Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals Game 1: Celtics win 107-89, stats, highlights, and analysis (2024)

NBA Finals Game 1 result: Boston Celtics win 107-89

Kristaps Porzingis returned to the Boston Celtics’ lineup for the first time since suffering a calf injury in late April and frankly, the Unicorn dominated as the Celtics took Game 1 of the NBA Finals over the Dallas Mavericks by the score of 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 1st Quarter and 21 at the Half. Luka Doncic and Dallas battled back early in the 3rd Quarter 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 was the story as he 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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Final Score:
Boston Celtics 107
Dallas Mavericks 89

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Jason Kidd waived the white flag early for a Finals game, with 5:17 left, but his team was down 25 and the writing was on the wall. There were some things Dallas can take away from this game, but it’s going to have to find some defensive answers before Sunday or the Mavericks will head home in a deep hole.
-NBA Sports Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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4:08 Remaining in the 4th Quarter
Boston 100
Dallas 78

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Other tickets that have cashed include:
Porzingis points OVER 15.5 points
Hauser OVER 3.5 points
White OVER 14.5 points
PJ Washington OVER 11.5 points

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Jayson Tatum may have disappointed those expecting him to score more but his 10 rebounds cashes the OVER for those who bet on a big night on the glass for the Boston star.

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Boston Leads 92-71 with 8:34 Remaining in Quarter 4
Odds Update:
Boston Celtics -17.5
Game Total: 201.5

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What the Celtics have done well in Game 1 is force Doncic and Irving to become scorers — both are elite bucket getters, but what unlocks the Mavericks offense is when their drives and plays turn into corner 3s and lobs to role players. The Celtics have stayed home on the role guys and dared Doncic and Irving to beat them on their own — and Irving is having a rough night (much to the delight of the Garden crowd, which has broken into multiple “Kyrie sucks” chants). Irving is 6-of-19 shooting for 12 points at the start of the fourth.
-NBC Sports Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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End of 3rd Quarter
Boston Leads 86-66
Dallas at one time pulled to within 8, but Jaylen Brown’s defense was superb as the Celtics reasserted themselves.

Jaylen Brown stands TALL at the rim ❌

🏆 Game 1 on ABC 🏆 pic.twitter.com/RCtIXqFxDO

— NBA (@NBA) June 7, 2024

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Timeout Dallas!
Celtics answer the Mavs’ push.
Tatum buries a 3 and Boston’s lead is back to 16.
Boston leads 80-64.

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Timeout Boston!
Celtics 21-point lead has been cut to 8 with 4:27 remaining in the Quarter 3.
Luka Doncic with 27 points

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The Mavs are making a run led by Luka.

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

— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) June 7, 2024

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7:42 Remaining in Quarter 3
Boston leads 68-52

Current Odds:
Celtics -13.5
Game Total 207.5

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One of the storylines coming into this series was “are the Celtics paper tigers?” The question was never the level of talent on the roster, this was the best starting five in the league and they won 64 games. But Boston was able to coast through the tape, then were never really tested in the playoffs as every team they faced battled debilitating injuries. Was Boston really sharp enough for the stage? Especially against a Dallas team that had to be razor sharp to get out of the West.

That question was answered in the first 24 minutes — Boston score 63 points on 54.5% shooting overall and were 11-of-27 from 3. Their passing, rotation and energy were elite. Nobody better personified this than Kristaps Porzingis, who had been out with a strained calf since the first round and scored 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting in his return. Boston was up 21 at the half and in total control.
-NBC Sports Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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1st Half Scoring for Boston
Porzingis 18 points
Brown 13 points
Tatum 8 points
White 8 points

1st Half Scoring for Dallas
Doncic 17 points
No other Mavs’ player with more than 6 points

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Halftime: Celtics lead the Mavericks by 21.
Boston 63
Dallas 42
The Mavericks face a 21-point deficit at halftime. The largest halftime comeback in NBA Finals history is 21 points. In 1948, Baltimore trailed Philadelphia 40-21, but rallied and won Game 2 in that Finals’ series by the score of 66-63.

