, at 8:30 p.m. ET at American Airlines Center in Dallas (if necessary)

  • Game 7: Sunday, June 23, at 8 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston (if necessary)

How the Celtics and the Mavericks got to the NBA Finals

The Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-2 in the first and second rounds of the playoffs, respectively. They went on to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 4-1 in the Western Conference finals, advancing to the NBA Finals.

The Celtics knocked out the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1 in the first and second rounds, respectively. Boston swept the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals to advance to the NBA Finals.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com