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WAMC Sports Report 6/18/24: Celtics win 18th NBA championship with 106-88 Game 5 victory over Mavs

Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, center, holds up the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy as he celebrates with the team after they won the NBA basketball championship with a Game 5 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, Monday, June 17, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/AP
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AP
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown, center, holds up the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy as he celebrates with the team after they won the NBA basketball championship with a Game 5 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, Monday, June 17, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

NBA

Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds as the Celtics topped the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 to claim the franchise’s 18th championship, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most in league history. Boston earned its latest title on the 16th anniversary of hoisting its last Larry O’Brien Trophy in 2008. It marks the 13th championship won this century by one of the city’s Big 4 professional sports franchises. Jaylen Brown added 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and was voted the NBA Finals MVP. Jrue Holiday finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Luka Doncic finished with 28 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas, which failed to extend the series after avoiding a sweep with a 38-point win in Game 4.

Dallas needed Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving to be at their best in Game 5 against the Boston Celtics. Instead, the Mavericks’ best players got off to a terrible start, and by the time their shots started falling the Celtics were coasting to a 106-88 victory Monday night and their unprecedented 18th NBA title. Doncic scored 28 points and finished 12 of 25 from the floor, but missed his first six 3-point attempts. He had 12 rebounds but also turned the ball over seven times. He was 2 for 5 from the free throw line, a problem that has bothered him throughout the series. Irving was 3 for 9 from 3-point range and 5 of 16 overall.

NHL

Edmonton is in Florida for game 5 of the NHL Finals against the Panthers tonight at 8. Florida leads the series 3-1.

Paul Maurice made the short trip from his home to the Florida Panthers’ practice facility on Monday morning in a pretty good mood and rightly so. The sunshine was bright, the temperature was warm and his team was one win away from claiming the Stanley Cup. That’s the glass-half-full outlook. The glass-half-empty perspective would be how his Panthers were coming off a seven-goal loss. As such, when asked if he was comfortable with a 3-1 series lead over the Edmonton Oilers in this title series, Maurice quickly explained that that simply doesn’t exist at this time of year. Game 5 is 8 tonight in Florida.

WNBA

Kayla McBride scored 19 points, Natisha Hiedeman added 17 off the bench and the Minnesota Lynx beat the short-handed Dallas Wings 90-78 on Monday night. Minnesota (11-3) won its fourth straight game, while Dallas (3-10) lost its eighth in a row. Minnesota pulled away early in the fourth quarter by making its first five shots to take a 76-65 lead after an 8-0 run. Hiedeman’s fast-break layup, following Alanna Smith’s block, extended Minnesota’s lead an 84-74 lead. Dallas star Arike Ogunbowale did not play due to a sore Achilles. Ogunbowale, averaging a team-high 24.9 points, led Dallas in scoring each of the opening 11 games of the season before being held to a season-low 11 on Saturday against Connecticut.

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO and President Steve Hill said he will interview Tuesday with the lead investigator who is examining whether WNBA rules were broken when sponsorship deals were offered last month to Las Vegas Aces players. Hill announced to the players May 18 they would each receive a $100,000 sponsorship each of the next two years from the LVCVA. The WNBA hired law firm Kobre & Kim to investigate whether the league’s salary-cap rules were circumvented. Founding partner Steven Kobre heads the investigation.

MLB

DJ Stewart hit a three-run homer and Brandon Nimmo also went deep around a bunch of singles as the New York Mets extended their winning streak to six games with a 14-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. The Mets had 22 hits, 17 of those singles. Leadoff batter Francisco Lindor went 4 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs — all in the first five innings. Pete Alonso had three singles, two of those driving in runs. Nimmo’s two-run shot with nobody out in the fourth made it 9-2. He also had a pair of RBI singles. Texas has lost four in a row and 22 of 33 overall.

Tyler O’Neill hit two of Boston’s four home runs, fellow Canadian Nick Pivetta pitched seven innings and the Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 for their sixth win in eight games. One day after setting a team record with nine stolen bases, the Red Sox slugged their way to victory by going deep four times off Yusei Kikuchi, matching his career worst. Boston didn’t steal any bases, but Romy Gonzalez was caught stealing twice. Pivetta allowed three runs and nine hits. He walked one and struck out four. Boston’s first four hits were all solo homers.

Kyle Schwarber homered twice, Trea Turner had two hits in his return to the lineup and the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres 9-2. Alec Bohm added a three-run homer and two singles, and Rafael Marchán had four hits and an RBI for Philadelphia, which pounded out 18 hits — seven for extra bases. The NL East leaders were playing at home for the first time since June 5 after an eight-game, three-city, intercontinental road trip that included two games in London against the Mets.

Rookie Paul Skenes pitched one-run ball over six innings to win his fourth straight decision and lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 on Monday night. Skenes (4-0) allowed six hits in six innings with seven strikeouts and one walk, lowering his ERA to 2.29. The 22-year-old right-hander has 53 strikeouts and seven walks in 39 1/3 innings, and the Pirates are 6-1 in his starts. David Bednar pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 15th save in 18 chances. He has converted 14 in a row after blowing three of his first four.

Ozzie Albies hit a go-ahead home run with two outs in the eighth and the Atlanta Braves overcame a strong start by Detroit right-hander Reese Olson to beat the Tigers 2-1. Albies hit his fifth homer 407 feet, high into the right field seats, off right-hander Shelby Miller. Atlanta right-hander Daysbel Hernández, who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game, pitched a scoreless eighth. Joe Jiménez recorded the final three outs for his first save. Olson threw six scoreless innings in a successful return to his home state, leaving with a 1-0 lead.

