Celtics’ Kristaps Porzingis tears tendon in leg, Game 3 status unclear

DALLAS — Boston Celtics star center Kristaps Porzingis suffered a torn tendon in his left leg, leaving his status day to day and his availability for Game 3 of the NBA Finals in question.

The Celtics, in announcing the injury, said Porzingis suffered a “torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis” of his left leg, which means a tear of a tendon near the ankle. Boston called the injury “rare” and said Porzingis consulted numerous specialists.


According to the National Library of Medicine, the “vast majority” of cases like this are resolved surgically.

“It’s a serious injury,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said before the Celtics practiced in Dallas. “He’s doing anything and everything he can to be ready for the game tomorrow. … At the end of the day, our team and the medical team are not going to put him in any bad situations — so we’ve taken the decision to play out of his hands.”

Porzingis, who is averaging 12.5 points and 5.0 rebounds off the bench in the finals, said, “I’m going to do everything I can to be out there tomorrow.

“I am (optimistic), of course, I have to be,” Porzingis said.

The new injury is not related to the calf injury that kept Porzingis out for 10 games earlier in the playoffs, the team said. Patients who do not have immediate access to the level of care the Celtics do typically go undiagnosed for an extended period of time when dealing with the injury Porzingis has, the National Library of Medicine said. Those patients may think they have an ankle sprain or, according to the NLM, a benign muscle tumor around the ankle.

The Celtics lead the series, 2-0, with Game 3 set for 8:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.

Dallas star Luka Doncic, meanwhile, declared his sore chest to be “good” enough before outlining the main underlying issue in the Mavericks’ 2-0 NBA Finals deficit.

Doncic is scoring plenty, with his 31 points per game in the two losses to the Celtics easily the highest average on either side. He played Game 2 on Sunday — a 105-98 loss — with a chest bruise painful enough that he said postgame he was actually questionable to play. A league source said Doncic received a pain-killing injection before Game 2 and may need another before Game 3.

On Tuesday, when asked about his health status, Doncic said, “I feel good. I don’t want to get into any more details, but I feel good.”

Doncic also said the Mavericks’ main problem in this series was “we can’t really score.”

Dallas’ shooting numbers must improve to get back into the finals. The Mavs are shooting .445 as a team, but their 3-point shooting (.245) and, even worse, foul shooting (.651) have not been at championship level.

The Celtics have the top-rated defense in the playoffs (107.6 points allowed per 100 possessions — mostly without Porzingis on the court) and were the second-best defense during the regular season.

“I think we’re getting some great looks,” Doncic said. “Like I say, we have confidence everybody can make a shot shooting the ball on our team. We just got to keep believing in it.”

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