2024 NBA Finals: Celtics Dominate Mavericks in Game 1

The 2024 NBA Finals kicked off with an electrifying performance by the Boston Celtics, who secured a decisive 107-89 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. This win sets the tone for what promises to be an exciting series. The Celtics’ triumph was significantly bolstered by the return of Kristaps Porziņģis, whose stellar play was instrumental in their success.

Porziņģis Returns with a Bang

Kristaps Porziņģis made a triumphant return after missing ten games due to a calf injury sustained in the opening round against the Miami Heat. Coming off the bench for just the second time in his career, Porziņģis wasted no time making an impact. He scored eight points early in the first quarter, including a spectacular dunk and a key basket, pushing the Celtics to a double-digit lead and forcing an early timeout for the Mavericks.

Watch the Highlights of Porziņģis’ Return

Porziņģis continued his dominance post-timeout with a deep 3-pointer followed by a crucial block, setting up another three for Boston. This 23-5 run established a 17-point lead, the largest in a Game 1 of the NBA Finals history after the first quarter.

Celtics Build an Unstoppable Lead

The Celtics maintained their momentum into the second quarter, extending their lead to a staggering 29 points at one stage. They headed into halftime with a comfortable 21-point lead. Boston’s prolific first half saw them make 11 three-pointers, with Porziņģis contributing 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Meanwhile, the Mavericks struggled from beyond the arc, managing only 3-of-13 in the first half.

Mavericks Fight Back, Celtics Hold Firm

Despite the early setback, the Mavericks launched a comeback in the third quarter. Led by Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving, Dallas managed to cut the deficit to just eight points, thanks to a 20-6 run. Dončić’s clutch 3-pointer capped the run, making it a competitive game once more.

Dončić Leads Mavericks’ Comeback Attempt

However, the Celtics quickly responded with a 14-2 run, restoring a 20-point lead and securing the game. Porziņģis finished with 20 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes, supported by Jaylen Brown’s 22 points and Jayson Tatum’s 16 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists. Boston also set an NBA Finals record with seven players hitting multiple shots from behind the arc.

Key Performances and Stats

  • Kristaps Porziņģis: 20 points, 6 rebounds, 21 minutes
  • Jaylen Brown: 22 points, 7-of-12 shooting
  • Jayson Tatum: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists (6 turnovers)

For the Mavericks, Luka Dončić led with 30 points and 10 rebounds but struggled from three-point range, shooting just 4-of-12. P.J. Washington added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Kyrie Irving finished with 12 points. Dallas’ offense was uncharacteristically subdued, recording only nine assists compared to Boston’s 23.

Looking Ahead to Game 2

The Celtics’ dominant Game 1 performance has set the stage for a potentially one-sided series if the Mavericks cannot regroup quickly. Sunday’s Game 2 is crucial for Dallas as they look to avoid falling into a deeper hole before the series shifts to Texas. With Dončić and Irving at the helm, the Mavericks remain a formidable opponent, but they must elevate their play to compete with a Celtics team poised for their 18th championship.

For more on the 2024 NBA Finals and game highlights, visit NBA.com.

Mohammed Rizwan

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