The Celtics stomp the Mavericks in Game 5, capturing their 18th NBA title

BOSTON — Behind 31 points, 8 rebounds and 11 assists Jayson Tatum And 21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists from the Finals MVP Jaylen BrownThe Boston Celtics defeated the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 to win the 2024 NBA Finals, a record 18th NBA title on the 16th anniversary of their 17th championship in the same building.

In doing so, the Celtics surpassed their perennial rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, for the most titles in NBA history.

Boston, coming off its worst game of the season in its first chance to end the streak Friday night, responded with a wire-to-wire win on Monday. Big performances from both Tatum and Brown allowed Boston to put the game away early — just like the Celtics beat the Lakers in Game 6 at TD Garden in 2008 for their most recent championship.

That allowed the Celtics to build a 21-point halftime lead — just one second Payton Pritchard The half-court heave of the series sent Boston into halftime with a comfortable lead and sent the sellout crowd at TD Garden into an absolute frenzy.

Even before the start of the game, especially when the crowd was in high spirits Kristaps Porzingis — who missed Games 3 and 4 with a torn medial retinaculum that allowed him to dislocate the posterior tibialis tendon in his left leg, which he suffered in Game 2 — entered the game midway through the first quarter. Porzingis finished with just 5 points in 16 minutes, but gave Boston some valuable minute spells. Al Horford From the bench.

Kyrie Irving, meanwhile, continued to struggle in Boston after admitting on Sunday that he had trouble playing against his former team at TD Garden. After going a combined 13-for-37 in Boston in Games 1 and 2, including 0-for-8 from 3-to-8, he finished with 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting in Game 5.

Brown earned his MVP award after averaging 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5 assists in a five-game stretch while the Mavericks continued to defend the superstar. Luka Doncic.

„It’s a total team effort that I share with my brothers and my partner in crime, Jayson Tatum,” Brown said upon receiving the award named after the Celtics legend. Bill Russell. „He’s been with me the whole way, so we’re sharing this together.”

With the win, the Celtics finished the playoffs at 16-3, second only to the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors (16-1), who went the NBA’s best-of-seven rounds in the playoffs in 2003. Belying Boston’s recent playoff disappointments. The Celtics — until Monday night’s win — had played more postseason games in an eight-season stretch without winning a title than any team in NBA history.

That run includes six trips to the Eastern Conference Finals, including last year’s seven-game loss to the Miami Heat, becoming the fourth team to force a Game 7 after falling behind 3-0. After winning two of the first three games in the 2022 NBA Finals and taking a fourth-quarter lead of 4, the loss came before the Warriors watched the Stephen Curry era celebrate its fourth title on Boston’s famous parquet. .

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As a result, the title checked the boxes for many of Boston’s top players. For Tatum and Brown, it was 107 games together before they won the first championship in NBA history. Meanwhile, Horford played in 186 playoff games before his first title — the most in NBA history for a player before winning his first title.

Meanwhile, Tatum had the fifth-most career playoff points during his first championship — trailing only late. Jerry West, LeBron JamesDirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant.

„We’ve been hearing about the Celtics all year long,” Brown said after Game 3. „Over the last six to eight months, we’ve been hearing, and that’s what we’ve been hearing about the past various deficiencies

„This is a new team. We learned from those experiences. In these moments, you can see that we learned from that. We stepped up to the plate and found a way to win.”

They found it at the end of a journey that began 11 years ago this month at Barclays Center, when the Brooklyn Nets made a blockbuster trade with Boston to acquire Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for draft picks, two of which eventually became the Browns. Tatum in the 2016 and 2017 NBA drafts.

After the draft, Boston came to terms with Butler decommitting from University and hiring Brad Stevens as the team’s head coach, replacing Danny Ainge, who hired Stevens as the team’s president, for the next eight seasons. Basketball activities in 2021.

At the time, Boston was coming off a .500 season in 2020-21 and lost to the Nets in five games in the first round of the playoffs. Since then, Stevens has systematically rebuilt the roster around Brown and Tatum through trades — bringing back Horford that summer. Derrick White At the next trade deadline — it helped propel Boston to the 2022 Finals. After last spring’s Eastern Conference Finals loss to the Heat, Stevens reshuffled the roster, trading away a fan favorite and former defenseman. Marcus Smart In a deal to add Porzingis, the latter is scrambling to buy out Jury vacation After the Milwaukee Bucks traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Holiday, who won a title with Milwaukee in 2021, had several big performances during this postseason run, including Game 2 of the Finals, when he scored 26 points on 11-of-14 shooting while the rest of the team went cold from 3. -point range. Porzingis missed all but six of Boston’s postseason games. the night

Stevens made the bold decision to elevate Joe Mazzulla to head coach after Ime Udoka was suspended and fired for violating team rules just before training camp. Mazzulla has posted a 121-43 regular-season record over the past two years, and on Monday Russell became the youngest coach to win an NBA title 55 years ago.

The Celtics largely controlled the first three games of the series before the Mavericks responded by completely demolishing Boston in Dallas on Friday, winning by 38 points in the third-largest blowout in NBA Finals history and the Celtics’ biggest loss. game from the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals.

But Boston responded to that performance with one of its most complete of the season in Game 5 — and as a result, set a new standard for wins in NBA history.

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