Celtics’ Kristaps Porzingis Optimistic For Game 3 Despite ‘Serious’ Leg Injury

Boston Celtics forward/center Kristaps Porzingis is considered day-to-day for the NBA Finals with what the team calls a lower left leg injury.Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtis, NBA

The Celtics lead the Mavericks, 2-0, with Game 3 slated for Wednesday in Dallas.

Porzingis has been a major reason for the Celtics’ success in returning to play in the Finals after missing several weeks with a calf strain. He suffered that one in Game 4 of the first round and didn’t return until the Finals.

Nonetheless, he told reporters he’s optimistic that he will play. “I am, of course, I have to be,” he said.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla called Porzingis’ latest setback a “serious injury,” via Tim MacMahon of ESPN.

“He’s doing anything and everything he can to be able to play,” Mazzulla added.

Porzingis scored 20 points in Game 1 and 12 in the next game, totaling 10 rebounds and five blocks in the Finals overall. His length and defense have proven to be huge advantages for Boston near the basket, as the Mavericks have struggled to score beyond star guard Luka Doncic.

Interestingly, the Celtics are listed as underdogs for Game 3, just the fourth time in 99 games that they’ve been listed as such, noted Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports. Losing Porzingis certainly would not help those odds with the next two games on the Mavs’ home court.

As it stands, the Celtics have won nine straight.

“We know they’re a great team, we can’t relax, can’t be satisfied,” guard Derrick White said. “We know each game will get more difficult.”

Teamwithld a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals are 31-5 all-time.

“My turnovers and my missed free throws (4-of-8) cost us the game,” Doncic said of losing to the Celtics in Game 2. “I’ve got to do way better in those two categories.”

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