2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (2024)

ryan young

Staff writer

The Boston Celtics, behind a huge return from Kristaps Porziņģis, made a statement early in the NBA Finals.

The Celtics, who broke open a 29-point lead in the first half, cruised to a dominant 107-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night at TD Garden. The Celtics have now won eight straight games, and they've won every Game 1 they've played this postseason.

Luka Dončić and the Mavericks, on the other hand, are now playing from behind in the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance since it won the championship with Dirk Nowitzki in 2011. The Mavs had won five straight road games entering Thursday night, too.

Kristaps Porziņģis powers huge Celtics run

Porziņģis missed Boston’s last 10 games with a calf injury he first sustained in its opening-round series against the Miami Heat.

But after coming off the bench for just the second time in his career, he immediately made up for lost time. Porziņģis put up eight points early in the first quarter, including a huge early dunk after he blew past Dereck Lively II and a bucket in the face of Josh Green. That put the Celtics up by double digits and forced an early Mavericks timeout in the first period.

PORZINGIS TURNING UP IN THE 1ST 🔥 pic.twitter.com/yYk6kEAnr0

— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) June 7, 2024

He then came out of the timeout, drilled a very deep 3-pointer and immediately came up with a block on the other end to set up another 3-pointer for the Celtics. Just like that, after a 23-5 run, the Celtics were up by 17 points. That marked the largest lead after the first quarter in a Game 1 in NBA Finals history.

Porziņģis and the Celtics kept it going in the second quarter and easily took a 21-point lead into the locker room at the break. They opened the second quarter on a 21-11 run, took a brief 29-point lead and made 11 3-pointers in the first 24 minutes. Porziņģis had 18 points and shot 7-of-9 from the field in the first half. The Mavericks, on the other hand, went just 3-of-13 from the 3-point line.

Celtics fend off Mavericks run

Despite the huge deficit early, Dallas started cutting away at Boston’s lead slowly in the third quarter. Then, after a few huge buckets from Kyrie Irving and a clutch 3-pointer from Dončić to cap a 20-6 run, it was suddenly an eight-point game.

29 POINT LEAD IS DOWN TO EIGHT.

Luka has 27 points 😳

(via @NBA)pic.twitter.com/QxOL2ApE0u

— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 7, 2024

That, however, was as close as Dallas got. Boston rallied immediately out of a timeout and ended the period on a 14-2 burst. That gave the Celtics a 20-point lead once again, which was more than enough to push them to the eventual 18-point win.

Porziņģis finished with 20 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes. Jaylen Brown led the way with 22 points while shooting 7-of-12 from the field, and Jayson Tatum finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, although he did have six turnovers. The Celtics set an NBA Finals record, too, with seven different players making multiple shots from behind the arc.

Dončić finished with 30 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Mavericks. He shot just 4-of-12 from behind the arc, and he accounted for all but three of Dallas' made 3-pointers. P.J. Washington added 14 points and eight rebounds, and Irving finished with 12 points. The Mavs' 89 points were the fewest points they've scored this postseason. They only had nine assists as a unit, too. The Celtics, by comparison, had 23 assists and nine blocks.

Though it's still early — Dončić and Irving are more than capable of keeping the Mavericks in it — the Celtics look like a team poised to run to what would be their 18th championship in franchise history. Sunday's Game 2 isn't a must-win for Dallas by any means, but the Mavericks will need to at least keep it close before the series heads to Texas. Otherwise, things could get out of hand quickly.

LIVE COVERAGE IS OVER40 updates

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (2)

    Ryan Young

    Game 2 set for Sunday night

    The two teams will run it back on Sunday night in Boston, where the Celtics will attempt to take a 2-0 series lead over the Mavericks.

    Though this isn't a must-win for Dallas by any means, a second blowout at this point could mean we're in for a quick series this summer.

    Kyrie before Game 2: pic.twitter.com/SjBGUlBxIN

    — Ball Don’t Lie (@Balldontlie) June 7, 2024

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (3)

    Ryan Young

    Final: Celtics 107, Mavericks 89

    Though things got close for a brief moment in the second half, the Celtics have taken a 1-0 series lead over the Mavericks. Jaylen Brown led Boston with 22 points, and Kristaps Porzingis dropped 20 in his return.

    Luka Dončić led all scorers with 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Mavericks.

    The Celtics are three wins away from ring 18 😤 pic.twitter.com/h3Z9mgWT0X

    — Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 7, 2024

  • Celtics set record, sharing the wealth from the 3-point line

    Celtics set an NBA Finals record. pic.twitter.com/KyypuDcaNj

    — The Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 7, 2024

  • Yahoo Sports Staff

    It’s been all Celtics, all night

    Aside from a quick burst at the beginning of the third quarter, the Celtics have been in complete control of the game from the opening tap. Eight Celtics have played, and with 4:57 left in the game six of them are in double digits.

    • Jaylen Brown: 22 points

    • Kristaps Porzingis: 20 points

    • Jayson Tatum: 15 points

    • Derrick White: 15 points

    • Jrue Holiday: 12 points

    • Al Horford: 10 points

    As a team, Boston is shooting 48% from the floor and 39% from three. A complete team effort on the offensive end of the floor to go along with holding Kyrie Irving to just 12 points.

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (4)

    Jake Fischer

    Celtics still hitting 3's

    Still just 1-of-11 for non-Luka Mavericks from distance, and Doncic has missed his last four attempts from outside as well. 5-of-23 as a team from beyond the arc. Celtics with 15-of-40 from deep have almost made as many as the Mavericks have missed (18) with eight minutes left.

