Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks ran into a buzzsaw once the Boston Celtics fired away, and didn’t stop, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

Despite a 10-day-long period of rest, preparation, and long-awaited anticipation, the Celtics got straight to business. Going ahead by as many as 29 points, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown welcomed back Kristaps Porzingis wide open arms, picking apart and running circles all over Dallas.

That wasn’t — and still isn’t — the expected theme of the series, especially considering how much Doncic and Kyrie Irving competed against the Western Conference powerhouse Los Angeles Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Minnesota Timberwolves this postseason.

“I think they are the best three-point shooting team in the NBA, so sometimes really hard to take those away,” Doncic said after Boston’s 107-89 Game 1 win, per league-provided transcript. “Especially when they have five guys out and they can all shoot. Obviously, we’ve got to make more. We didn’t make enough shots today to beat them. But we’ve got to be better on both ends.”

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Doncic finished with 30 points on 12-of-26 shooting, missing eight 3-pointers and committing four turnovers.

Boston had a solution for Irving, a dangerous half of the All-Star Dallas duo, holding the 32-year-old to 12 points on 6-of-19 shooting. The aggressive go-getting Celtics defense smothered Irving, forcing difficult desperation shot attempts to get the Mavericks back on a competitive track. Yet, even after Dallas cut Boston’s lead to a feasible 72-64 deficit with 4:28 in the third quarter, Doncic and Irving couldn’t patrol a go-ahead comeback.

Kristaps Porzingis, fresh off a 38-day recovery period after suffering a calf strain, submitted a convincing Finals MVP starting bid. He scored 20 points off the bench by draining contested shot after contested shot, going 8-of-13 from the field along with three blocks on the other end. The Mavericks tried but had nothing to throw at the 7-foot-2 center debuting on the biggest stage Porzingis had ever played on throughout his eight-year career.

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Meanwhile, Boston dominated the margins battle. The Celtics shot 38.1% from 3-point range (Dallas shot 25.9%), they totaled 23 assists to nine from the Mavericks, and Boston’s largest lead (29 points) towered Dallas (four points) and its desperate offense.

Looking ahead to Sunday night’s Game 2, the Mavs have only one option.

“Just focus on the next game,” Doncic told reporters. “I think we really got good shots. We just didn’t make them. But we’ve got to go game by game. The Game 1 is over. We’ve got to watch film, what we did wrong, and focus only on the next one.”

Although the Celtics should, rightfully, feel good after winning their fourth consecutive home game this postseason — and the 11th in a row versus Irving — the series is still far from over.

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Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images