Celtics win record 18th NBA championship behind Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown


BOSTON – Sixteen years ago to the date from winning their 17th NBA championship, the Boston Celtics won their 18th.

The Celtics defeated Dallas 106-88 in Game 5 on Monday, putting the finishing touches on the portrait of a champion.

Boston had the best regular-season record (64-18) and rolled through the playoffs with a 16-3 record, never needing more than five games to win a series, and for the sixth consecutive season, the NBA has a different champion.

The Celtics stand atop this season and stand atop the NBA in all-time titles, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for championships.

Boston had the No. 1 offense, the No. 2 defense and best 3-point shooting team during the regular season and that carried over into the playoffs, including the Finals and especially in Game 5.

They scored 67 points in the first half, held Dallas to fewer than 100 points (on 44.9% shooting) for the fourth time in the series and overwhelmed Dallas with 3-point shooting – Boston was 12-for-23 on 3s at one point in the third quarter.

The Celtics led 78-52 with 9:10 left in the third quarter and the remainder of the game was a celebration for Boston fans.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds, and Jaylen Brown had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Four Celtics starters scored in double figures – Jrue Holiday had 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, and Derrick White had 14 points and eight rebounds.

"It was a joy watching the guys just grow as a team throughout the year but also like really work at it," said Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla who at 35 years old became the youngest coach to win a championship since Boston's Bill Russell in 1969. "There's a group of guys in the locker room that decided they wanted to win day one, and credit to them."

Luka Doncic had 28 points on 12-for-25 shooting, 12 rebounds and five assists but was 2-for-9 on 3-pointers, and Kyrie Irving’s house of horrors at the Garden continued. He was 5-for-16 from the field, 3-for-9 on 3s and had just 15 points. Credit Boston’s versatile defenders for making scoring difficult on Doncic and Irving.

Follow along for the latest information, updates, analysis and highlights.

Jayson Tatum celebrates with the Celtics bench.
Jayson Tatum celebrates with the Celtics bench.

Celtics vs. Mavericks Game 5 highlights

Boston has 18 titles. How many do other NBA teams have?

The Boston Celtics are on top of the NBA world, and they once again reign supreme over basketball hierarchy.

Monday's win over the Dallas Mavericks gave the Celtics an 18th NBA championship, putting them in unprecedented territory when it comes to league history. Even though it's Boston's first NBA championship since 2008, it has spent the majority of its existence as one of the league's premier franchises. What's more impressive is Boston has more titles than 22 teams combined.

With Boston basking in glory again, see which teams have the most titles in NBA history and how many championships every team has here.

Boston won record 18th title as a team

BOSTON — The Boston Celtics' 18th NBA championship in 2023-24 is defined by team.

This title was a team effort, especially from the unmatched starting five and capable bench that outmatched opponents in the regular season and playoffs.

Throughout the playoffs, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla and his players reinforced the idea of team.

Boston’s championship-clinching 106-88 victory against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 Monday was a microcosm of that teamwork.

The eight main rotation players who saw the important minutes during the NBA Finals contributed in meaningful ways.

From the two starring Jays – NBA Finals MVP Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum – to veterans Al Horford and Jrue Holiday to Derrick White to Kristaps Porzingis to Sam Hauser to Payton Pritchard, the Celtics had too much offense and too much defense for the Mavericks. Read Jeff Zillgitt's column.

Jaylen Brown wins NBA Finals MVP

BOSTON — Two years ago, Boston Celtics All-Star Jaylen Brown was not ready for the NBA Finals. And over the past two seasons, he has rewatched the Celtics’ loss to the Golden State Warriors in that 2022 Finals.

“You can always learn from anything really,” Brown said. “But just being able to watch those moments and learn from them, how to manage your emotions, like, what you would have done differently potentially.

“I don't think that's bad to look at and acknowledge and be aware of. So, I would say a few times at least I've watched the Finals, the whole thing, all the way through.”