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (5)

    Ben Rohrbach

    Bad signs for Dallas

    Make that a 14-0 run. Dallas is struggling to create offense with Luka on the bench, and Kyrie cannot seem to find windows in the paint or connect from deep. Dallas' two vaunted guards have combined for three assists.

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (6)

    Jake Fischer

    Kyrie Irving struggling

    Kyrie Irving's ineffectiveness has really stood out as the Celtics rebuilt this lead into a 20-plus-point advantage. He was spooked by Porzingis on one drive and traveled on a step-back. Just 6-of-19 and 0-5 from 3 through three quarters with 3 turnovers.

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (7)

    Jake Fischer

    Celtics step it up on D

    Boston's defense has been stifling on this 11-0 run to get the lead back to 19. Jaylen Brown with big blocks. Jrue Holiday had switched onto Doncic before this latest break for him for the last minute of the 3Q.

  • Yahoo Sports Staff

    Jaylen Brown Block Party

    The Celtics' star has been making highlight plays on the defensive end of the floor in Game 1.

    You kids like blocks? Cause JB GOT BLOCKS pic.twitter.com/Mmfwl5iRk2

    — Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 7, 2024

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (8)

    Vincent Goodwill

    Luka needs help

    Non-Luka 3’s: 1-of-10. That’s not optimal production for the Mavs, especially when the Celtics don’t mind you taking 3’s

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (9)

    Ben Rohrbach

    Celtics regain control

    After Luka Doncic's rangy 3-pointer cut Boston's 29-point lead to 72-64 midway through the third quarter, Boston responds with an 8-0 run — with help from some light fouls from Dereck Lively II — capped by a Jayson Tatum 3-pointer. Tatum is up to 13-8-5, and the Celtics look to close the third better than the last quarter.

  • Yahoo Sports Staff

    Mavs cut lead to single digits

    Well, well, well ... the game isn't over just yet. A Luka Dončić 3 with 4:39 to go in the third quarter has cut the Celtics lead to just eight points at 72-64. Dončić has 27 points in the game and 10 in the quarter to get the Mavs back in it. While Dallas is having trouble moving the ball on the offensive end — just five assists on 27 made baskets, Dončić is keeping them connected as Kyrie Irving struggles from the field 12 points on 6-of-16 from the floor.

    ANOTHER.

    Doncic has 27 and we're back to single digits!

    A 20-6 Mavs run on ABC 👀 https://t.co/Hs2FtiKbz5 pic.twitter.com/HB4aGMNiEt

    — NBA (@NBA) June 7, 2024

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (10)

    Jake Fischer

    Mavs make it a game

    This building has grown pretty quiet and angsty as Luka Doncic comes out scorching from deep. Dallas has cut this all the way down to 8 in less than 8 minutes, and 10 points have come from the Mavericks' All-NBA superstar.

  • Yahoo Sports Staff

    Dallas showing some life early in the second half

    After trailing by as much as 29 in the first half, the Mavericks have started the second half with some purpose, cutting the 21-point lead at the break to 16 with 7:42 to go in the third quarter. A couple of Kyrie Irving baskets and two Celtics turnovers have helped steady the ship for the Mavs, who'll need to go on a run to get back in the game heading into the 4th quarter.

    LD with the soft touch 🤌 pic.twitter.com/tCU9jYW5M3

    — Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) June 7, 2024

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (11)

    Jake Fischer

    Luka gets going

    Luka had more bounce in his legs and aggression hunting his own shot in the last minutes of the first half to finish with 17 points. Can that carry over? This is a team that overcame an 18-point third-quarter deficit in Game 6 against OKC …

  • Yahoo Sports Staff

    Kristaps Porzingis leading the way with 18 points off the bench

    How's that for coming back from injury? Eighteen points on 7-of-9 shooting from the floor — including a couple of 3s — to go along with 2 blocks and 3 rebounds. Not a bad return to action after missing more than a month with a calf strain.

    KP triple for 18 in the 1st half of Game 1 on ABC 👀🎯 pic.twitter.com/6pJQxk4Dns

    — NBA (@NBA) June 7, 2024

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (12)

    Jake Fischer

    The 3-point difference

    This is how the Celtics are designed, with 3-point shooting being their bread and butter, but a 24-point differential from distance (10-of-24 to Dallas' 2-of-12) is the bulk of Boston's 27-point edge right now.

  • Yahoo Sports Staff

    Jaylen Brown rises UP

    Daniel Gafford, welcome to your Kodak moment.

    Jaylen Brown posters Daniel Gafford 😲

    (via @celtics)pic.twitter.com/LzsTApwiE5

    — Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) June 7, 2024

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (13)

    Vincent Goodwill

    Boston is rolling

    The Celtics are just overwhelming the Mavs now. Luka can’t get the ball upcourt. It’s looking like a blowout. More turnovers and a 29-point lead for Boston.

  • 2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (14)

    Vincent Goodwill

    Porzingis too much so far

    Porzingis is the one guy Dallas cannot game plan for. His size is too much for the Mavs wings and his length at the rim disrupts Kyrie and Luka. Porzingis has 15 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench at 6:29 of the second quarter.

2024 NBA Finals: Celtics dominate Mavericks in Game 1 win as Kristaps Porziņģis shines in return (2024)
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