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NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) has been rubbing elbows with a variety of celebrities at TD Garden tonight including:
• Pep Guardiola (Manchester City manager, he attended Celtics practice this week)
• Bruins legend Zdeno Chara (who got a massive ovation)
• Mark and Donnie Wahlberg
• Geno Auriemma (UConn women’s basketball coach)
• Dana White (UFC President)
• Jalen Hurts (Philadelphia Eagles) and his teammates AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith
• Maxx Crosby (Las Vegas Raiders)
• Four Patriots players: Matthew Judon (Linebacker), Jonathan Jones (Cornerback), Anfernee Jennings (Linebacker), Keion White (Defensive end)
• Jenny McCarthy (Actress)

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Its been a rocking chair for bettors holding tickets on Boston -3.5 points in the 1st Half.

Currently, 2:58 Remaining in the 1st Half and the Celtics lead by 25.

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As if Porzingis was not enough to handle, here comes Jaylen Borwn.

AIR JAYLEN pic.twitter.com/kgI0ivTmNP

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 7, 2024

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6:29 Remaining in the 1st Half
Boston Celtics 48
Dallas Mavericks 27
Kristaps Porzingis leads all scorers with 15 points. The Celtics are +19 in terms of point differential when the Unicorn is on the court tonight.

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Early in the game the Mavericks defensive strategy was what had worked to get them to this point — keep a big in the paint to protect the rim, rotate him out late to contest 3s if you have to, but surrender some of those shots to limit scoring inside. That had mixed results, especially once the 3s started to fall for Boston and their lead started to grow as they found mismatches they liked. Dallas’ bigs started inching out earlier, but that has led to a series of buckets at the rim with Pozingis, Tatum and others getting to the rim for dunks. Boston’s five-out spacing was always going to be a challenge for how Dallas wants to defend.
-NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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Odds Update with 8:20 left in he 1st Half:
Boston Celtics -14.5
Game Total: 216.5

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Pep is courtside at TD Garden.

Pep sitting courtside for Game 1. What's Catalan for Red Auerbach? 💚🙌pic.twitter.com/9fyDN3D2V5

— Men in Blazers (@MenInBlazers) June 7, 2024

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Porzingis changed the game. When he entered off the bench with 7:17 left in the first quarter and the Celtics up one, and he instantly changed the floor spacing and he was hitting shots — he started 3-of-4, hit two free throws, and most importantly threw off the Dallas matchups that had worked pretty well up to that point. Five minutes later, the Celtics were up 28-18 and Jason Kidd was forced to call a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Porzingis continued to dominate, finishing the quarter with 11 points and 3 blocks.
-NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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Porzingis changed the game. When he entered off the bench with 7:17 left in the first quarter and the Celtics up one, and he instantly changed the floor spacing and he was hitting shots — he started 3-of-4, hit two free throws, and most importantly threw off the Dallas matchups that had worked pretty well up to that point. Five minutes later, the Celtics were up 28-18 and Jason Kidd was forced to call a timeout.

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Odds Update:
Boston Celtics -8.5
Game Total: 217.5

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Three minutes remaining in Quarter 1 and the Celtics have jumped out to a 28-18 lead. Kristaps Porzingis has had an impact scoring 8 points in 5 minutes.

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Kyrie Irving appears ready to go tonight in a hostile TD Garden.

2 defenders ALL over him... Kyrie hangs and hits the fadeaway jumper 🔥#NBAFinals presented by @YouTubeTV
🏆 Game 1 on ABC 🏆 pic.twitter.com/jID1oILDlu

— NBA (@NBA) June 7, 2024

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Latest Odds:
Boston Celtics -5.5
O/U: 221.5

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First TV Timeout with 6:58 Remaining in Quarter 1
Dallas leads Boston 13-12
Kyrie Irving leads the Mavs with 4 points
The only players to miss a shot for Dallas have been their two biggest stars, Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic. The Mavericks are 6-9 from the field in the early going.

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7:17 Remaining in Quarter 1 and Boston’s Kristaps Porzingis checks into the game for the first time.

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Three minutes into Quarter #1 and the Mavericks are out to a 9-8 lead.

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The Celtics took the court in honor of former Celtic, Bill Walton.

Let’s gooooooooo ☘️☘️☘️☘️ pic.twitter.com/JGSrJGcuev

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 7, 2024

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Looking for a last minute sweat? Here are a few of NBC Sports’ Analyst Vaughn Dalzell’s plays for Game 1:

#NBAFinals Game 1 Bets 🏀

Risk 1.5u: 2Q Over 55.5 (-125)
1u: Tatum Over 9.5 Rebounds (-118)
1u: Porzingis Under 22.5 Pts+Reb (-120)

Might fire off a live bet on a prop or the game total. BOL!