Brown assuredly will watch the 2024 Finals more than once, too, but with a different perspective, a different feeling. Brown was ready for this season’s Finals, an improved player in control of his game offensively and defensively.

Brown earned Finals MVP for his production in the Celtics’ 4-1 win against the Dallas Mavericks. Boston completed the job, beating Dallas in Game 5 Monday, and Brown had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Read Jeff Zillgitt's story here.

Kyrie Irving congratulates former team

Kyrie Irving checked out of the game with 2:37 remaining, but before he headed to the Dallas bench, he shook hands with players on the floor and then the bench. He also briefly stopped by coach Joe Mazzulla and gave him a brief embrace. Irving finished with 15 points, nine assists and three rebounds. — Heather Tucker

Boston minutes from title

The party is starting in Boston.

Boston is a few minutes from another NBA title, up 88-67 on Dallas with nine minutes left.

The Celtics have relatively cooled down since their blazing hot first half, but the Mavericks haven’t been able to generate anything to cut the lead. Dallas has missed 12 straight shots and it hasn’t scored in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. Kristaps Porzingis threw down an emphatic dunk that led to Jason Kidd calling a timeout as his team’s chance of a comeback are fading away. — Jordan Mendoza

Kristaps Porzingis isn't done yet

Boston center Kristaps Porzingis, who checked out with a few minutes left in the third quarter, has returned in the fourth quarter with Boston up 86-67. He punctuated his return with a dunk. — Heather Tucker

3Q: Boston 86, Dallas 67

BOSTON — The Celtics kept their foot on the gas pedal in the third quarter.

Although Boston had its 21-point lead trimmed to an 86-67 advantage as play moved to the fourth quarter, the Celtics sit just 12 minutes from their record 18th NBA title and first in 17 seasons.

Jayson Tatum led all scorers with 20 points to go along with 10 assists and six rebounds. Jaylen Brown had 17, while Jrue Holiday added 15 points and nine rebounds.

Meanwhile, the Mavericks continue to struggle on offense. Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving were a combined 11-for-31 from the field. — Richard Morin

Kristaps Porzingis checks out of game, may be done

BOSTON — Kristaps Porzingis checked out of the game in the final minutes of the third quarter after contributing three points in 11 minutes of play.

It was unclear pregame whether Porzingis would be able to play through his rare leg injury, but the center did indeed dress for Boston and logged some hard minutes in what could be the clinching game for the Celtics.

Boston led 82-64 with less than 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter of Game 5. — Richard Morin

Halftime: Boston 67, Dallas 46

Jayson Tatum under pressure from Kyrie Irving.
Jayson Tatum under pressure from Kyrie Irving.

Boston is one half from banner No. 18.

It was a frenzy for the Celtics in the second quarter, putting up 39 points in the frame and taking a commanding 67-46 lead into halftime over Dallas.

The Celtics started to pull away early in the second quarter, but the Mavericks hung around and made it a managable deficit. They could only hold off Boston for so long, as the Celtics ended the half on a 13-4 run that was capped by a halfcourt buzzer-beating shot from Payton Pritchard.

The Pritchard heave pretty much summed up how solid of a night it’s been for Boston so far. The Celtics are 10-for-21 from 3-point land, with the last four made shots of the first half coming from beyond the arc. But the reason Boston’s offense has been so efficient is how much pressure the defense is putting on Dallas’ offense.

Boston has five steals and has forced eight Dallas turnovers, leading to 11 points off turnovers. The duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving have struggled doing much against the defense; Doncic has nine points and Irving has five, and the pair are an abysmal 1-for-7 on 3-pointers. — Jordan Mendoza

Luka Doncic struggling in Game 5 after terrific Game 4

BOSTON — Coming off a great Game 4, Dallas star Luka Doncic struggled at times in the first half of Game 5. He was 4-for-10 from the field, 0-for-3 on 3-pointers, 1-for-4 on free throws and had three turnovers. He had nine points, six rebounds and four assists in the first half. — Jeff Zillgitt

Derrick White takes face plant onto court

That’s got to hurt.

