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Celtics Crush Mavericks in Game 1 of NBA Finals, Porzingis Shines in Return

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TeamPointsFG%3PT%FT%RebAstBlk
Celtics10745.50%41.20%78.60%47239
Mavericks8937.00%23.10%78.30%3892

FG%: Field Goal Percentage

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3PT%: Three-Point Percentage

FT%: Free Throw Percentage

Reb: Rebounds

Ast: Assists

Blk: Blocks

The Boston Celtics wasted no time making a statement in the 2024 NBA Finals, dismantling the Dallas Mavericks 107-89 in a dominant Game 1 victory at TD Garden on Thursday night.

Fueled by a sensational return performance from Kristaps Porzingis, the Celtics overpowered the Mavericks from the opening tip. Porzingis, who missed the last ten games with a calf injury, erupted for 20 points and 6 rebounds in just 21 minutes off the bench. His early scoring flurry ignited a 23-5 run that propelled Boston to a commanding lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Porzingis Powers Celtics to Historic Start

Porzingis’ impact was immediate. After coming off the bench for only the second time in his career, he asserted his presence with a thunderous dunk and a pair of buckets in the paint, forcing a quick Dallas timeout. He followed that up with a deep three-pointer and a momentum-shifting block, sparking another Celtics surge. This offensive explosion propelled Boston to a staggering 17-point lead after the first quarter, marking the largest first-quarter lead in NBA Finals history.

Celtics Maintain Control

The Celtics continued their offensive onslaught in the second quarter, extending their lead to 21 points by halftime.  Porzingis remained a focal point, shooting a blistering 7-of-9 from the field in the first half. Boston’s sharpshooting was on display as well, connecting on 11 three-pointers in the first 24 minutes, compared to just 3 for Dallas.

Mavericks Show Signs of Life

Despite the daunting deficit, the Mavericks chipped away at Boston’s lead in the third quarter. Key baskets from Kyrie Irving and a clutch three from Luka Doncic capped a 20-6 run that momentarily trimmed the lead to eight points.

Celtics Close the Door

Boston quickly regrouped, stifling the Dallas momentum with a decisive 14-2 run to close out the third quarter and restore a comfortable 20-point advantage. The Celtics cruised through the fourth quarter, securing a convincing 18-point victory.

Key Stats and Leaders

  • Porzingis: 20 points, 6 rebounds (21 minutes)
  • Brown: 22 points, 7-of-12 shooting
  • Tatum: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists (6 turnovers)
  • Doncic: 30 points, 10 rebounds (4-of-12 from three)
  • Washington: 14 points, 8 rebounds
  • Irving: 12 points

FIND THE HIGHLIGHTS ON https://stories.nba.com

The Celtics dominated statistically across the board, recording 23 assists compared to Dallas’ meager nine. Additionally, Boston swatted away nine Mavericks shots while Dallas managed just two blocks.

While it’s just one game, the Celtics have sent a resounding message. Their stifling defense and balanced scoring attack, coupled with Porzingis’ impactful return, make them a formidable championship contender. The Mavericks face an uphill battle, needing to find a way to generate more offense and contain Boston’s potent attack. Game 2 on Sunday is crucial for Dallas to avoid falling into a 0-2 hole before the series shifts to their home court.

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