The Boston Celtics secured a record 18th championship as they beat the Dallas Mavericks 106-88 to complete a 4-1 series victory in the NBA Finals.

Dallas had kept alive their title hopes with a 122-84 win on Friday to deny the Celtics a clean sweep in the best-of-seven championship series.

But in front of their home fans in Boston, the top seeds were inspired to victory by Jayson Tatum’s 31-point performance.

The championship win was the Celtics’ first in 16 years and moves them one clear of the Los Angeles Lakers, who have won 17, in the record books.

It was miserable night for Dallas’ Kyrie Irving, who left the Celtics in 2019, as he was heckled by the crowd and scored only 15 points.

The Celtics were strong from the start and led 67-46 lead at halfway, with Irving and Doncic restricted to just 14 points between them in the first quarter.

Dallas rallied slightly in the latter stages of the third quarter but still could not find a way past the Celtics, who took a 19-point advantage into the final quarter.

Jaylen Brown named NBA Finals MVP
In front of the jubilant crowd at the TD Garden in Boston, Jaylen Brown was handed the MVP trophy, which is named after Celtics’ legendary centre Bill Russell.

He put in a strong defensive display against Dallas’ Luka Doncic – the regular-season top scorer.

Brown, 27, averaged 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in five Finals games.

“It was a full team effort,” said Brown, who signed a five-year contract extension with the Celtics worth $286m (£225m) last year.

“I share this with my brothers and my partner in crime Jayson Tatum – he was with me the whole way, so we share this together.”

Brown, who has not been selected for the US Olympic basketball team for the Paris Games this summer, said he remained positive Celtics could overcome their previous Finals disappointments.

“I never hung my head,” he added.

Source: BBC SPORT

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