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Kristaps Porzingis injury will require offseason surgery after winning championship with Celtics

Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca on historic NBA Final win for team
Celtics owner Stephen Pagliuca on historic NBA Final win for team 03:32

BOSTON -- Kristaps Porzingis couldn't walk without pain and there was a risk for making his tendon injury worse. But with an NBA title there for the taking, the Celtics' big man wasn't going to let an injury keep him from joining in on the fun on Monday night. 

Porzingis gutted through 16 minutes of action in Boston's 106-88 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, and after spending some time with the Larry O'Brien trophy, he announced that he'll undergo offseason surgery.

Shortly after Porzingis won his first NBA title, he told ESPN that he'll undergo surgery this offseason with a recovery process of "a few months." He also added that there was risk of making the injury worse on Monday night, but that was not on his mind during Monday night's win.

"There was definitely some added risk, but I didn't care. I was like, 'I want to give everything I can and then fix it after if I need to,'" Porzingis told ESPN

Porzingis missed Games 3 and 4 of the NBA Finals with a rare tendon injury -- a torn medial retinaculum and dislocation of the posterior tibialis tendon in the leg -- but did everything he could to make it on the floor for Monday night's Game 5. He scored five points off the Boston bench, helping give veteran Al Horford some rest as the Celtics won its 18th title in franchise history.

"Somehow I got it going for this game. A lot of it was for sure like the adrenaline from just playing at the Garden and playing in front of our fans and having that opportunity to close it out. And, man, I got it going," Porzingis said at the podium after the victory.

Porzingis played in 57 games during the regular season, missing time for built in days off and smaller injuries that popped up. He only played seven games in the postseason after he suffered a calf injury in the first round, which kept him out until the NBA Finals.

After returning with a bang in Game 1 against the Mavs, Porzingis got hurt again in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. He was obviously a bit deflated, but he was also determined to get back on the floor and help his team bring a banner to Boston.

"Once I got hurt, it was a heartbreaking moment for me. I didn't want to accept the truth. It was like, no way it happened," said Porzingis. "But, yeah, tonight was the night. I was like, listen, I'm going to give it everything I have. And, yeah, I'm just super happy to be a part of this and give something to the team, and I'm super thankful for the support I've gotten from the fans. And tonight the arena was electric. It's been unbelievable playing in front of these fans."

Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla heaped praise on Porzingis for playing through his injury after Boston's Game 5 win. 

"I know he's been in and out in the playoffs, but he's worked his ass off to try and get in and play as much as he could. It just says -- about the team, everyone is going to do whatever it takes to win," said Mazzulla. "And even though he wasn't a 100 percent, he said he wanted to play, and he knew he could give us something. And I thought that the minutes he gave us were valuable. It speaks to who he is, and it speaks to the locker room."

Porzingis has surgery set for his near future, but he left it all out on the floor Monday night and helped the Celtics win a title. That alone will raise him to legendary status in Boston.  

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