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Celtics Clinch Record 18th Championship with Dominant Victory over Mavericks

The Boston Celtics bounced back from a Game 4 drubbing to dominate the Dallas Mavericks 106-88, securing their record-breaking 18th NBA championship title. Jayson Tatum led the way with a dazzling 31-point performance, silencing any hopes of a Mavericks comeback.

“Oh my God. It’s a surreal feeling. We did it,” Tatum exclaimed after the triumph. “We did it — oh my God, we did it!”

The win marks 16 years since Boston’s last Finals victory in 2008 and puts them ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers for the most championships in NBA history. Jaylen Brown, named Finals MVP, chipped in 21 points, while Jrue Holiday and Derrick White added 15 and 14 points respectively.

For Dallas, the defeat capped a remarkable playoff run that saw Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving lead them to the Finals as the fifth seed in the Western Conference. Doncic, who was impressive in Game 4, finished with 28 points on the night.

“I’m proud of every guy,” said a dejected Doncic. “Obviously, we didn’t win, but we had a hell of a season.”

Kyrie Irving, taunted by Celtics fans for his 2019 departure, managed just 15 points.

Boston asserted their dominance after the Game 4 blowout, leading by double digits from the second quarter onwards. A controlled first half saw them build a commanding 67-46 lead at the break. Payton Pritchard capped a stellar first half with a buzzer-beating three from near half-court, extending the lead to 21 points.

Boston’s swarming defense stifled Dallas early on, forcing the Mavericks to a slow start. After briefly trailing by two points, Boston’s defense tightened, with steals from Tatum and Sam Hauser propelling them to a 28-18 lead after the first quarter. Doncic and Irving were held to a combined 14 points in the period, while Tatum and Brown led the Celtics’ offensive charge.

The dominance continued in the third quarter. Holiday’s layup pushed the lead to 26 points, and despite a brief Dallas rally, Boston maintained control, leading by 19 heading into the final period. A roaring TD Garden crowd fueled the Celtics as they closed out the game with a comfortable double-digit advantage.

(Source: AFP)

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