“We did it!” screamed Jayson Tatum after winning his first NBA Finals, fighting back tears and being overcome with emotions. For a superstar and team that won the hard way and battled back from multiple heartbreaking seasons, they finally broke through Monday night and dispatched the Dallas Mavericks 106-88.

Jaylen Brown took home the NBA Finals MVP, although the way Boston played team basketball, three or four players could have been awarded it. Brown finished the series averaging 20.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 5.0 APG while guarding Luka Doncic most of the series and limiting the impact of the 1st team All-NBA SG. Brown, motivated by being snubbed from all three all-NBA teams at the beginning of the postseason, played the best two-way basketball of his career during the 2024 playoff en route to winning the MVP in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals.

Blown out in game four, Boston returned the favor to Dallas in front of their home fans. The Mavericks never held the lead, as the Celtics won wire-to-wire, and Joe Mazzula’s men led by double digits for the entire second half. Once again, the green and white’s ability to smother a potent Maverick offense made the difference, as Dallas scored under 100 points for the fourth time in five games and turned the ball over 13 times, resulting in 17 Celtic points off turnovers.

Offensively, Boston finally shot the ball to its potential. They went 10-21 from beyond the arc in the first half, and 30 of their 67 in the first two quarters came from three. Seven different Celtics knocked down a long ball in the first two quarters, including a half-court buzzer-beater by Payton Pritchard that almost took the roof off T.D. Garden and deflated Dallas. Tatum and Brown combined for 31 points in the first half, compared to just 14 from the duo of Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

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Each side struggled to score in the third quarter as the extended minutes and intensity began to wear out the star players. Boston only put up 19 points in the third stanza, but Dallas could fare no better, knocking down just 21 as the Celtics took a 19-point advantage into the fourth.

The Mavericks could not buy a bucket, going scoreless for the opening three minutes of the final frame with their season hanging in the balance. Seizing the moment, Tatum sealed the deal with 11 fourth-quarter points, all coming at the rim or free throw line, as he imposed his will on the Dallas defenders and put the game out of reach. Mazzula took out his starters one by one in a classy move to receive ovations from the raucous Garden crowd, except he brought Tatum and Brown out together. After years of heartbreak and divisiveness, the duo sit on the NBA mountain top, each winning their first title, proving they can succeed together.

Tatum teared up, holding his son at half-court with the confetti falling as it finally sunk in what he did as the buzzer sounded. Al Holford, who played the second most playoff games in NBA history without winning a title, did not stop smiling during the trophy ceremony as he won his first title at age 38. The Celtics said they wanted to win this championship for him, and after first signing with Boston eight years ago, they delivered on their promise. The party went late into the night in Beantown as downtown Boston flooded with green and white. This is the city’s title since 2019 and the first Celtic title in 16 years, and they savored the moment.

Winning a championship is never easy, and Boston played through pain to reach the pinnacle. Mazzula tore his meniscus in March, he told the media postgame, and the coach will need offseason surgery.

Kristaps Porzingis said he would “die on the court” if he needed to and somehow managed to play with his severe leg injury during game five. ESPN reported after the game that he would need surgery and months of rehab.

It had been seven years since the team with the best regular season record won the NBA title before Boston clinched last night. The Celtics dominated the entire season with a 64-18 regular season record and a 16-3 postseason mark on their way to the franchise’s 18th championship. The years of failure are forgotten now as Boston officially made it over the hump, winning the NBA title in five games.

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