Celtics take season's worth of lessons into Game 5 of NBA Finals with latest chance to secure title

celtics take season's worth of lessons into game 5 of nba finals with latest chance to secure title

Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla watches play during the second half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball finals against the Dallas Mavericks, Friday, June 14, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

BOSTON (AP) — The Celtics picked the most inopportune time to play their worst game of the season.

Boston’s 122-84 Game 4 loss to Dallas had all kinds of superlatives, and none of them were good.

It ended the Celtics’ 10-game playoff win streak. It was the Celtics’ lowest scoring output of the season and marked the first time the Celtics have allowed the Mavericks to eclipse 100 points in the series on a stellar night for Dallas stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

celtics take season's worth of lessons into game 5 of nba finals with latest chance to secure title

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) drives to the basket against Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving (11) during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball finals, Friday, June 14, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

It also reminded the Celtics that putting a championship bow on what has been one of the franchise’s most successful seasons will require the same resilience they’ve shown during a postseason in which they haven’t lost consecutive games.

“It’s a learning lesson, for sure. Got to show up and show out every night. They’re not going to roll over,” Celtics reserve Sam Hauser said. “They’re down 3-1 now. They’re desperate. ... They’re not going to make it easy on us.”

celtics take season's worth of lessons into game 5 of nba finals with latest chance to secure title

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) drives against Dallas Mavericks center Dereck Lively II (2) during the first half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball finals, Friday, June 14, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

As humbling as Game 4's loss was, history will be on the Celtics’ side for Game 5.

While Friday’s loss was the seventh time that the Celtics have lost by 20 or more points in the finals, they are 5-1 in the previous six.

The game Monday also falls on the 16th anniversary of Boston clinching its last championship in 2008.

“It’s a great opportunity to respond,” said Celtics forward Jaylen Brown, whose finished Game 4 with a minus-19 plus-minus – his second-worst of these playoffs and third-worst of his entire playoff career. “We just regroup. We keep our same mentality, and we come out and get ready to fight in another battle on our home floor.”

celtics take season's worth of lessons into game 5 of nba finals with latest chance to secure title

Dallas Mavericks center Daniel Gafford (21) hangs on the rim after scoring against the Boston Celtics during the second half in Game 4 of the NBA basketball finals, Friday, June 14, 2024, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

It’s also the latest chance for coach Joe Mazzulla to reinforce the lessons he has tried to instill in his team. Hauser recalled Boston’s Game 3 win when Dallas rallied to cut a 21-point fourth quarter lead to just one with less than four minutes to play.

“The Mavs were on that big run, the start of the fourth there. He came in and said, ‘That was great. That makes us hungrier,’” Hauser said. “He didn’t even focus on the win, he focused on that, which was cool. It keeps all of us grounded and knowing that we have more work to do.”

It was the same tone Mazzulla tried to set during the regular season.

Boston opened the season by winning its first five games before losing in overtime at Minnesota. Postgame Mazzulla expressed excitement for his team experiencing an opponent challenging it to play its best basketball. Following another loss two nights later at Philadelphia, the Celtics reeled off six straight victories.

In February, the Celtics lost on their home court to a Los Angeles Lakers team without both LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Then Boston reeled off a season-high 11-game win streak.

The Celtics are now just one more bounce-back win away from seeing those instances of adversity bear championship fruit.

If they need any more consolation — each of the Celtics previous three title-winning teams in 1984, 1986 and 2008 all lost with close-out opportunities on the road and then returned to win at home.

“Close-out games are hard. Close-out games are tough,” Brown said. “They always have been like that, and you’ve got to have extreme focus. You’ve got to come out and meet their intensity to finish things out.”

Jayson Tatum is expecting the TD Garden crowd to bring the energy to match the moment.

“I think it’s going to be as loud as it’s ever been in my seven years of being a Celtic,” he said. “Excited to go back home. Celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday and compete for a championship on Monday.”

