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Celtics come up clutch again; into Finals after sweeping Pacers



Celtics come up clutch again; into Finals after sweeping Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS — When Boston Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell learn off Jaylen Brown’s title because the winner of the Larry Chicken Trophy as Japanese Convention finals MVP, nobody appeared extra shocked than Brown himself.

“I wasn’t anticipating it in any respect,” Brown mentioned, with the trophy sitting subsequent to him on the podium after Boston’s series-ending 105-102 Recreation 4 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday evening, earlier than including with a broad smile, “I do not by no means win s—.”

But it surely was Brown who made a pair of performs within the closing 65 seconds — first blocking Andrew Nembhard’s drive to the rim, then stepping into the lane and kicking the ball out to Derrick White for what turned the successful 3-pointer with 41 seconds to go, a shot that put Boston forward for the primary time because the opening possession of the second half — that allowed the Celtics to flee from this collection with a sweep and return to the NBA Finals for a second time in three years.

“I am simply completely happy that we received,” Brown continued. “And provides credit score to Indiana, they performed us powerful. I do know individuals suppose that Indiana wasn’t a great workforce or regardless of the case could also be, however I assumed they have been as powerful as anyone we performed all season. They have been bodily, they have been quick, they put a number of strain on us. So shout out to them, and respect to them.”

The Pacers, taking part in for a second straight sport with out All-NBA guard Tyrese Haliburton, actually gave Boston all it might deal with. After main the Celtics by as many as 18 factors within the second half of Saturday evening’s Recreation 3 earlier than Boston stormed again and received within the dying seconds, Indiana took the lead within the second half Monday on a Myles Turner 3-pointer to open the third quarter and by no means trailed once more till White’s nook 3 fell.

At that time, Nembhard — who was sensible for a second straight sport as Haliburton’s alternative, going for twenty-four factors and 10 assists in 38 minutes — missed a game-tying triple of his personal. Then, after Jayson Tatum — who completed with 26 factors, 13 rebounds and eight assists — missed a game-sealing 3 on the different finish, Jrue Vacation wolfed up the offensive rebound for Boston, permitting time to run out and the Celtics to rejoice.

“It is particular,” Tatum mentioned of advancing to the NBA Finals for the second time in his profession. “Though we have been there earlier than, most of us have, you do not take it without any consideration. We have been excited.

“It was a hell of a workforce we simply performed, they made us earn each single sport and we’re extraordinarily grateful to maneuver on to the Finals.”

It was a becoming victory for the Celtics, one which noticed a number of gamers take their turns taking part in a component. Brown completed with 29 factors and 6 rebounds, along with his second half scoring barrage serving to hold Boston within the sport and finally pull out the win. Tatum had a bucket and grabbed three defensive rebounds late after selecting up his fifth foul halfway via the fourth.

After which there was White who, regardless of going 1-for-8 to start the sport from 3, stepped up and hit the sport’s largest shot, to go together with 5 steals and three blocks.

“Simply area and simply belief that JB goes to make the proper play like he has this complete 12 months,” mentioned White when requested what he was pondering as Brown received into the lane. “I received a great look and simply needed to remain within the shot and knock it down.

“Clearly, I missed just a few in a row however they have been beginning to really feel a bit higher, so simply stayed assured and was in a position to make one.”

For the Pacers, it was yet one more sport that can depart them with regrets over how this collection performed out. After taking a 9-point lead on a Nembhard and-1 layup within the fourth quarter, T.J. McConnell missed a totally uncovered layup with 8:35 remaining that will’ve pushed Indiana’s result in double digits.

As a substitute, Boston closed the sport with a 20-8 run to finish the sweep, marking the third time in 4 video games Boston pulled out a sport it had trailed within the fourth quarter.

“Give them credit score for the stuff they pulled off on the finish of the final two video games,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle mentioned. “They merely made extra performs. They blocked pictures. They received offensive rebounds. They made key pictures.”

Consequently, the Celtics — who had superior to 5 Japanese Convention finals in seven years earlier than this one, reaching the NBA Finals simply as soon as — at the moment are again within the league’s championship spherical but once more. And that’s partly due to the expansion of Brown and Tatum, their two stars who’ve seen this workforce undergo so many tough moments within the playoffs over the previous a number of years, solely to place collectively a 12-2 run via the East that can have this workforce as contemporary and prepared for the Finals because it probably might be.

“We really feel like we’re a distinct workforce than we have been final 12 months and the 12 months earlier than that,” Brown mentioned. “I do know all people desires to proceed to sort of pigeonhole us to what was taking place prior to now however we have had a distinct workforce each single 12 months, completely different coaches, we have had like three coaches within the final 5 years. And nonetheless individuals wish to make it appear to be it is the identical, it is the identical, it is the identical.

“Time has passed by, expertise has been gained and I feel we’re able to put our greatest foot ahead.”

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