The Boston Celtics secure a commanding 107-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals

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Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t sure how his body would react to playing in the NBA Finals after being out for over a month with a calf injury. But it turned out, he was just fine.

Jaylen Brown scored 22 points, Porzingis made a big impact coming off the bench with 20 points, and the Boston Celtics beat the Dallas Mavericks 107-89 in Game 1.

Derrick White also contributed with 15 points for Boston, which had a huge 29-point lead in the first half and made 16 3-pointers, setting a strong tone for their pursuit of an 18th NBA title.

Porzingis, who hadn’t played since April 29 due to injury, grabbed six rebounds and blocked three shots in 21 minutes.

“I proved to myself tonight that I’m pretty good,” Porzingis said. “I’m not perfect, but I can play like this and contribute to this team.”

Even though Porzingis was the last Celtics player to start warming up before the game, the energy from the home crowd boosted him when he stepped onto the court.

“I was pumped up,” Porzingis said. Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla wasn’t worried about Porzingis’ lack of playing time affecting his performance.

Kyrie Irving drives forward with the ball

“That’s the KP that helped us reach where we are today,” Mazzulla said. “No matter how long he’s been out, he’s going to make plays.”

All-Star Jayson Tatum scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Six Celtics players got more than 10 points in the game. They will play Game 2 on Sunday at home.

“It’s a big deal to be back here,” said Tatum. “But two years ago, we won the first game and still lost the series. We have a lot of work left.”

Dallas reduced the lead to eight points in the third quarter, but Boston responded with a 14-0 run to widen the gap again. “That’s when the game really started,” said Brown.

Luka Doncic scored 30 points for Dallas. P.J. Washington got 14 points and eight rebounds. But beyond that, Dallas struggled to score consistently, only getting nine assists on 35 field goals. They didn’t score more than 25 points in any quarter.

Doncic said losing this game wouldn’t affect the team’s morale, as they lost the first game in three out of four series this postseason.

“It’s about winning four games,” Doncic said. “We need to focus on the next game.” Former Celtic Kyrie Irving had a tough game, scoring only 12 points. He faced loud boos when he was introduced and whenever he touched the ball during the game.

This reaction came after Irving had conflicts with Boston fans and was fined for making an offensive gesture during a playoff game at TD Garden in 2022.

Jayson Tatum drives past Dallas defense in the NBA finals

“I thought it would be louder,” Irving said. “I’m expecting the same in Game 2. The crowd wants to distract me, but I’ve lost here before. I don’t want it to become a habit.”

The Celtics, aiming for their first championship since 2008, didn’t seem affected by their 10-day break after beating the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals.

They played with high energy, passing the ball well and finding open shooters for 3-point shots. They also attacked the inside of the Dallas defense, scoring several dunks.

Apart from Doncic, who made 12 of 26 shots, Dallas struggled early to find their rhythm offensively. Dallas was ahead by one point in the middle of the first quarter. But then the Celtics scored 44 points while holding Dallas to just 16, making it 58-29 in the second quarter.

Dallas fought back in the next 12 minutes, going on a 35-14 run, with Doncic scoring 15 points, to narrow Boston’s lead to 72-64. However, the Celtics were back up 86-66 by the end of the third quarter.

Dallas only had five assists in the first three quarters, the lowest by any NBA team in the last three seasons. “We need to pass the ball more,” said Dallas coach Jason Kidd. “We held onto it too much.”

Porzingis returned after missing 10 games, coming off the bench in the first quarter instead of starting. Other than a white sleeve on his right leg, it was hard to tell he had been injured.


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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