Porzingis available for Celtics as they try to wrap up sweep of NBA Finals against Mavericks


DALLAS (AP) — Kristaps Porzingis will be in uniform and available to play in a limited role when the Boston Celtics try to complete a sweep of the NBA Finals in Game 4 against the Dallas Mavericks.

Porzingis missed the previous game because of a rare tendon injury. He had been listed as questionable for Friday night before going through an on-court workout about 2 1/2 hours before tipoff.

“He’s not quite there, but we’re going to make him available,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said before the game. “But we’re only going to use him in very specific instances if necessary.”

When pressed on how Porzingis could be not quite ready but available, the coach basically repeated that same answer twice.

The 7-foot-2 Latvian center missed Game 3 because of a tear in the tissue that holds tendons in place in his lower left leg. The Celtics have said that tendon issue is unrelated to the calf strain sustained April 29 in the first round against Miami that led to him missing 10 games.

Porzingis averaged 13.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in his first six games this postseason, including 20 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots in Game 1 against Dallas.

Al Horford, the 38-year-old center seeking his first NBA title, has been the starting center since Porzingis got hurt in the first round. He even started when Porzingis played in the first two games of the NBA Finals.

Porzingis signed a $60 million, two-year extension with the Celtics after they acquired him in a trade with Washington last summer. That deal kicks in next season.


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