Kristaps Porzingis sitting out Game 3 of the NBA Finals set the stage for an unheralded Celtic to leave his mark on the series.

Xavier Tillman gave Boston 11 valuable minutes off the bench in the visitors’ 106-99 win over Dallas at American Airlines Center. Tillman, acquired by the Celtics in an early February trade, played stout defense, pulled down four rebounds and even knocked down a 3-pointer late in the third quarter when Boston gave itself some breathing room.

It was Jaylen Brown who found Tillman in the corner, and the Celtics star had no doubt the fourth-year pro was going to find the bottom of the net.

“I just knew when I drove, they were going to help, and he was going open,” Brown told reporters, per MassLive. “And I trusted it all the way. I just knew it was going in. I don’t know how to tell you. It was just like a divine experience. I knew X was going to make that shot, and he did. That was big for us.”

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Joe Mazzulla and company might need to count on some more relief efforts from Tillman, as there reportedly is “real doubt” Porzingis will be able to return from injury in the Finals. But given the way the 25-year-old performed Wednesday night, he figures to embrace the challenges thrown his way whenever his number is called going forward.

Brown, Tillman and the rest of the Celtics will try to complete a sweep of the Mavericks on Friday night. Tipoff for Game 4 is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.

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