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Porzingis ‘doing everything’ to return in Game 5

BOSTON — As the Celtics attempt to close out the NBA Finals with a victory over the Mavericks, it remains to be seen whether Kristaps Porzingis will be back on the court for Game 5 on Monday night.

“I haven’t talked to him yet,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla told reporters at TD Garden on Sunday. “Going to talk about that before we start [practice]. … So I’m not sure kind of where he’s at.

“But he’s trying and doing everything he can to try to put himself in position to be out there. I know that for sure.”

Porzingis missed Games 3 and 4 in Dallas with a torn medial retinaculum allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon in his left leg. Boston didn’t make Porzingis available to reporters Sunday, though in a very brief conversation with ESPN as he walked off the court, the center said he was feeling better.

The 7-foot-3 Latvian, who hadn’t played past the first round of the playoffs before this season, missed more than five weeks with a right calf strain suffered in Game 4 of Boston’s first-round series against the Miami Heat. He returned for the NBA Finals, with Boston going plus-25 in the 44 minutes he played in the first two games and sitting at even across the 52 he did not, before he was injured during Game 2.

The Celtics have said Porzingis was considered day-to-day with what the team described as a “rare” injury. He sat out Game 3, then was listed as active for Game 4, though Mazzulla said Porzingis was “not quite ready” for game action and would be used only in very specific circumstances.

None of those came to pass, though, on a night when the Celtics were thoroughly dominated by the Mavericks in virtually every possible way, meaning “Porzingis Watch” came back to Boston for Game 5. His status for the game will be released when Boston sends out its mandatory injury report later Sunday afternoon.

As for the rest of the Celtics, they are focused on the task in front of them: finishing the job and raising an 18th championship banner to the TD Garden rafters.

If the team is able to accomplish that task Monday, it will be on the 16th anniversary of when Boston won its last championship, which it also did on the famed parquet floor.

Jayson Tatum admitted Sunday that the Celtics might have gotten too focused on trying to close the series out in a sweep.

“I think after Game 4, [Mazzulla] just reminded us to have fun,” Tatum said. “We wanted to go for the kill, essentially, and we wanted to win so bad that maybe we got away from what makes us special and what makes us the Boston Celtics.

“Today, just reminded each guy why he’s important to this team and why we all need each other and what a person brings to the table. I think that was really important for us to go over today.”

Otherwise, the messaging from the Celtics was that while they can’t erase what happened in Game 4, they can use it as a motivational tool to lock in and do what is required to win the title.

Boston was able to respond to its first two losses in these playoffs with comprehensive victories over the Heat in the first round and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second, and Jaylen Brown said it won’t be hard to focus on the task at hand.

“This is what we all work for,” Brown said. “We are at the precipice of completing what we set out to do at the beginning of the season.

“So I think it’s not difficult to get everybody in that locker room on the same page right now. It just needs to remind everybody that it’s just one possession at a time. We do it together and we fight like our lives depend on it, and I think we’ll be all right.”

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