Categories: Sports

Time to watch Celtics vs. Mavericks in NBA Finals Game 3

The Boston Celtics have the chance to go up 3-0 against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2024 NBA Finals. Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday at American Airlines Arena in Dallas. Boston pulled out a second straight win to open the series against the Mavericks, which was the ninth time the Celtics have won the opening pair in the Finals. The Celtics will be without big man Kristaps Porzingis, who was ruled out for Game 3 after picking up a rare injury in Game 2.

Boston had five players score in double figures as Jrue Holiday (26 points) and Jaylen Brown (21) led the way in Game 2. Jayson Tatum made up for a rough shooting night with 12 assists and nine rebounds to go with his 18 points.

Luka Doncic tallied his 10th career playoff triple-double for the Mavericks on Sunday, while Kyrie Irving, who has lost 12 games in a row against the Celtics, scored 16 points.

Here’s the info you need for Game 3, plus best bets for Wednesday night.

Celtics vs. Mavericks: Game 3 info

Time: 8:30 p.m ET | Date: Wednesday, June 12
Location: American Airlines Center — Dallas

Celtics vs. Mavericks: Game 3 best bets

The Celtics have gone undefeated on the road this postseason, and they’ve done so largely without Kristaps Porzingis, who is out in Game 3. The Mavericks have lost a home game in all three of their series so far this postseason and none of them have come against an opponent as strong as Boston. Luka Doncic is the only Maverick that has been able to generate good shots consistently thus far in the series, and even that became a struggle when Boston started sending more help toward him in Game 2. Nothing that has happened in this series or this postseason suggests that the Mavericks should be favored in a game against the Celtics. I’m taking Boston, home court be damned. The Pick: Celtics +2.5

I’ve been wrong on the point total so far in this series, but I’m going to trust the numbers as a whole. The Celtics and Mavericks combined for 203 points in Game 2 despite both teams shooting below 26% on 3-pointers. Boston is going to limit Dallas’ attempts from deep, but the Mavericks shouldn’t keep missing the few open ones they get. Boston is going to improve from deep because they’ve been the best shooting team in the NBA all season. More importantly, the Mavericks can’t stay in front of them on the perimeter, and as long as that is the case, Boston is always going to be able to generate points near the basket. The Pick: Over 212.5

One of the most significant developments of the Finals has been Boston’s ability to drive Derrick Jones Jr. out of the corner. He’s only 1-of-5 from deep in the series, and only one of those attempts has come from the corners. In the first three rounds, he was 17-of-37 from the corners and 4-of-15 on above-the-break 3’s. Yes, you’re paying a big vig here at -215, but without corner 3’s available to him, Jones is not making two 3’s in Game 3. The Pick: Jones Under 1.5 3’s

Speaking of shots the Celtics have taken away, Kyrie Irving averaged over seven 3-point attempts per game in the regular season, but is 0-for-8 from deep in the Finals. He just can’t generate space on Boston’s guards, so almost all of his shots are coming in mid-range or floater-range. He can obviously make those shots, but him reaching 24 points without 3’s is pretty dependent on whistles, and Irving has averaged only 3.5 free throw attempts per game this postseason. The Pick: Irving Under 23.5 Points

I’m looking for a bit of insurance with Porzingis out. Surprisingly, I’m looking for a guard to provide it. Payton Pritchard averaged nine points per game in the playoff games Porzingis missed, along with over 20 minutes. The only points he scored in the first two games of the Finals came on a heave in Game 2, and his minutes have been down with Porzingis back. But Boston’s bench units are going to need an extra dash of shot-making with Porzingis sidelined. The Pick: Pritchard Over 4.5 Points

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