The Boston Celtics and their fans can smell banner no. 18. Boston supporters can start picturing that banner on the rafters, with Jayson Tatum and company now up in the 2024 NBA Finals, 3-0.

History is very much on the side for Boston, as no other team in the league's history has ever returned from such a deficit to win a playoff series. After Boston's 106-99 win Wednesday night in Dallas against the Dallas Mavericks, it's just a question of when the Celtics will win it and not whether they could pull it off. Nevertheless, Game 3 was another wild ride for both teams, and it's certainly got everyone buzzing.

Ok everyone up now lol,” Celtics legend Paul Pierce said on X (formerly Twitter).

Another ex-Celtics player provided an intriguing take on how the refs did in Game 3 in relation to Luka Doncic.

“Dear NBA, It should be illegal to foul out Luka doncic while it's a close game and there are no other nba games on, Evan Turner said. “Y'all Buggin…And how Luka even get 6 fouls if he don't try to guard??”

“Damn,” Sacramento Kings big man and three-time NBA champion JaVale McGee posted.

Meanwhile, three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year winner and former Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard has some bad predictions for the Mavericks, as he posted a broom emoji to signify his belief that the Mavs are done for.

Former NBA big man took a time out from his apparent beef with LeBron James to comment on Celtics star Jaylen Brown's excellence in Game 3: “Jaylen Brown was has been a MF DAWG in the Second Half. Luka has been cost his team in EVERY way.”

Channing Frye posted “April fools!” after the Mavericks made a late-run in regulation, which initially prompted him to say “The f*****g Celtics have Broke the Mavericks.”

Celtics on the verge of ending championship drought

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) and guard Jaylen Brown (7) celebrate after defeating the Dallas Mavericks in game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, the Celtics proved that they are too much for Dallas. Even without center Kristaps Porzingis, who has been valuable to Boston's spread-out attack, the Celtics managed to find ways to drown Dallas with their offense. Tatum and Brown took turns punching the Mavericks in the mouth, as they finished the game with 31 and 30 points, respectively.

Interestingly enough, despite both scoring 30 points or more, Tatum only had a minus-2 in 42 minutes of action while Brown was plus-13 in 31 minutes.

With Tatum and Brown humming, Boston didn't need much from its bench. The Celtics even played a short rotation of eight players, opting to play their starters heavy minutes. Only 38-year-old Al Horford played fewer than 40 minutes (he had 37) among Celtic starters in Game 3.

The Celtics can also thank their huge performance in the third quarter where they outscored the Mavericks, 35-19. That was enough to weather Dallas' fightback in the final quarter where the Mavs made a dramatic last push only to get eventually thwarted by the Celtics.

Dallas got 27 points from Doncic, who fouled out late in the game just as the Mavericks were making a rally. Kyrie Irving paced Dallas with 35 points on 13/28 shooting from the floor, while PJ Washington had nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Now, the Celtics are just a win away from a championship parade, and they could close things out as soon as this coming Friday at American Airlines Center in Dallas.