Szn Record: 74-59 (55.6%) +13.12u
Breakdown @NBCSportsBet: https://t.co/yvORLn3mEF

— Vaughn Dalzell (@VmoneySports) June 6, 2024

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One note on how international the NBA has become: There are 13 international players on the two rosters in the NBA Finals, the most ever for the league. That includes Dallas star Luka Doncic and Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis, both of which will have a huge impact on this series.
-Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

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NBC Sports’ Lead Betting Analyst Jay Croucher (@croucherJD) has been riding the Celtics all season, but his affection for Boston started long before the 2023-24 season.

This started back in 1998 when I was 6 years old, sitting on the couch watching the beautiful mind of Will Hunting solve unsolvable mathematical equations in the hallways of MIT, in 2006 when Billy Costigan said his hand does not shake in prison, in 2010 when I watched a very… https://t.co/nsxAAB8aPK

— Jay Croucher (@croucherJD) June 6, 2024

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Courtesy of NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk):

“Kristaps Porzingis will come off the bench for Boston in Game 1, with Al Horford starting as he has the last two rounds of the playoffs against Cleveland and Indiana. While Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said pregame there was no minutes limit on Porzingis, there are obvious concerns asking a player who has been out for five weeks with a calf strain to step into the highest level of the sport. How much Porzingis plays and if he is out there in crunch time is something to watch, he and his floor spacing on offense will ultimately be key for Boston in this series.”

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The Starting Five for the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1:

Tonight’s starters ⤵️@ModeloUSA // #OneForDallas #MFFL pic.twitter.com/mVQFNGd6Hh

— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) June 7, 2024

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Many believe the Unicorn, Kristaps Porzingis will be the difference in this series. He arrived at TD Garden a short time ago.

Kristaps Porzingis arrives as he'll make his return to the Celtics lineup!

Game 1 of the #NBAFinals presented by @YouTubeTV: 8:30pm/et on ABC pic.twitter.com/IAEgplIqG0

— NBA (@NBA) June 6, 2024

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Here are the latest odds for Game 1:
Dallas (+190) vs. Boston (-230)
Spread: Celtics -6.5 | O/U: 217.5

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Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla confirmed that Kristaps Porzingis will play in Game 1 and added he would not be on a minutes limit, although he refused to confirm Porzingis will start. It should be noted that for Boston’s practice on Wednesday, Porzingis was dressed in the green of starters. Porzingis has been out since April 29 with a strained calf and it’s a big ask for him to go from zero to 100 in the NBA Finals, and you can be sure Luka Doncic and the Mavericks will test him early.
-NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk)

Joe Mazzulla gives final update on KP before Game 1 🗣️ pic.twitter.com/KoFQjthEqr

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) June 6, 2024

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As we mentioned, plenty of storylines and personalities in this year’s Finals. NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin took a look at a handful of them.

Five key players in Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics NBA Finals 2024 - NBC Sports

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The gates are open and the masses are descending on TD Garden.

Celtics fans are READY to enter the Garden 🤯 pic.twitter.com/A01uyddC3Q

— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) June 6, 2024

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Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks begin pursuit of their second NBA Title tonight at TD Garden in Boston against Jayson Tatum and the favored Celtics.

Boston won the Eastern Conference and owned the NBA’s best record in the regular season while Dallas’ season took off following the Trade Deadline on February 8 when the roster was bolstered with the additions of PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford.

There are a multitude of storylines to this series beyond the obvious battle for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. It is also the return of Kyrie Irving to TD Garden. Kyrie played for Boston following his time with Cleveland. Even Irving has acknowledged it did not go well. Kristaps Porzingis’ tenure in Dallas was not as publicly turbulent but there are rumblings it was not always cordial in the Dallas locker room while the Unicorn was in the Lone Star State.

NBC Sports’ Kurt Helin is at TD Garden and will offer his perspective throughout the game and NBC Sports’ Betting Analysts Jay Croucher, Drew Dinsick, and Vaughn Dalzell will offer betting insights throughout as well.

Stay tuned throughout the Opening Game of this Best of 7 series as NBC Sports brings you the sights, sounds, stats, and betting markets from Round 1 of Jayson and Jaylen vs. Luka.

Boston Celtics vs Dallas Mavericks NBA Finals Game 1: Celtics win 107-89, stats, highlights, and analysis (2024)
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