Porzingris shines in return as Celtics pull away for Game 1 win over Mavericks

The Boston Celtics kicked off the 2024 NBA Finals with an impressive 107-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at TD Garden, taking a 1-0 series lead.

Jaylen Brown led the way for the Celtics with 22 points, while Kristaps Porzingis made a strong return from injury, contributing 20 points and six rebounds off the bench after being sidelined since April 29.

Despite Luka Doncic’s stellar 30-point, 10-rebound performance in his NBA Finals debut, the Mavericks struggled to keep up with Boston throughout the game.

Boston dominated early on, building a commanding 29-point lead in the first half, with Porzingis making a significant impact before halftime. Although Dallas managed to trim the deficit to single digits in the third quarter, a decisive 14-0 run by the Celtics sealed the victory.

The Mavericks struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just seven 3-pointers and recording a mere nine assists as a team. Kyrie Irving had a tough night, shooting 6 for 19 from the field and missing all five of his 3-point attempts. In contrast, Doncic’s impressive performance made him the first player since Tim Duncan in 1999 to achieve at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in his NBA Finals debut.

With six Celtics players scoring in double figures, including Jayson Tatum’s 15 points and 10 rebounds, Boston improved their Game 1 record in NBA Finals to 16-7 in franchise history.

Despite the Game 1 loss, the Mavericks are no strangers to falling behind early in a series, as Doncic now holds a 2-6 record in career Game 1s.

Having dropped the series openers against the Clippers and Thunder in these playoffs, Dallas will look to bounce back in Game 2 on Sunday night in Boston.

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