By Tommy Matthews

Kristaps Porzingis returned to the Celtics’ lineup for the first time since suffering a calf injury in late April and dominated as Boston took Game 1 of the NBA Finals over the Dallas Mavericks 107-89.

Acquired this past offseason by Boston, Porzingis scored 20 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, blocked 3 shots and Boston was +13 in terms of point differential when he was on the floor.

Boston took control early leading by 17 after the first quarter and 21 at the half.

The Celtics, the league’s second-ranked defense this season, succeeded in defending Luka Doncic and his co-star, Kyrie Irving, without double-teaming.

Doncic finished with 30 points on 12-of-26 shooting.

Irving had an off night while primarily being guarded by six-time All-Defensive selection Jrue Holiday, getting held to 12 points on 6-of-19 shooting with a team-high two assists.

Doncic and Dallas battled back early in the third and pulled to within 8 points of Boston, but Jaylen Brown and the Celtics’ defense put the clamps on the visitors and led by 20 at the end of the quarter.

Porzingis scored as many points as the entire Dallas Mavericks’ bench.

Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 22 points and Jayson Tatum chipped in 16. Dallas got 30 from Luka Doncic and 14 from PJ Washington.

Jason Kidd and the Mavericks will look to regroup over the next couple of days and be better on Sunday Night in Game 2.


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