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Kristaps Porzingis dominates as Celtics roll to Game 1 victory in NBA Finals

Boston Celtics defeat Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals Game 1
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Jun 07, 2024

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Jun 07, 2024

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a.patton@tegna.com

The Boston Celtics routed the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 after a dominant performance from Kristaps Porzingis.

After a nearly weeklong wait, the first game of the 2024 NBA Finals was over almost as soon as it began. The Boston Celtics routed the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday, 107-89, thanks to an outstanding performance from veteran big man Kristaps Porzingis off the bench.

Porzingis, who was inactive the previous 38 days while rehabbing a calf injury, dropped 11 points and had three blocked shots in his first seven minutes of action on Thursday, kickstarting Boston’s dominant performance.

[It was] huge,” Locked On Celtics host John Karalis said to Peter Bukowski on Locked On Sports Today postgame. “He just comes in and starts doing the same stuff that he’s been doing…It was a back and forth game, but once Porzingis came in it broke wide open.”

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Porzingis finished with 20 points in 21 minutes, shooting 8-13 from the field and 2-4 from three. His energy and mismatch ability against his former team was the separator in this one, especially on defense.

Dallas really struggled to generate any offense on Thursday, shooting under 42% from the floor and under 26% from three. Luka Doncic finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds, but shot 12-26 from the field and 4-12 from three while posting just one assist and four turnovers.

[Luka] can score on anybody on this Celtics team, and I think that’s something that you take away from this,” Nick Angstadt of Locked On Mavericks said postgame. “But one assist. They took away the thing they wanted to take away, the extra passes, the other guys making shots, the lobs at the rim were completely shut off in this game.”

Lively and Daniel Gafford combined for just 10 points on 4-4 shooting in this game, effectively wiped out of the offense by Boston’s bigs. Kyrie Irving will likely find his shot in future games, but if Boston can stop Dallas’ bigs from contributing on offense it might be a short series after all.

Game 2 is set for Sunday, June 9 at 8:00 PM ET in Boston.

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