Starting 5 Daily Newsletter

Starting 5, June 13: Boston one win away; Remembering Jerry West

Brown, Tatum lead Boston to a 3-0 edge in NBA Finals. Plus, a look at the life and legacy of NBA legend Jerry West.

Starting 5

When you put your team one win away from an 18th Larry O’Brien Trophy …


What’s inside today’s edition? 

Jays Lead The Way: Tatum and Brown combined for 61 points in Boston’s Game 3 win

Remembering Jerry West: Celebrating the life and legacy of Mr. Clutch

Two Quarters: Boston showed its greatness in the 3rd, while Dallas showed its grit in the 4th

All-Access: Go behind-the-scenes from Game 3 with our on-the-ground correspondents

Game 3 Frames: Some of our favorite photos from Wednesday in Dallas


What to watch today …

The NBA App’s live coverage from Dallas begins at 2:30 ET as the Celtics and Mavs meet the media ahead of Friday’s Game 4.

Remembering Jerry West: Starting at 6 ET, the NBA App looks back at the life and career of Mr. Clutch with a live stream, including a pair of his marquee performances: Game 5 of the 1972 Finals and the 1972 All-Star Game.

Game 4 Countdown: Get hype for Mavs-Celtics on Friday (8:30 ET) with an exclusive stream of iconic Game 4s, featuring some of the game’s all-time biggest names — starting at 10 ET.


Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combine for 61 points to help put Boston just 1 victory from its 18th NBA championship.

On a day when the NBA family celebrated a man synonymous with the word ‘Clutch,’ Game 3 gave us a 4th Q and crunch time for the ages.

The Mavericks had cut a 21-point deficit to two with 1:20 remaining in the 4th quarter, and the American Airlines Center was rocking — on the brink of witnessing one of the largest comebacks in Finals history.

But Jaylen Brown deflated the crowd with a midrange jumper to put Boston back up four, and 47 seconds later, Jayson Tatum knocked down a pair of free throws to increase the lead to eight, ultimately sealing a 106-99 Celtics win. | Recap

The Jays’ W: Brown (30 pts, 8 reb, 8 ast) and Tatum (31 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast) didn’t just lead Boston to a franchise record-extending 10th straight Playoff win, leaving the Cs one victory shy of an unprecedented 18th NBA title, they also made history as a duo.

  • Elite Company: Brown and Tatum are just the second Celtics duo to each score 30+ points in a Finals game, joining John Havlicek and Bailey Howell (1968)
  • Finals First: The Jays are the first Celtics duo to each post at least 30/5/5 in a Finals game
  • Legendary Status: The Jays now have the most 25+ point games as a Celtics duo in Playoff history, surpassing Larry Bird and Kevin McHale (17)

In the first half, Tatum had the hot hand, eclipsing his series-high of 18 points with 20 in the first 24 minutes, which helped weather an early Dallas run and leave Boston down 51-50 at the break.

  • JT & The No. 3: Tatum is averaging 6.9 more points with a 7.2% increase in 3-point percentage in Game 3s versus all other games this postseason
  • Tatum’s Turnaround: After shooting 31.5% (12-38) in Games 1 and 2, Tatum shot 46.7% (7-15) in the first half to keep pace with Kyrie Irving, who also had 20 points at intermission

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown each turn in a 30-5-5 performance during a pivotal Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals in Dallas.

In the second half, Brown got to work. Brown dropped 15 in the 3rd quarter to help build a 91-70 lead before staving off a late Dallas comeback with two buckets in the final 3:08 while the Mavs were within one possession.

  • The Jays’ 3rd: Brown and Tatum outscored Dallas alone in the 3rd quarter, 22-19
  • JB Joins Havlicek: Brown is the second Celtic with 30+ pts, 8+ reb and 8+ ast in a Finals game, joining John Havlicek (1968)
  • 🗣️ Brown: “This team has trusted me, especially in these Playoffs in those moments to be who I am, and I feel like I’ve been able to just deliver.”


A defining figure in the NBA, Jerry West left a monumental legacy as a player, executive and stalwart in the game.

“Jerry West was a basketball genius and a defining figure in our league for more than 60 years.  He distinguished himself not only as an NBA champion and an All-Star in all 14 of his playing seasons, but also as a consummate competitor who embraced the biggest moments.” – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

When news arrived on Wednesday morning that basketball icon and Hall of Famer Jerry West – a 14x All-Star guard with the Lakers, 12x All-NBA player, 2x Executive of the Year and 9x NBA champion who helped shape the league – had passed away at the age of 86, the outpouring started right away.