The Boston defense has been vicious in the first half, and the intensity resulted in Derrick White’s face getting hit right on the court. On a loose ball, White dove and Dereck Lively landed on top of White, rolling onto his head as it hit the court.

It looked scary, but White didn’t leave the game. He was treated briefly on the sideline for bleeding. — Jordan Mendoza

Kristaps Porzingis scores on five-foot jumper

BOSTON — Kristaps Porzingis scored his first points of the game on a five-foot jump shot with 9:10 remaining in the second quarter, giving Boston a 36-22 lead. — Jeff Zillgitt

1Q: Boston 28, Dallas 18

BOSTON — Guard Jrue Holiday scored Boston’s first six points, and Dallas struggled with a slow start, making just one of their first eight shots and missing their first five 3-point attempts. Boston closed the quarter on a 12-3 run for a 28-18 lead after one quarter.

Holiday and Jaylen Brown each had six points for the Celtics, and Brown also added four rebounds and one assist. Boston’s Jayson Tatum added four points, four assists and three rebounds, and Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis made his first appearance since sustaining a left-leg injury in Game 2.

Josh Green had six points off the bench as Mavs coach Jason Kidd used nine players in the opening 12 minutes. Dallas’ bench outscored Boston’s 11-4. Luka Doncic added six points, three rebounds and three assists for Dallas. Kyrie Irving is 0-for-3 from the field and 0-for-2 on 3-pointers. — Jeff Zillgitt

Kristaps Porzingis enters Game 5

BOSTON — Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis made his first appearance since Game 2. Porzingis, who missed Game 3 and Game 4 with a left leg injury, checked into Game 5 with 6:49 remaining in the first quarter.

Dallas reserve Josh Green made consecutive 3-pointers, and Porzingis struggled on his defensive closeouts. Porzingis missed his first shot, a 3-point attempt with 4:34 left in the first.

He sustained a torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon in Boston’s 105-98 victory against Dallas in Game 2 on June 9. Porzingis was upgraded from questionable to available on Monday.

He had 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks in Game 1 and 12 points in Game 2. — Jeff Zillgitt

Poor start for the Mavs

BOSTON — Dallas made just 1-for-8 shots from the field and missed their five 3-point attempts in the first four minutes, 34 seconds. Dallas called timeout with 7:26 left in the first quarter after Al Horford's 3-pointer gave Boston a 9-2 lead. — Jeff Zillgitt

Kristaps Porzingis will play in Game 5

BOSTON – Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis is available and expected to play in Game 5, according to coach Joe Mazulla. There is no minutes restriction.

As of Monday morning, Porzingis had remained questionable with a rare left-leg injury.

He sustained a torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon in Boston’s 105-98 victory against Dallas in Game 2 on June 9.

"We expected him back at some point, and he's available tonight," Mavericks coach Jason Kidd said. "What does it change? Just, you know, his ability to score in Game 1 and 2, and we have to be better. We've got to make him put it on the floor where he just can't catch-and-shoot. Then defensively, we have to be aware of his shot blocking. And so we've got to account for him when we do drive it to the paint that he's one that can change or block shots, and we have to be better at that. In Game 1 and 2, we weren't very good.

"With him on the floor, we'll see how he moves, but I think that healthy or not healthy — I mean, healthy, we are going to still check to see how he moves. So nothing changes there."

He missed Game 3 and Game 4 in Dallas, and on Sunday, Mazzulla said, “I haven't talked to him yet. … I'm not sure kind of where he's at. But he's trying and doing everything he can to try to put himself in position to be out there. I know that for sure.” — Jeff Zillgitt and Richard Morin

What time is NBA Finals Game 5? 

Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET from TD Garden in Boston.

How to watch NBA Finals Game 5

ABC will broadcast every game of the 2024 NBA Finals.

