Boston Celtics

Latest update on Porzingis' leg injury, status for Celtics-Mavs Game 4

Porzingis is "fighting like hell to play".

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The Boston Celtics were forced to play Game 3 of the 2024 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks without Kristaps Porzingis on Wednesday night, and they earned a 106-99 victory to take a commanding 3-0 series lead.

The star center suffered a rare leg injury in the third quarter of Game 2. It is unrelated to the right calf strain that resulted in him missing 10 games earlier in the playoffs.

Will we see Porzingis again in the Finals? What about Game 4 at American Airlines Center on Friday night?

The Celtics have not yet released a Game 4 injury report as of Thursday afternooon. Head coach Joe Mazzulla was asked Thursday if the Celtics will take into account their 3-0 series lead in when determining whether Porzingis can play Friday. Mazzulla said it won't be a factor.

"No. No, I think that's a rather passive way to look at things. I think at the end of the day, we have to continue to do what we do," Mazzulla told reporters. "Kristaps has gotten better from yesterday to today. He's fighting like hell to play. But it's going to be up to us to protect him and to make sure that it's in the best interest for him as a player and as a person.

"Going into what's best for a player and a person has nothing to do with where we're at from a basketball standpoint."

NBA insider Shams Charania said Thursday on FanDuelTV's Run it Back show that "there is a chance Kristaps Porzingis plays in Game 4."

Porzingis was on the court shooting with teammates Thursday.

Porzingis played in the first two games of the series and made a strong impact at both ends of the court as an efficient scorer and an elite rim protector. The Celtics were a plus-25 during his 44 minutes of playing time in those games.

The veteran center has been a difference-maker in the Finals. That said, the Celtics won Game 3 without him and have a 10-1 record in the playoffs when he's been unavailable.

Game 4 is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday, with Celtics Pregame Live beginning at 7 p.m.

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