Zach Plesac pitched six innings of four-hit ball in his Angels debut and his first major league start in nearly 14 months, and Zach Neto hit a two-run homer in Los Angeles’ 5-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Luis Guillorme had an RBI triple during the Angels’ three-run third, which was abetted by two Brewers defensive misplays. Los Angeles-area natives Jake Bauers and Brice Turang homered for the NL Central-leading Brewers in the opener of a seven-game California trip. Carlos Rodriguez yielded five runs on five hits while pitching into the fifth inning of his second career start for Milwaukee.

Rookie Masyn Winn hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning, Dylan Carlson threw out the potential tying run at the plate in the bottom half and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins 7-6 on Monday night to move over .500 for the first time since early April. St. Louis won for the fifth time in six games and has a winning record for the first time since the Cardinals were 5-4 after defeating the Marlins on April 6. NL-worst Miami lost its sixth straight and dropped to 2-12 in June.

Thairo Estrada hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 7-6 victory over the Cubs on a steamy Monday night. Heliot Ramos and Patrick Bailey also homered for the Giants, who won their second straight after erasing a 6-3 deficit in the final two innings. Ian Happ and Michael Busch had home runs for the Cubs, who’ve dropped four of their last five. The Giants got a run back in the eighth on Bailey’s solo shot off reliever Mark Leiter Jr., then took the lead for good off Héctor Neris (6-2) in the ninth when Estrada sent the first pitch he saw into the left-field bleachers. With one out, Jorge Soler reached on catcher’s interference. Mike Yastrzemski followed with a walk before Estrada’s homer.

Shohei Ohtani had three hits, James Paxton pitched seven smooth innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Colorado Rockies 9-5 in the opener of a four-game series between the top and bottom teams in the NL West. Miguel Rojas and Jason Heyward also had three hits apiece for the first-place Dodgers, who finished with 14. Freddie Freeman walked five times, one shy of a major league record. Ohtani doubled twice and has seven hits in his last 15 at-bats. Paxton permitted just two hits in his longest outing of the season. He had a season-high eight strikeouts and walked only one.

Meanwhile, the Yankees were off last night and will play the first of a three-game home series against the Orioles at 7:05 tonight.

Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts has gone on the injured list for the first time this season with a broken left hand. The 2018 AL MVP is expected to miss roughly six to eight weeks, manager Dave Roberts told reporters. The 31-year-old shortstop was drilled on the hand by a 97.9 mph fastball from reliever Dan Altavilla in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 3-0 win over the Kansas City Royals. Betts, a seven-time All-Star, was hitting .304 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs in 72 games. The Dodgers recalled outfielder Miguel Vargas for his second stint this season. He hit .250 with three doubles, one homer and four RBIs in eight games.

NFL

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated during testimony in federal court Monday that the league’s “Sunday Ticket” package, the subject of a class-action lawsuit, is a premium product while also defending the league’s broadcast model. Goodell was called as a witness by the NFL as the trial for the lawsuit filed by “Sunday Ticket” subscribers entered its third week. The class-action covers 2.4 million residential subscribers and 48,000 businesses who paid for the package from 2011 through 2022. The lawsuit claims the league broke antitrust laws by selling its package of out-of-market Sunday afternoon games at an inflated price. The subscribers also say the league restricted competition by offering “Sunday Ticket” only on a satellite provider.       

Kansas lawmakers hoping to lure the Kansas City Chiefs from Missouri are narrowing their proposal for encouraging the Super Bowl champions to build a new stadium and linking the proposal to a plan for broad tax cuts. Those moves are designed to win over skeptical colleagues. The Legislature expected to consider the stadium proposal during a special session set to convene Tuesday. The measure would allow the state to issue bonds to help the Chiefs and Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals finance new stadiums in Kansas. Supporters backed away from allowing the bonds to cover all stadium construction costs, and they're promising that tax cuts are a larger priority.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Former LSU coach Les Miles is suing the university over its decision to vacate 37 of his teams' victories between 2012 and 2015. The lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Baton Rouge alleges that LSU never gave Miles a chance to be heard before altering his career record in a way that disqualified him from consideration for the College Football Hall of Fame. The decision in June 2023 to vacate the victories stemmed from an NCAA ruling that former Tigers offensive lineman Vadal Alexander had received financial benefits that violated NCAA rules at the time he played. LSU said it could not comment on pending litigation. Miles won a national championship at LSU in 2007.

SOCCER

Kylian Mbappé suffered a facial injury in France’s 1-0 win against Austria at the European Championship. France coach Didier Deschamps said after that he did not know if the World Cup winning striker would be ruled out of the tournament as a result of his aerial collision with Austria’s Kevin Danso at Dusseldorf Arena. Mbappé was in obvious pain, lying curled on the field with his nose bloodied and swollen. Austria goalkeeper Patrick Pentz signaled for urgent medical assistance.

NASCAR

Roger Penske has been under fire perhaps never seen before in his 87 years. He has rebounded with a truly remarkable display of strength and determination. His IndyCar team in April was found to have an illegal advantage over the rest of the field in a cheating scandal while rival team owners were openly complaining about Penske’s leadership as owner of the IndyCar Series. His NASCAR team was struggling. Since then, Team Penske has seven victories across three series, showing the depth and quality of his organization.

© 2024 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A 2022 Siena College graduate, Alexander began his journalism career as a sports writer for Siena College's student paper The Promethean, and as a host for Siena's school radio station, WVCR-FM "The Saint." A Cubs fan, Alexander hosts the morning Sports Report in addition to producing Morning Edition. You can hear the sports reports over-the-air at 6:19 and 7:19 AM, and online on WAMC.org. He also speaks Spanish as a second language. To reach him, email ababbie@wamc.org, or call (518)-465-5233 x 190. You can also find him on Twitter/X: @ABabbieWAMC.