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NBA Finals 2024: Mazzulla happy with surging Celtics

The Celtics are now just two wins away from claiming the trophy as the series heads to Dallas

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla praised his side’s willingness to stick to the process after they edged out the Dallas Mavericks to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

The Celtics struggled from the floor – finishing just 10-for-39 from three-point range – but didn’t let frustration get the better of them as they emerged 105-98 winners.

The series now heads back to Dallas for Game 3 on Wednesday night.

Mazzulla said: “Usually what happens is you have those empty possessions on the offensive end and your defense starts to weigh in or you start to mistrust the discipline of your spacing and your shot selection, and you end up giving transition and getting cross-matched. 

“So the guys trusted and stayed disciplined and we were able to stay out of cross-matches and we were able to kind of keep the game in the way we wanted to play it.”

It wasn’t all good news for the Celtics, though, with star center Kristaps Porzingis suffering what appeared to be an injury to the right leg that saw him miss five weeks before returning in Game 1.

The Latvian is confident it’s nothing serious, however, and hopes a scan today will clear him for the trip to Texas.

“I feel good,” he said afterwards. “Obviously something happened a little bit, but I have a couple days [to get ready] again, and believe me, we’ll do everything we can to be back and moving.”

Dallas reunion!

Should he make it, Porzingis will make his first return to Dallas following his 2002 trade from the Mavs to Washington.

He added: “It’s an interesting coincidence now to be in the Finals for the first time and being back in Dallas, but it’s going to be a regular game for us, for me.

“It just happens to be on a big stage … Dallas was my home. I love the city. I love the fans there.”

Picture of Jon Fisher

Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.