  • Commissioner Adam Silver: “I valued my friendship with Jerry and the knowledge he shared with me over many years about basketball and life.”
  • James Worthy: “He meant so much to so many people & shaped my career by drafting me #1 in 1982 & keeping me a Laker my entire career.”
  • Magic Johnson: “Beyond his basketball accolades as a basketball player and NBA executive, Jerry West was a great man, a leader of men, fiercely loved his family and friends, and despite holding jobs with other franchises, he was a Lakers fan for life.”
  • Julius Erving: “May my all time first team shooting guard rest in peace knowing he paved the way for defining greatness on the hardwood, excellence in the front office and living life his way.”
  • Michael Jordan: “He was truly a friend and mentor — like an older brother to me. I valued his friendship and knowledge. I always wished I could have played against him as a competitor, but the more I came to know him, I wish I had been his teammate.”
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “He was my coach, and my advisor, but mostly he was my friend. Today, a part of the continent has broken off and we are all left a little smaller.”

One of the most accomplished, influential and beloved figures in the history of the game, ‘Mr. Clutch’ made the All-Star Game every season of his career (each of them with the Lakers), won Finals MVP in 1969 despite Los Angeles losing the series and led the team to an NBA title in 1972 before winning eight more as an executive.

In October, West will be enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor – honoring his work as an executive – becoming the first person ever inducted as both a player and a contributor.

  • Lakers: Drafted Magic Johnson, James Worthy and A.C. Green during the Showtime-era. Acquired Shaq and Kobe Bryant, and hired Phil Jackson of the 2000s 3-peat team
  • Warriors: Drafted Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, and signed Kevin Durant
  • Clippers: Drafted Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and influenced the signing of Kawhi Leonard and acquisition of Paul George

From His Family: We are overwhelmed by the love, and support, and appreciation we have received from friends, colleagues, and basketball fans around the world. We want to thank you, basketball fans everywhere, for supporting him.  You fueled his burning desire to win –

He did it for you.


Back home and trailing 2-0, the Mavs exploded out of the gates – building a 13-point lead in the 1st quarter – before Boston recovered to make it a one-point game after one quarter (31-30) and one half (51-50).

The 3rd quarter began with the teams trading the lead on the period’s first nine possessions. What followed was a prime example of what helped Boston win a league-high 64 games this season.

  • First Run: In 3:11 of game time, the Cs went on a 13-2 run to build a 10-point lead. And they played all the hits. Five buckets, four of them assisted, three of them 3s. Plus, a steal and block from their All-Defensive Team backcourt
  • Closing Run: After a pair of Luka Doncic layups cut the lead to six, Boston outscored Dallas 14-5 with Brown leading the charge (two FTs, a step-back jumper, an exclamation point dunk) … and a 3 by reserve Xavier Tillman eliciting this reaction:

  • Been Here Before: This was Boston’s 35th time leading by 15+ points after three quarters – 11 more than any other team in the 2023-24 regular season and Playoffs
  • Still Going: The Celtics added two 3s in the first minute of the 4th to take a 21-point lead and force a Mavs timeout with the Dallas crowd in stunned silence

If anyone expected the Mavs to roll over and accept defeat, they haven’t been paying close enough attention to Dallas’ road to the Finals.

  • Last Two Rounds: Dallas overcame a 17-point deficit in its series-clinching win over OKC in the West Semis. Dallas overcame an 18-point deficit in Game 2 of the West Finals against Minnesota
  • First Push: Dallas emerged from that timeout by going on a 10-0 run in three minutes – a P.J. Washington 3, a Luka layup, a Dereck Lively II tip shot and a Josh Green 3 off this incredible Luka pass

  • Tables Turned: Now it was Boston’s turn to use a timeout to stop a run. It didn’t work. More P.J. (another 3 and FTs) and more Kyrie (a floater and 3 FTs) extended the run to 20-2 and made it a three-point game with 6:11 left
  • Record Pace: A comeback would have made this the largest in the 4th Q of a Finals game since 1971 … by 6 points
  • Rally Falls Short: After Luka fouled out with 4:12 left, Kyrie hit a pull-up to make it a one-point game, but Dallas never regained the lead.
  • A Brown putback and a White 3 pushed the lead back to six. A pair of Lively dunks cut the lead to two with 80 seconds left, but Brown hit a clutch contested pull-up to keep the Cs in control

Boston flexed its muscles in the 3rd, but Dallas showed its fight and grit in the 4th, before the Cs closed it with their resiliency to move one win from the title.


The first Finals game in Dallas in 13 years did not disappoint, and Jazz rookie Keyonte George witnessed it firsthand as an NBA Correspondent before discussing Game 3 with us in an exclusive interview.

  • 🗣️ Keyonte On The Finals Environment: “The atmosphere was great – got loud, got rowdy, everybody stood up … when they made that big run, I think it was somewhat because of the fans bringing that energy.”
  • 🗣️ On Which Celtic Impressed Him: “The whole league knows what [Tatum] is capable of … And for him to do what it takes to win and then come out here in Game 3 – momentum-changer. That’s impressive to see.”
  • 🗣️ Best Part Of Being A Correspondent: “I’m a basketball fanatic. To be at a Finals game on a stage like this – this is everything I could ask for. Now, I gotta get here with my team.”

Best Game 3 Moments: Enter American Airlines Center and relive Game 3 through Keyonte, co-Correspondent and Content Creator Kris London and our exclusive All-Access Story.