The Dallas Mavericks are three more wins from making NBA history. As they fight to not only be the first team ever to come back from an 0-3 hole but also raise the Larry O'Brien Trophy, though, Jason Kidd is making sure the Mavs keep their focus on the immediate task at hand ahead of winning Game 5 of on Monday night.

Speaking with reporters at practice on Sunday, Dallas' coach explained the approach he's preaching to Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving and company as the NBA Finals shift back to Boston for another elimination game.

“What helps is we were in that situation last game, so not to change or deviate from what we talked about in Game 4,” Kidd said, per ClutchPoints' Daniel Donabadien. “It's just take each possession one possession at a time, and hopefully we can put ourselves to win each quarter. We ended up doing that. Same thing that we're talking about and today and tomorrow is, we can only focus on Game 5 and trying to find a way to win here in Boston.”

Conventional wisdom suggested this series was over after the Celtics survived Dallas' furious fourth-quarter rally in Game 3 at American Airlines Center. Instead, the Mavs pushed back forcefully with their backs against the wall on Friday night, Doncic leading a relentless two-way charge that resulted in a 122-84 win for Dallas, a 38-point margin that ranks as the third-largest in Finals history.

Momentum is clearly on the Mavericks' side. Can they keep their title hopes in Boston?

What to watch in Mavericks-Celtics Game 5

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) dribbles the ball against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) during the fourth quarter during game three of the 2024 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Doncic responded with aplomb to one of the most dispiriting efforts of his career in Game 3. Answering an increasingly vocal and sizable number of critics who were fed up with his porous defense and frequent complaining to officials, the Mavericks' franchise cornerstone dominated Game 4 from the opening tip, dropping 25 first-half points while tightening up defensively and keeping his complaining to a minimum.

If Doncic plays on Friday like he did in Game 5—despite missing all eight of his three-point attempts—no one would be surprised if this series shifts back to Dallas. But it will likely take more than star-level performances from he and Kyrie Irving for the Mavs to stave off elimination once again. Fortunately, a lot of what Dallas did to avoid the sweep seems sustainable.

Kidd shortened his rotation to just nine players during the competitive portion of Game 4, opting for Dante Exum's energy, perimeter defense and transition ball-handling over the more scoring-oriented, defense-challenged Jaden Hardy and Tim Hardaway Jr. The Mavs absolutely dominated on the offensive glass, with Dereck Lively II out-muscling smaller Celtics defenders again and again after switches. They altered their defensive approach, too, largely committing to keeping Lively and Daniel Gafford as back-line rim-protectors to help stifle penetration.

After Game 4, Doncic discussed the importance of Dallas' supporting cast continuing to make an impact.

“It's big, it's basketball. It's five people on the floor. So that's huge for us,” he said, per ClutchPoints' Joey Mistretta. “Everybody played with a lot of energy. That's how we got to do it. We got to think the same way in Game 5 in Boston.”

The Celtics are bound to play better Monday night. They were completely out of sync offensively in Game 4, rushing shots and coughing up turnovers while clearly frustrated by Dallas' defensive adjustments and failing to match Dallas' overall intensity and physicality. Expect Joe Mazzulla and his coaching staff to find more ways to manipulate the Mavs' defense in Game 5, dragging Lively and Gafford out of the paint to create easier opportunities at the rim.

But it'd be surprising if Dallas didn't come out with that same type of force in Game 5, and Kristaps Porzingis' uncertain status remains this series' biggest tipping point. He was active for Game 4, but didn't get off the bench as Boston fell behind big early. If he can't go on Monday or is sorely limited in terms of minutes or effectiveness, it will make things much more difficult for the Celtics on both sides of the ball.

Even Al Horford can't replicate the blend of floor-spacing, shot-blocking and switch-beating Porzingis brings to the table, let alone Xavier Tillman. The same goes for Luke Kornet and Oshae Brissett, neither of whom has received rotation minutes in the Finals.

Boston outscored Dallas by 25 points when Porzingis was on the floor in the first two games of this series, per The Mavs won the minutes Porzingis rested by 25 points of their own, though, and have simply been the better over the last eight quarters while he sat with a rare leg injury. His impact is the single biggest X-factor for Game 5, and it's not particularly close.

The Mavericks and Celtics tipoff from TD Garden at 8:30 p.m. (PT). Buckle up.