How to stream NBA Finals Game 5

Each game of the 2024 NBA Finals can be streamed on ESPN+ or on Fubo.

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NBA Finals schedule 

  • Game 1: Celtics 107, Mavericks 89 (Boston leads 1-0)

  • Game 2: Celtics 105, Mavericks 98 (Boston leads 2-0)

  • Game 3: Celtics 106, Mavericks 99 (Boston leads 3-0)

  • Game 4: Mavericks 122, Celtics 84 (Boston leads 3-1)

  • Game 5: Celtics 106, Mavericks 88 (Boston wins 4-1)

Who sang the Game 5 national anthem?

Grammy Award-winning singer Joelle James sang the national anthem before Game 5.

Celebrities at Game 5

There are some stars in attendance to see the Boston Celtics potentially win another NBA title.

Celebrities inside TD Garden on Monday include artists Jack Harlow, Donnie Wahlberg and Joey McIntyre, AEW star Mercedes Moné and Fanatics founder Michael Rubin. There are some Boston-area athletes in New England Patriots quarterback Drake Maye and Boston Bruins great Brad Marchand. Celtics alumni in attendance include former player and coach ML Carr, Mal Graham, Eddie House, Leon Powe and Jason Terry. — Jordan Mendoza

Celtics starting lineup

The Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics are sticking with the same starting fives for Game 5. There have not been any changes to the starting lineups in this series.

  • Jaylen Brown

  • Jayson Tatum

  • Al Horford

  • Derrick White

  • Jrue Holiday

Mavericks starting lineup

The Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics are sticking with the same starting fives for Game 5. There have not been any changes to the starting lineups in this series.

  • Derrick Jones Jr.

  • P.J. Washington

  • Daniel Gafford

  • Kyrie Irving

  • Luka Doncic

Game 5 referees

Zach Zarba (14th Finals) will be the crew chief for Game 5 in Boston, with John Goble (10th Finals) and Bill Kennedy (eighth Finals) also on the whistle. The referees for Monday have called games already in this series; Zarba officiated Game 1 while Goble and Kennedy were on Game 2. — Jordan Mendoza

Kyrie Irving gets another shot in Boston

BOSTON – Kyrie Irving left Boston disappointed and frustrated after the first two games of the NBA Finals in Boston.

Not only did the Dallas Mavericks lose the first two games on their way to a 3-0 series deficit, Irving did not play well against his former team in front of a crowd he desperately wanted to silence with his play.

Irving averaged just 14 points, shot 35.1% from the field, missed his eight 3-point attempts and struggled with his ball-handling in Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

“Being back in Boston, there's such a level of desire that I have inside of me to play well,” the Mavericks guard said earlier in the series.

Irving is back in Boston for Game 5 Monday (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), and if Irving isn’t better than he was in the first two games, Dallas’ chances of extending the series dwindle. Read Jeff Zillgitt's column.

Has any team come back from down 3-0 in the NBA Finals?

For Mavericks fans searching for hope, there may not be much left: No NBA team has come back from a 3-0 deficit in the Finals.

Not only has a team never won after being down 3-0 in the Finals, in NBA playoff history, a team that is down 3-0 in the series has lost all 156 times.

Biggest NBA Finals beatdowns

The Dallas Mavericks were at risk of being swept by the Boston Celtics entering Game 4 of the 2024 NBA Finals on Friday. With their backs against the wall, the Mavericks delivered one of the biggest beatdowns in Finals history.

The Mavericks led by as many as 48 points in their 122-84 win over the Celtics at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. The 38-point differential marked the third-largest margin of victory in Finals history.

As the Mavericks look to become the first team in history to come back from a 3-0 deficit, many NBA fans may be wondering about another record that no one wants attached to their name: What's the biggest NBA Finals blowout? What’s the fewest points scored in the NBA Finals? We got you covered. Read story here. — Cydney Henderson and Jeff Zillgitt

Luka Doncic responds to critics with thrilling Game 4 performance

DALLAS — The two days from the end of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday to the start of Game 4 were unkind to Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic.

