In the Celtics’ 107-89 blowout victory over the Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, one statistic was glaringly lopsided — assists.

Boston had 23 assists in the game while holding Dallas to just a mere nine on the other side of the court. Mavericks guard and Celtics public enemy No. 1 Kyrie Irving led Dallas with two assists.

“It’s uncharacteristic for us to have only nine assists,” Irving told reporters, per NBA transcripts. “The ball has got to move a little bit more. That starts with me just being able to push the pace, get us some easy opportunities, and just adjust to what they are throwing at us.”

Mavericks star guard Luka Doncic averaged 9.8 assists per game in the regular season and had just one assist in Game 1.

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“They mostly played one-on-one. They send a lot of help, so that’s why,” Doncic said of the Celtics’ defensive approach, per NBA transcripts.

The Celtics understand Doncic is going to get his points, so Boston’s plan of attack is to ensure Dallas’ supporting players don’t get clean looks when they have the ball.

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“I don’t necessarily agree it’s a trap they want to set us,” Irving said. “I think that they really rely on their great defensive ball pressure and one-on-one defenders.

“They funnel us into certain areas. Even as I say that they are relying on one-on-one every time I got (isolation), there’s almost two, three people waiting for me to get in there. I have to catch the ball on a live dribble and just be aware of my opportunities.”

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Instead of dwelling on what went wrong in Game 1, the Mavericks are focused on what they can do in Game 2 as they try to level the series.

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

“They did their job getting Game 1,” Irving said. “But, we are going to take our lessons and get ready for a good Game 2.”

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images