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Boston Celtics center Kristaps Porzingis missed Game 3 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks but 'there is a chance' the Boston big man could return for Game 4 on Friday in Dallas, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. The Celtics have a chance to eliminate the Mavericks as they aim for the 10th series sweep in NBA Finals history.

The team first announced Tuesday afternoon that Porzingis has a "torn medial retinaculum, allowing dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon" in his left leg. While speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said Porzinigis is dealing with a "serious injury."

Porzingis was the first player on the court for the team's shootaround on Wednesday, per multiple reports. But less than two hours before the Game 3 tip-off, it was decided that he would be held out. The Celtics pulled out a 106-99 win as Boston improved to 10-1 in these playoffs without the 7-foot-2 Latvian in the lineup.

"It's a serious injury, and at the end of the day, the medical team is not going to put him in any bad situations," Mazzulla said. "We've taken the decision to play out of his hands, because of the importance of him. So he's going to do everything he can to play, and then we're going to leave it up to our medical team."

The Celtics say Porzingis picked up the injury with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter, and that it is unrelated to the previous calf injury in his right leg that kept him sidelined for most of the playoffs. It appeared as though Porzingis tweaked his right calf late in the fourth quarter of Game 2, after fighting for a rebound with PJ Washington. He stumbled and fell to the floor awkwardly, and could be seen jogging back with an awkward gait. He stayed in the game for a few more possessions, then checked out. He didn't return to the game and could be seen stretching out that right leg. 

After the game, Porzingis said he wasn't worried about the awkward fall, and Mazzulla said his concern level was "zero," about the Celtics big man, but now it appears he picked up a different injury that the team should worry about.

Porzingis being sidelined again changes things for Boston. Porzingis' rim protection has been key in limiting Dallas' lob threats, and he's already racked up five blocks through two games. He's been great defending in space, as well as in the paint, and on the other end the Mavericks simply don't have an answer for him. 

Porzingis had been coming off the bench in the first two games of the Finals, but he was incredibly effective on the floor, dropping 20 points in Game 1 on 8-of-13 shooting and 12 points in Game 2. The floor spacing he provides makes life difficult for Dallas' defense, and while the Celtics have had no problems playing without him in their run to the Finals, the injury does open the door a bit for the Mavericks to close the gap Boston has created.