The criticism of his game, especially his defense and officiating complaints, dominated the conversation, at least from Dallas’ side as Boston jumped to a 3-0 series lead.

Before Game 4, Mavericks coach Jason Kidd defended his All-NBA guard, calling the criticism “unfair or unwarranted.”

“No one in this room is perfect, right. So, like, give my man a break. Let him play the game,” Kidd pleaded.

Doncic responded when the Mavericks needed him most, with their season on the line and the Celtics trying to win their 18th championship. Read Jeff Zillgitt's column from Game 4.

NBA Finals Game 5 Mavericks-Celtics predictions

  • Mike Freeman, USA TODAY: Mavericks 97, Celtics 94

  • Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY: Celtics 113, Mavericks 101

  • Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY: Celtics 115, Mavericks 99

(Series predictions from USA TODAY staffers)

NBA Finals predictions

Here are USA TODAY Sports’ NBA experts’ picks and predictions for the 2024 NBA Finals:

  • Scooby Axson: Celtics in 6

  • Cydney Henderson: Mavericks in 6

  • Lindsay Schnell: Mavericks in 7

  • Jeff Zillgitt: Celtics in 6

Why Celtics will win Game 5

At home with an NBA championship, the Celtics are ready to seize the moment. They had their dud of the series in Game 4, and they will return to the kind of play that gave them a 3-0 series lead. In the end, it’s the story of the Celtics’ season and playoffs in particular: too much offensive and defensive depth led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday and Derrick White. — Jeff Zillgitt

Why Mavericks will win Game 5

The Mavericks have improved as the series has progressed. They were dominant in Game 4, star guard Luka Doncic continues to put up big offensive numbers and backcourt partner Kyrie Irving will finally have a good game in Boston against his former team. Getting production from other starters, such as P.J. Washington and Derrick Jones Jr., and from the bench (Dereck Lively II, Maxi Kleber, Dante Exum) will help the Mavs send the series back to Dallas for another game. — Jeff Zillgitt

Joe Mazzulla, Jason Kidd make NBA Finals history

The year was 1975. It wouldn't be long before Apple computer was founded. A show called “Saturday Night Live” premiered on NBC. There was Disco, 8-track players and bell-bottom pants.

Also, that year the NBA Finals featured two Black head coaches in Golden State's Al Attles and Washington's K.C. Jones. It wasn't just the first time two Black head coaches faced off in the Finals, it was also the first major sports championship in U.S. history featuring two Black head coaches.

We fast-forward to now (minus the bell-bottoms). There are again two Black head coaches in the NBA Finals. Read Mike Freeman’s column.

NBA Finals odds

According to BetMGM, the Celtics are –3000 to win the NBA championship against the Mavericks. Dallas is +1300.

NBA Finals MVP odds

According to BetMGM:

  • Jayson Tatum, Celtics: +220

  • Jaylen Brown, Celtics: -225

  • Luka Dončić, Mavericks: +1300

  • Jrue Holiday, Celtics: +3500

Celtics coaching staff

  • Head coach: Joe Mazzulla

  • Assistant coach: Charles Lee

  • Assistant coach: Samuel Cassell

  • Assistant coach: Tony Dobbins

  • Assistant coach: Amile Jefferson

  • Assistant coach: DJ MacLeay

  • Assistant coach: Matthew Reynolds

  • Senior consultant: Jeff Van Gundy

Mavericks coaching staff

  • Head coach: Jason Kidd

  • Assistant coach: Darrell Armstrong

  • Assistant coach: Sean Sweeney

  • Assistant coach: Marko Milic

  • Assistant coach: Jared Dudley

  • Assistant coach: Keith Vaney

  • Assistant coach: Josh Broghamer

  • Assistant coach: Eric Hughes

  • Assistant coach: Alex Jensen

  • Head of player culture: God Shammgod

Celtics championships

Boston’s 17 NBA championships are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for most in league history. The Celtics’ last NBA Finals win came in 2008 when Doc Rivers’ team, led by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, knocked off the Kobe Bryant-led Lakers in six games. The Celtics lost in the NBA Finals in 2010 (to the same Lakers in seven games) and in 2022 (to the Golden State Warriors in six games).

