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The Celtics break its drought and return to the top of the NBA

The team of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown (FMVP) and Jrue Holiday shut down the Mavs of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Los jugadores de los Celtics celebran el título.

(Cordon Press)

The Boston Celtics returned to the NBA throne after beating the Dallas Mavericks by a resounding 106-88. With the result, coach Joe Mazzulla's team finished the NBA Finals 4-1 on aggregate, ending a title drought that dated back to 2008.

The Celtics thus add 18 rings and break the tie it maintained with its greatest rival, the Los Angeles Lakers, to once again be the most successful in the history of the best basketball league on the planet.

"Oh, my God, we did it. It's a surreal feeling. We did it!" cried an excited Jayson Tatum on the court, the leader of the Celtics and figure of this memorable night at TD Garden with 31 points and 11 assists.

On the Maverick's side, one of the big surprises of these playoffs, Luka Doncic, closed the first Finals of his extraordinary career with 28 points and 12 rebounds. The great performance of the Slovenian, who played an excellent fifth game, was not enough to stop the Celtics who proved to be vastly superior to all the franchises for most of the season.

In fact, the Celtics' beating on Friday in Dallas, where they were crushed by 38 points, did not affect their morale. They were determined to take advantage of their second chance in front of their 19,000 fans.

Boston's 18th crown, in 23 Finals played, restores the pride of a franchise that, after dominating the NBA for decades, had barely hung a championship flag since the last title of the legendary Larry Bird in 1986.

During that period, the Lakers caught up with them at the top with eight wins, the last of which came in 2020.

In an electric atmosphere at the TD Garden, the Mavericks were overwhelmed from the start by the best team of the season and said goodbye to the dream of being the first team in history to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs.

Luka Doncic could not dominate the game like in his display on Friday and Kyrie Irving was held to 15 points in another frustrating night in Boston, where he is received as enemy number one since his controversial departure from the Celtics in 2019.

With his former team's victory sealed, Irving greeted his rivals on the court when the Mavericks retired their starters with two minutes remaining.

The blackout of the Dallas superstars left the game in the hands of the Celtics, the team that has dominated with All-Star talents like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown (21 points) and some of the best secondary players in the league, such as the point guards Jrue Holiday (15), Derrick White (14) and the legendary Dominican player Al Horford (9), who inaugurated his record at the age of 38.

After two games out due to injury, Kristaps Porzingis (5) also returned to the command of Joe Mazzulla, who, at 35 years old, established himself as one of the youngest coaches to win the championship.

After seven seasons together, Tatum and Brown achieved their long-awaited first ring as Celtics leaders, erasing the disappointment of their defeat two years ago in the Finals against Curry's Warriors.

The forcefulness of the Celtics made the difference

Boston's TD Garden dressed up on Monday to complete the victory they had been waiting for since 2008 when a team led by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen stopped the Lakers of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.

The Mavericks needed to set the pace early as in their only win of the series, but Doncic and Irving were very inaccurate, missing their first five shots.

On the other side, Tatum and Brown were also paying for their nerves, but the Celtics took advantage of a drop in Dallas' guard to score nine consecutive points in a frenetic minute, which gave them a 28-18 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After opening his locker, Tatum warmed up and attacked the locals in the paint repeatedly, who were unable to respond to Doncic and Irving's lack of success.

In an already lethal punishment for Dallas, the Celtics struck again at the end of the quarter with a three-pointer from half-court by Payton Pritchard at the buzzer, his second in the series, which made the stands explode with excitement.

Boston thus increased its lead to 67-46 and did not relax upon returning from the locker room against the Mavericks who also did not know how to rebel against their ineffectiveness from the outside line.

Between Doncic and Irving only scored one of the first 13 triples they attempted, making the work of the Celtics' renowned defense easier.

The Mavericks were unable to get closer and the biggest unknown of the fourth quarter focused on determining whether Tatum would achieve enough records to snatch the MVP award from Jaylen Brown, who ended up taking the prestigious award after a dream performance.