Kristaps Porzingis [600x400]
Kristaps Porzingis [600x400] (Credit: Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

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BOSTON -- Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis said he believes the plan is for him to get imaging on his right leg after appearing to tweak it late in Boston's 105-98 victory over the Mavericks in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, but he expects to be on the court as the series shifts to Dallas for Game 3.

"Not difficult at all," Porzingis said, when asked if it was tough for him to continue playing. "I'll die out there if we need, so I just kept going.

"But obviously I was a little bit limited, so the smart thing was to get Al [Horford] back in there and close out the game."

Porzingis, who missed more than five weeks with a calf strain before returning in Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday, appeared to tweak the same leg late in the fourth quarter Sunday. He played for a couple more possessions before checking out with 4:40 to go in favor of Horford, and remained on the bench for the rest of the game.

On the bench, Porzingis used a band to stretch his leg out, and he wasn't walking with any sort of noticeable limp in the locker room. And while he said he believes the plan is for him to get imaging done Monday, Porzingis repeatedly said he expects to be ready to go when the series resumes Wednesday.

"I feel good," said Porzingis, who sat in a chair as he did his postgame media session in the locker room. "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."

After playing 20 minutes in an electric return to the court in Boston's Game 1 victory, Porzingis had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in 23 minutes off the bench in Game 2, finishing at plus-12 against his former team as the Celtics took a commanding 2-0 lead. 

Wednesday's game -- presuming Porzingis plays -- will be the first time he appears in Dallas against his former team since being traded to Washington in February 2022.

The Celtics acquired Porzingis last summer from the Wizards in a three-team trade, and he missed both games in Dallas with injuries the past two seasons.

"Yeah, honestly," Porzingis said with a smile, when asked if it was a little weird to make his initial return to Dallas in the NBA Finals. "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."

Those fans might not have much love for Porzingis, however, after he and the Celtics suffocated the Mavericks for a second straight game defensively. Boston held Kyrie Irving to another poor performance, as he scored 16 points while shooting just 7-for-18 from the field and is now 13-for-37 in the first two games of the series -- including 0-for-8 from 3-point range.

And while Luka Doncic finished with 32 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and 4 steals, Boston forced him into 8 turnovers, and Mavericks other than Doncic were a combined 2-for-17 from 3-point range and are 5-for-32 from distance across the first two games of the series.

That Boston was able to do that while having an awful shooting night of its own, finishing the game 10-for-39 from 3-point range, was something Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla was proud of.

"Usually what happens is you have those empty possessions on the offensive end," Mazzulla said, "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 didn't hurt that Jrue Holiday had a second straight terrific performance for Boston, following up his team-best plus-20 in Game 1 by going for 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, a steal, a block and no turnovers in 41 minutes Sunday night.

Holiday now has 38 points and no turnovers through two games in this series -- the second-most points through two Finals games without a turnover since individual turnovers began being tracked in 1977-78, trailing only Michael Jordan in 1998.

When asked where things stand in this series, however, as Boston tries to get two more victories to claim a record-setting 18th championship banner, Holiday made it clear that now is not the time to be satisfied.

"Being on this team, the journey to this point has been great, but we still know being up 2-0 means nothing," Holiday said. "Job's not done. We have to do whatever it takes."