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Boston Celtics come back again to beat Indiana Pacers and head back to NBA Finals

Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca react to team returning to NBA Finals
Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca react to team returning to NBA Finals 02:23

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics are heading back in the NBA Finals after capping off an Eastern Conference Finals sweep of the Indiana Pacers with another wild comeback. The Celtics scored the final seven points of Game 4 and ended with a 15-4 run on Monday night, stunning the Pacers with a 105-102 victory in Indiana.

It wasn't quite the 18-point comeback that Boston pulled off in Game 3 on Saturday night, but Monday's comeback was still pretty incredible. Boston fell behind by eight points with under six minutes to play, but Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown fueled the comeback with big buckets, timely defense, and clutch feeds to teammates.

A driving two by Tatum with three minutes left cut Indy's lead to 102-100, and a runner by Brown tied it with 2:35 left. After the two teams traded turnovers and missed layups over a frantic 90 second stretch, Brown blocked an Andrew Nembhard layup attempt with 1:05 on the clock. Brown found Derrick White in the corner on the other end, and he knocked down the go-ahead three for Boston with 45 seconds on the clock. Tatum corralled the rebound on a Nembhard miss, and the Celtics hung on for another improbable win to sweep the series.

The Boston defense held the Pacers scoreless for the final 3:33 of the game.

Brown led the way for the Celtics with 29 points, while Tatum added 26 to go with 13 rebounds and eight assists. Holiday scored 17 points and pulled down nine rebounds, while White had 16 points and five steals. 

Brown scored 10 points in the fourth quarter on Monday night and was named MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals. He averaged 29.8 points per game in the series off 51.7 percent shooting.

The Celtics are now 12-2 this postseason and a perfect 6-0 on the road.

This marks the second time in the last three seasons that Tatum, Brown and the Celtics are onto the NBA Finals. Boston lost to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals, but are now back on basketball's biggest stage and will be going for the franchise's 18th banner. 

The 2024 NBA Finals won't start until Thursday, June 6 at TD Garden. The Celtics hold homecourt advantage after claiming the top overall seed in the NBA thanks to their 64-win regular season.

As for who they'll play, the Celtics may know as early as Tuesday night. The Mavericks currently own a 3-0 series lead over the Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals, and will look to complete its own sweep with a Game 4 win in Dallas on Tuesday night.

The Celtics had not swept a postseason series since the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs, when they sent Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets home in four games. The franchise hasn't won a championship since 2008, when Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen won a title in their first season together in Boston.

As for these Celtics, they're now four wins away from hanging Banner 18 in Boston. 

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