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HomeNBAOne Doncic alone is not enough: Boston sends a clear signal

One Doncic alone is not enough: Boston sends a clear signal

The Boston Celtics made a statement at the start of the NBA Finals and took the first step towards a record championship with a 107-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Boston got off to a relatively early winning start when they went on a 23:5 run to take a comfortable 37:20 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was thanks to Luka Doncic that it did not turn into a disaster for the Texans. The Slovenian brought the Mavs back from -29 down to -8 (72:64) thanks to an energetic performance, but that was as close as they would get.

Doncic ended up with 30 points (12 of 26 from the field) and ten rebounds. However, the Celtics also knew how to restrict the Slovenian in such a way that he was hardly able to get his teammates into the game – as evidenced by the 25-year-old’s single assist, which is a negative record for Doncic in the postseason.

“Someone like him is going to score – our job is going to be to limit the other guys as much as we can,” Celtics star Jayson Tatum told ABC TV and said with an eye on the best-of-seven series that the job wasn’t done yet, the Mavericks “aren’t just going to give up.”

Porzingis plays his way into the limelight

At the Celtics, Tatum put in a rather mixed performance with 16 points (6 of 16 from the field), 11 rebounds and six turnovers (!), but another player, Kristaps Porzingis, came to the fore.

The injury-prone Latvian center came back strongly after his calf injury, scoring 20 points and making three blocks – not bad for someone who hadn’t played since April 28 and had also been on the floor in an NBA final for the very first time in his career.

“It doesn’t matter how long he’s been out, he’s going to make plays,” said coach Joe Mazzulla, praising the 2.18-meter-tall Porzingis, who was also pleased with himself and his performance: “I can help the team.” However, the 28-year-old was not his team’s top scorer, that was Jaylen Brown with 22 points.

Mavs role player signed off

The key to Boston’s success was undoubtedly that the Celtics managed to largely shut down Dallas’ role players like P.J. Washington (14 points) or Derrick Jones Jr. (5 points).

It also didn’t help the Mavs that Kyrie Irving had a down day, 12 points (6 of 19 from the field) is absolutely disappointing for a player of his caliber. Meanwhile, Germany’s Maxi Kleber played 19 minutes, scored two points, had one assist and one block in the first Finals game of his career.

Coach Jason Kidd’s main complaint was that they didn’t run the ball enough. The fact that they hardly made a dent under the basket against Porzingis and Al Horford did not help either. Doncic, for his part, wanted to put the defeat behind him quickly. “You lose or you win,” said the Slovenian and was already looking ahead to game two, which also takes place in Boston on Monday night.

Dallas wants to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy for the second time in the history of the franchise after 2011, while for Boston it would be title number 18, which would make the Celtics the sole record champions. They currently share this title with the Los Angeles Lakers.

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