The Boston Celtics looked very much poised to win banner number 18, as entering Friday night, they have looked unstoppable in the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics have simply been a matchup nightmare for the Mavs to deal with, and it looked like it was going to be near-impossible for the Mavs to come up with something to prevent Boston from going all the way. However, things quickly went downhill for the Celtics as they suffered an ugly 122-84 loss in Game 4 to send the series back to Beantown.

The Celtics never really got much going on the night, with Luka Doncic and the Mavericks taking Game 4 by the scruff of its neck. From the get-go, they played with an energy that the Celtics just weren't able to match, and it snowballed from there. Boston was down by 26 at the half with Doncic and Irving combining to outscore the Celtics by themselves through the first 24 minutes of the game (36-35), and they simply weren't able to recover en route to the third-worst loss in NBA Finals history in terms of final margin, per StatMuse.

Given how the first three games have gone, the Celtics fans have talked their talk. They were calling for the brooms as it appeared as though their beloved team would handily take care of the Mavericks in Game 4 like they did for most of the first three games. But Mavericks fans could not have been happier to see Celtics fans get knocked down a peg with a historic defeat that only trails the 1998 Chicago Bulls' 42-point demolition of the Utah Jazz and the 2008 Celtics' blowout 38-point Game 7 win over the Los Angeles Lakers for the largest losing margin.

“I love that there were Celtics fans that paid a s**t load of money to come to Dallas and buy a ticket to a Finals game just to watch their team get blown out. Just truly amazing.” – @ZaxCal

“My Timeline has been surprisingly absent of #Celtics fans tonight. Oh well 🙄.” – @AjayxeMem

“Because the vast majority of Celtics fans are the biggest fair-weather cry babies on the planet. Case in point, one poster said all he was looking for was consistency from this team. Conveniently leaving out the fact this is the first game they've lost in the last 10 lol.” – @ToddSople

Meanwhile, Mavericks fans as well as others poked fun at the Celtics fan who resorted to violence in frustration over his team's ugly performance in Game 4. It's unclear what happened that spurred this violent, but it certainly did not look good.

“I swear this is why some of the few good Celtics fans can’t have good things 🤣.” – @_giovo

“Celtics fans give me the ick fr 🤢.” – @leoansv

“Dude that was getting his a** beat in the beginning randomly attacking the black guy at the 37 second mark tells me everything I need to know about Celtics fans.” – @PlayoffBoundNYK

“So Celtics fans also hate each other 🤣.” – @themarkmolina

Whatever the case may be, there is no reason for Celtics fans to completely lose the plot. They are still in control of the series, and they will have three more attempts at winning the championship, at minimum, beginning on Monday night. Boston better figure it out quickly, however, lest they give the Mavericks some invitation to become the first team to come back from a 3-0 series deficit in the entire history of the league.

Celtics did not match the Mavericks' desperation

When a team's back is against the wall, this usually brings out an all hands on deck, leave it all on the line approach that is difficult for the team in control of the series to match. This is exactly what happened in Game 4 of the 2024 NBA Finals. The Mavericks simply played with more energy, more grit, and more will to win from the opening tip, while the Celtics came out a bit flat. By the time the first half ended, the game looked virtually over.

In the third quarter, the Mavericks continued to outhustle and outwork the Celtics. It got so bad that Joe Mazzulla pulled his starters at the 3:18 mark of the third and called it a night.

Of course, the odds are still in the Celtics' favor. They are up 3-1 on the series, and there has only been one 3-1 comeback in the history of the NBA Finals in the league's 78 years of existence. Thus, it's not like the Celtics need to sound the alarm bells. But still, they will want to finish off the job in Game 5 instead of letting another closeout opportunity slip away to send the series back to Dallas in what would be a dangerous Game 6 scenario.