The Boston Celtics are heading back to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 after beating the Miami Heat on the road 100-96 in Game 7 Sunday night. Jayson Tatum led the way with 26 points, and Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart added on 24 points apiece as the Celtics move on to play the Golden State Warriors for the championship, beginning with Game 1 Thursday in San Francisco.
The Celtics led wire-to-wire, and responded every time the Heat went on a run. Miami went on a late run and cut the deficit to two points, but Boston managed to hang on for the win. Jimmy Butler did most of the offensive work for Miami, finishing with 35 points while playing the entire game. But Butler alone couldn’t get it done for the No. 1-seeded Heat.
With Boston’s win, Ime Udoka becomes the first rookie head coach in NBA history to win multiple Game 7s; Boston beat the Bucks 109-81 in Game 7 earlier in the East semis.