June 24, 2024

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The Celtics lead the Mavs 2-0 in the NBA Finals.  Porzingis provides injury update

The Celtics lead the Mavs 2-0 in the NBA Finals. Porzingis provides injury update

BOSTON — Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis said he believes the plan is to undergo imaging of his right leg after he appeared to tweak it late in Boston’s 105-98 win over the Mavericks in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, but it is expected To be on the field as the series moves to Dallas for Game 3.

“It’s not difficult at all,” Porzingis said when asked if it was difficult for him to continue playing. “I’d die out there if we had to, so I kept going.

“But obviously I was a bit limited, so the smart thing was to sign Al [Horford] “Get back out there and close the game.”

Porzingis, who missed more than five weeks with a calf strain before returning in Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday, appeared to suffer an injury to the same leg late in the fourth quarter on Sunday. He played for a few more possessions before coming off with 4:40 to go for Horford, and remained on the bench for the rest of the game.

On the bench, Porzingis used a strap to stretch his leg, and he didn’t walk with any kind of noticeable limp in the locker room. While he said he thinks the plan is to film on Monday, Porzingis has repeatedly said he expects to be ready to go when the series resumes on Wednesday.

“I feel good,” said Porzingis, who sat on a chair while doing his postgame media session in the locker room. “Clearly something has happened a little, but I have a few days [to get ready] “Once again, and believe me, we will do everything we can to get back and move on.”

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After playing 20 minutes in an electric return to the court in Boston’s Game 1 win, Porzingis had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in 23 minutes off the bench in Game 2, finishing at +12 against his former team as the Celtics took a commanding 2-0 lead. 0.

Wednesday’s game — assuming Porzingis plays — will be his first time appearing in Dallas against his former team since he traded to Washington in February 2022.

The Celtics acquired Porzingis last summer from the Wizards in a three-team deal, and he missed two games in Dallas due to injuries the past two seasons.

“Yes, honestly,” Porzingis said with a smile when asked if it was a little weird to be back in Dallas for the first time in the NBA Finals. “It’s an interesting coincidence now to be in the finals for the first time and to be back in Dallas, but it will be a normal game for us, for me.

“It happened on a big stage…Dallas was my home. I love the city. I love the fans there.”

Those fans may not have much love for Porzingis, after he and the Celtics stifled the Mavericks for the second straight game defensively. Boston held off another poor performance from Kyrie Irving, who scored 16 points while shooting just 7-for-18 from the field and is now 13-for-37 in the first two games of the series — including 0-for-8 from 3-point range.

While Luka Doncic finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists, and 4 steals, Boston forced him into 8 turnovers, and the Mavericks, unlike Doncic, were 2-for-17 from 3-point range and 5-for-32 from distance through the first two games of the series.

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Boston was able to do that while having a terrible shooting night of its own, finishing 10-for-39 from 3-point range, something Celtics coach Joe Mazzola would have been proud of.

“Usually what happens is you have those empty possessions on the offensive side, and your defense starts to get affected or you start to not trust your spacing discipline and shot selection, and you end up turning over and getting the ball,” Mazzola said. So the players trusted and maintained their discipline and we were able to stay away from cross matches and we were able to keep the game the way we wanted to play.

It didn’t hurt that Jrue Holiday turned in his second consecutive stellar performance for Boston, following up his team-best plus-20 in Game 1 by scoring 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. A steal, a block and no turnovers in 41 minutes Sunday night.

Holiday now has 38 points and no turnovers through two games in this series — the second-most points over two Finals games without a turnover since individual turnovers began tracking in 1977-78, trailing only Michael Jordan in 1998.

However, when asked where things stand in this series, as Boston tries to pick up two more wins to claim a record 18th championship title, Holiday made it clear that now is not the time to be complacent.

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“Being on this team, the journey to this point has been great, but we still know that 2-0 up means nothing,” Holiday said. “The mission is not over. We have to do whatever it takes.”