Jaylen Brown hailed Kristaps Porzingis after the Boston Celtics power forward returned from injury with a "monster game" against the Dallas Mavericks.

Porzingis, who has been absent for five weeks with a calf strain, played a starring role from the bench against his former side, as the Celtics drew first blood in the NBA Finals with a 107-89 win in Game 1.

Having not played since Game 4 in the first round against the Miami Heat, the Latvian marked his return with 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks at TD Garden.

And Brown, who top-scored for the Celtics with 22 points, paid tribute to his team-mate.

"Kristaps had a monster game for us," he said. "Just his presence shooting the ball and then him being able to attack those switches and mismatches, he made them pay every time, and that's what we need going forward in the series."

Porzingis was understandably thrilled to make up for lost time with his inspired display for top seeds Boston, who are targeting a record-breaking 18th NBA title this year.

"The adrenaline was just pumping through my veins," he said. "Obviously, it wasn't ideal that I was out for such a long time.

"But, I did everything I could to prepare mentally for this moment coming back, and it paid off, and we got the job done tonight and had a good game, and happy about the result.

"Tonight was an affirmation to myself that I'm pretty good, you know? Maybe I'm not perfect, but I'm pretty good and I can play like this and I can definitely add to this team."