___

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba

OTHER NEWS

55 minutes ago

Why low-income renters can’t “air condition their way out” of extreme heat

55 minutes ago

A cure for autism? As researchers announce they have discovered a way to reverse condition, experts slam claims as 'bad science' and 'deeply insulting'

55 minutes ago

Shocking moment an endangered basking shark is struck by a boat in Ireland's National Marine Park is caught on camera - and scientists don't know if it made it out alive

55 minutes ago

Video: Millionaire influencer Sarah's Day claims Booktopia are holding her books hostage - as thousands of customers rage at collapsed company

55 minutes ago

28-year-old high school coach randomly shot and killed at bar while attending conference

55 minutes ago

A doctor says the pilot survived the crash of a plane at Nepal's main airport; status of other 18 on board unclear

55 minutes ago

Giannis Antetokounmpo Had Jokes When Asked to Name Three Toughest Players to Guard

55 minutes ago

Federal judge strikes down Ohio law that limits disabled voters with absentee ballots

55 minutes ago

Labour adviser says long-term sick should be forced into work

55 minutes ago

Google is making some serious changes to TV shows on Google TV

55 minutes ago

Pres. Biden Considers Reforms to the Supreme Court

55 minutes ago

2024 Green Bay Packers training camp preview

55 minutes ago

Dieter Kurtenbach: The Warriors look poised to make the two-timelines mistake again

55 minutes ago

Karlie Kloss reveals her favorite Taylor Swift songs... six years after their friendship ended

55 minutes ago

Olympic champ Ariarne Titmus's family apartment hits the market as the swimmer goes for gold in Paris

55 minutes ago

The Week in Fashion: Ariana Grande Is the New Face of Swarovski

55 minutes ago

Analysts say these ASX dividend shares are top buys

55 minutes ago

"He's a beast" — Kasper Schmeichel labels Erling Haaland "the complete package" as Man City hunt another title

55 minutes ago

Plaintiffs drop 5 climate cases at Europe's human rights court

55 minutes ago

Even More Xbox Game Pass Tier Changes Could Be on the Way

55 minutes ago

Arsenal transfer news: Gunners handed transfer boost as Nico Williams speaks out

55 minutes ago

9-Year-Old Journeyy Impresses ‘AGT' with Haunting Original Song ‘Paradise'

55 minutes ago

Tories' asylum seeker Bibby Stockholm barge to be closed within months

55 minutes ago

Ipswich Town make first move to sign 27 y/o free agent alongside Szmodics

55 minutes ago

Ravens 2024 training camp Day 3 observations: Reigning in Oweh, Maulet hat-tricks picks, Faalele picking up momentum

55 minutes ago

F1 Manager 24 review: fully featured at a bargain price

55 minutes ago

India Budget 2024: Modi 3.0 announces spate of women-centric schemes; Mayawati calls it a 'disappointment'

55 minutes ago

Man Utd transfer news: Bayern issue Matthijs de Ligt update as club prepare for £40m loss

55 minutes ago

Kent stabbing latest: British soldier fights for life after attack near barracks

55 minutes ago

Adut Atem Kirr: Grave fears for 26-year-old woman as her jacket and phone are found next to a river

55 minutes ago

British boy, 16, fights for life after he was found 'lifeless' in a swimming pool during football tour in Sweden: Family plead for help bringing him home

55 minutes ago

Kylie Minogue puts on a leggy display in sequinned gown with a thigh-high slit before dazzling onstage in sheer red dress as she performs at charity event in St Tropez

55 minutes ago

Three people are killed after a moving car smashed into a stationary vehicle which crashed earlier in east London: Police refers itself to watchdog over fatal collision which also left another person injured

55 minutes ago

How US law firms are taking over the City: American legal practices beat off London's 'magic circle' and top list of highest earners for UK corporate work

55 minutes ago

Which Olympic sports will air live from Paris? What to know about daytime vs. primetime

55 minutes ago

New charge for young dad accused of causing fatal Ashcroft crash

55 minutes ago

Unhealthy Pot Use a Growing Problem Among Seniors, New Report Suggests

55 minutes ago

2024 Atlanta Falcons training camp preview

55 minutes ago

Tánaiste to recommend against Cathal Brugha Barracks being relocated to make way for housing

55 minutes ago

NPA seizes R52-million in assets from COVID-19 PPE corruption