Jayson Tatum and Jrue Holiday of the Boston Celtics high five during the Celtics victory over Dallas in game two of the NBA Finals

New York (AFP) - The Boston Celtics, fueled by 26 points from Jrue Holiday, thwarted a desperate Dallas rally in the final minutes to beat the Mavericks 105-98 on Sunday and take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

On a night when early struggles from three-point range bedevilled the Celtics, their all-around effort on both ends of the floor saw them notch a second straight win at home to head to Dallas for game three on Wednesday with a commanding lead.

Jaylen Brown scored 21 points and Jayson Tatum added 18 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists, Holiday crediting Tatum for keeping the Celtics offense firing.

“I would say a lot of it was JT,” Holiday said.

“They were double-teaming him and he was making the right play. The way that he played tonight, the way that he led us, getting into the paint, making plays, finding me wide open – it was all about him,” Holiday added.

Hurting Mavericks star Luka Doncic – now nursing a chest contusion in addition to the right knee sprain and sore left ankle that have troubled him throughout the playoffs – delivered a triple-double of 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

But he didn’t get enough help from his supporting cast.

P.J. Washington scored 17 points and eight-time All-Star Kyrie Irving had 16 – connecting on seven of 18 shots and missing all three of his three-point attempts.

The Mavericks, trailing by 14 with less than four minutes remaining, made a final push and sliced the deficit to five with 1:15 to play, Doncic driving for a layup and converting the free-throw when he was fouled.

Boston’s Derrick White came up with a monster block on Washington and Brown made a layup as the Celtics closed it out.