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NBA: Brown guides Celtics to opening win while Doncic and Mavs fall short


Jaylen Brown starred for the Boston Celtics as the Eastern Conference top seeds began their semi-final clash with a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Celtics cruised to a 120-95 victory on the back of 32 points from Brown, 18 three-pointers and a solid defensive performance.

Brown told the NBA website: “I had it rolling. You just want to come out and make the right plays, make the right reads, that’s all it is. Playing through your teammates and playing with confidence.”

Derrick White also poured in seven three pointers in his personal haul of 25 points as the C’s enjoyed a game one win short of jeopardy as they held a double-digit lead throughout the third and fourth quarters.

White’s 28 threes across the last six games are the most in Celtics play-off history.

Donovan Mitchell top-scored for the Cavaliers with 33 points including four from beyond the arc, while Evan Mobley added 17 on 8-12 shooting with 13 rebound.

Game two of the best-of-seven series is back at the Garden on Thursday night.

In the opening game of the second Western Conference semi-final Shai Gilgeous-Alexander registered 29 points as Oklahoma City Thunder secured a 117-95 home win over the Dallas Mavericks.

On an off-night for MVP finalist Luka Doncic, which saw him score 19 points on six-for-19 shooting, with five turnovers, Gilgeous-Alexander also hauled in nine rebounds and dished out nine assists as the Thunder, who have an average age of just 23, became the youngest team in history to win an NBA play-off semi-final.

Kyrie Irving scored 20 points as the Mavs clung on in the second half after going into the break down by nine, however Thunder bossed the final period to land the first blow in the best of seven series.

Game two takes place back in Oklahoma City on Thursday night.

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