It’s finally game day! Celtics to face Mavericks in Game 1 of NBA Finals
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It’s finally game day! Celtics to face Mavericks in Game 1 of NBA Finals

The day has finally arrived. Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks tips off Thursday night.

All is quiet inside of TD Garden on Thursday morning. But all of the streets are covered in green and white T-shirts reading, “You got Boston.”

The Celtics dominated their Eastern Conference opponents, losing just two games on their road to the Finals behind strong performances by the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Their performance was even more impressive given that they were playing without Kristaps Porzingis, who is set to return Thursday after suffering a calf injury in the first round of the playoffs.

“I think this is a special group. I really do,” Brown said Wednesday. “We’ve been able to go through the experiences of having success but not having success at the same time. I think to solidify the ultimate goal is to get over the hump and win. I think that will add a lot to our legacy. But as of right now, that story is kind of still untold.”

All eyes on Thursday night will be on former Celtics star Kyrie Irving, who is averaging nearly 23 points per game in the playoffs. Irving says he’s ready for what he expects to be an icy greeting from the home crowd given his departure following two disappointing seasons in Boston.

He further rankled the Boston faithful when he flipped his middle finger at fans after making a shot during Brooklyn’s first round playoff series loss to the Celtics in 2022. But he said he is looking forward to matching up with “brothers” and former teammates Tatum and Brown.

Hundreds of people are expected to head down to Causeway Street to watch the game, and that doesn’t include those who will be inside the arena.

Canal Street will close to vehicles from from 4 p.m. until midnight Thursday, as it will turn into a hub for Finals fans. Restaurants, bars and other businesses in the area are expected to be packed.

Boston police will be on hand to make sure things don’t get too rowdy.

Fans are being encouraged not to drive to TD Garden if possible, and the MBTA is making that decision easier by adding additional Green Line service to North Station on Thursday night and again on Sunday for Game 2. And this weekend all Haverhill Commuter Rail line trips are fare-free between Oak Grove, Malden Center and North Station.

Also on Sunday, a special train called “The Lucky Express” will be added to the line, departing Oak Grove at 6:42 p.m., Malden Center at 6:45 p.m. and North Station at 7.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.