Mavericks championships

Dallas has one NBA title to its name, coming in 2011 when Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd (the Mavericks’ current coach) beat the Miami Heat in six games. It was Miami’s first season as the Heatles, a nickname given due to their worldwide appeal with stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Mavericks went to the NBA Finals only one other time, losing in 2006 to a Heat team that had Wade, but also Shaquille O’Neal, Jason Terry and Antoine Walker.

Celtics playoff schedule

  • Earned the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference

  • Eastern Conference first round: Beat No. 8 Miami Heat in five games

  • Eastern Conference semifinals: Beat No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers in five games

  • Eastern Conference finals: Beat No. 6 Indiana Pacers in four games

Mavericks playoff schedule

  • Earned the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference

  • Western Conference first round: Beat No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers in six games

  • Western Conference semifinals: Beat No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder in six games

  • Western Conference finals: Beat No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves in five games

Celtics vs. Mavericks regular-season series

The Celtics went 2-0 against the Mavericks during the regular season.

Jayson Tatum scored 39 points with 11 rebounds in Boston’s 119-110 victory in Dallas on Jan. 22.

Tatum led the way again with 32 points and eight rebounds on March 1, when Boston won 138-110.

Mark Cuban Mavericks sale

The Adelson and Dumont families reached a binding agreement to purchase a majority ownership of the Dallas Mavericks from owner Mark Cuban back in November.

Miriam Adelson, the widow of Las Vegas Sands Corp. founder Sheldon Adelson, and her family said in an SEC filing they are selling $2 billion of LVS stock and “they currently intend to use the net proceeds from this offering, along with additional cash on hand, to fund the purchase of a majority interest in a professional sports franchise pursuant to a binding purchase agreement, subject to customary league approvals.”

Cuban has been one of the NBA’s most prominent owners in the past two decades and one of the most fined, racking up nearly $4 million in fines — and that doesn’t include $10 million Cuban donated to women’s groups following an investigation into a toxic work environment, including sexual harassment and workplace misconduct, within the Mavericks’ organization. — Jeff Zillgitt

NBA playoff bracket 2024


First round

  • No. 1 Boston Celtics beat No. 8 Miami Heat, 4-1

  • No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers beat No. 5 Orlando Magic, 4-3

  • No. 2 New York Knicks beat No. 7 Philadelphia 76ers, 4-2

  • No. 6 Indiana Pacers beat No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks, 4-2

Conference semifinals

  • No. 1 Boston Celtics beat No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers, 4-1

  • No. 6 Indiana Pacers beat No. 2 New York Knicks, 4-3

Conference finals

  • No. 1 Boston Celtics beat No. 6 Indiana Pacers, 4-0


First round

  • No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder beat No. 8 New Orleans Pelicans, 4-0

  • No. 5 Dallas Mavericks beat No. 4 Los Angeles Clippers, 4-2

  • No. 2 Denver Nuggets beat No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers, 4-1

  • No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves beat No. 6 Phoenix Suns, 4-0

Conference semifinals

  • No. 5 Dallas Mavericks beat No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder, 4-2

  • No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves beat No. 2 Denver Nuggets, 4-3

Conference finals

  • No. 5 Dallas Mavericks beat No. 3 Minnesota Timberwolves, 4-1

Who won NBA Finals 2023?

The Denver Nuggets won last year’s NBA Finals in five games against the Miami Heat. Nuggets center Nikola Jokic was named the MVP of the series after averaging 30.2 points, 14.0 rebounds and 7.2 assists.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Celtics win NBA championship, defeat Mavericks in Game 5