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Ex-Knicks’ Kristaps Porzingis Gives Bone-Chilling Finals Speech

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Former New York Knicks star Kristaps Porzingis bleeds green and he sounds more than willing to prove it.

Porzingis’ otherwise sterling NBA career has been frequently interrupted by injuries and his first NBA Finals run doesn’t appear to be exempt from such curses: the first-year Boston Celtic appeared to endure a late lower body injury during the final stages of the NBA Finals’ second game against the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.

Already forced to miss 10 games due to a calf injury, Porzingis said it’ll take a lot more to keep him away from these final hours before a potential championship.

“I’ll die out there if we need,” Porzingis said with a slight smile, per Bobby Manning of CLNS Media. “So I just kept going, but obviously I was a little limited. So the smart thing was to get Al (Horford) back in there and close out the game.”

Porzingis' during Game 2

Jun 9, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis (8) reacts after a play against the Dallas Mavericks during the first quarter in game two of the 2024 NBA Finals at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports / Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Neither Porzingis nor Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla believed that the new ailment was related to his prior calf woes. Porzingis does have a couple of extra days to rest as Game 3 of the best-of-seven series will be staged in Dallas on Wednesday night (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC). Boston owns a 2-0 series lead after a 105-98 victory on Sunday night at TD Garden.

Porzingis’ Knicks career, in fact, ended with an injury, as he was lost to a torn ACL shortly after he was named to Eastern Conference All-Star team in 2018. He was traded to the Dallas Mavericks while missing the entire ensuing season and has played at least 60 games just once over the last five seasons.

Even with the lingering ailments, Porzingis has been a major factor behind Boston’s early lead. He had 20 points and six rebounds in the Game 1 victory last week and had 12 off the bench on Sunday while the team plus-12 on the scoreboard when he was on the floor.

“Even though I had really good comeback game, it’s tough to jump into the rhythm like that and have the conditioning,” Porzingis remarked. “But I think I did a decent job tonight and helped the team win and that’s it, we move forward.”

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