Kristaps Porzingis lead the the Celtics win Game 1 of the NBA

Kristaps Porzingis lead the the Celtics win Game 1 of the NBA

The arrival of star Kristaps Porzingis, who had been sidelined for almost 40 days due to a calf issue, gave the Boston Celtics a much-needed lift in their championship chase. Porzingis helped the Celtics defeat the Dallas Mavericks 112-108 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

It was unclear if Porzingis would play in the first game of the series. When asked if he was at 100% after a protracted rehabilitation, the big man for the Boston Celtics admitted to having some doubts. Porzingis’s contribution to the team’s victory, in spite of the reservations, turned out to be crucial.

Even though Porzingis wasn’t playing at his normal dominant level, his 15 points and 8 rebounds in just over 20 minutes of play gave Boston much-needed interior production. And maybe most crucially, the Celtics team seemed to find new life after he returned. The playoffs’ top scorer for Boston, Jayson Tatum, went off for a career-high 34 points, with Jaylen Brown contributing 21 points. Luka Doncic of the Mavericks was only able to score 26 points on 9 of 24 shots against the Celtics, who’s defense, which had been solid all series, also tightened up in Porzingis’ minutes.

With Porzingis back, Boston’s offense was strengthened and gained a crucial weapon to counter the Mavericks’ formidable offensive line. Throughout the playoffs, Doncic, the current MVP, has been gobbling up smaller defenders. Because of Porzingis’ stature and ability to block shots, Doncic had to change how he played, which reduced his efficiency.

But the Mavericks are not to be written off just yet. Throughout the game, Dallas showed resiliency, coming back from a double-digit deficit in the second half to grab a brief lead late in the fourth quarter. Jalen Brunson, who contributed 28 points off the bench, had a standout game to lead them.

The Boston fans were going crazy inside TD Garden, cheering after every basket and defensive stop by the Celtics. The Celtics’ performance seemed to benefit from the crowd’s enthusiasm, particularly during the crucial moments. In the closing seconds of the game, with the score tied, Tatum stepped up to make a crucial three-point shot that gave Boston the lead for good.

With this win, the Celtics take a vital 1-0 series advantage. The NBA Finals are largely decided by home court advantage, and Boston has a reputation for being a difficult team to defeat at TD Garden. As they have demonstrated throughout the playoffs, the Mavericks will surely make adjustments in an effort to even the series in Game 2.

The NBA Finals have a new depth to them now that Porzingis is back. Going ahead, his efficacy and general health will be essential to the plot. He might be a huge asset for the Celtics if he can keep playing, even in a restricted role. Whatever the case, this series looks to be a fight because both teams have strong fan bases and excellent players. Fans of the NBA can anticipate an exciting seven-game series with lots of drama and high stakes.