NBA: Jayson Tatum stars as Boston Celtics go 3-0 up against Dallas Mavericks

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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown helped the Boston Celtics hold off a Dallas Mavericks fightback to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the NBA finals.

Tatum scored 31 points and Brown 30 as the Celtics won 106-99 in game three of the best-of-seven series.

The Mavericks reduced their deficit from 91-70 early in the fourth quarter to one point with three and a half minutes left but failed to turn an impressive comeback into a victory.

Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 35 for Dallas, while team-mate Luka Doncic contributed 27 but fouled out of the game with just over four minutes remaining.

Boston are one win away from an 18th NBA title and first since 2008, with the next game on Saturday (01:30 BST).

“We are not relaxing or anything like that,” said Tatum. “You know, not even focusing on winning or whatever.

“However long it takes, that’s our motto. However long it takes, that’s what it’s going to take. Nobody is not trying to relax at all.”

Brown added: “That was a big-time win for us, and I’m proud of how we played.

“They had some momentum, but we kept our poise. We made timely baskets.

“We got some good shots going in, and we found a way to win.”

The Mavericks will have to make history if they are to claim the NBA title as no team has ever recovered to win from 3-0 down to win a play-off series.

“It’s not over till it’s over,” said Doncic. “We’ve just got to believe.

“Like I always say, it’s first to four. We’re going to stay together. We lose together, we win together.”

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