Boston Celtics

Washington delivers questionable hard foul on Porzingis in Game 5

The Mavs forward pulled the Celtics big man down to the ground with two hands.

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BOSTON -- The Dallas Mavericks wasted no time getting physical with Kristaps Porzingis in his return to action Monday night.

The Boston Celtics big man was active for Game 5 of the 2024 NBA Finals after not playing in Games 3 and 4 due to a left leg injury, coming off the bench midway through the first quarter to a thunderous ovation from the TD Garden crowd.

With 9:23 remaining in the second quarter, Mavs forward P.J. Washington gave Porzingis his own personal welcome by giving the Celtics big man a hard shoulder, then pulling him down to the court with two hands.

Washington was assessed a foul on the play, but to both teams' credit, things didn't escalate from there. While Porzingis obviously took exception to Washington's foul, Celtics star Jayson Tatum stepped between Porzingis and several players and gestured to play on.

Mavs head coach Jason Kidd suggested prior to the game that his team would test Porzingis' ability to move on both ends, so it's not surprising Dallas got chippy with the 7-foot-2 big man.

Porzingis responded by scoring in the paint on Boston's ensuing possession, so it appears he wasn't rattled by Washington's antics -- and more importantly, wasn't injured.

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