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How the Celtics finished off the Mavericks in Game 5 and became NBA champions

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics are NBA champions once again. The Celtics finished off the Dallas Mavericks with a 106-88 win in Game 5 on Monday night to earn the franchise's 18th title, leading to another epic party inside TD Garden.

It was 16 years ago Monday night that Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen brought Banner 17 home to Boston in front of a wild home crowd. On Monday, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and the current Celtics did the same, etching themselves in Celtics history forever. This title now puts Boston back on top for the most championships, one more than the Los Angeles Lakers.

There were championship dreams with these Celtics all season. Fueled by last postseason's disappointment and Brad Stevens' DNA-altering moves in the offseason, the Celtics were the best team in basketball from the get-go and never really slowed down. There were bumps along the way, but very little doubt that the Celtics would win a title. Monday night's win was the culmination of a 16-3 postseason run. 

We'll have plenty of time to look back on the incredible season and postseason run, but for now, let's relish in another great title-clinching win by the Boston Celtics.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are NBA champions

Basketball is a team sport and the Celtics really hammer that home. But every team relies on its star players, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown played like stars on Monday night. 

Tatum was a mad man when it came to attacking the basket, and he either finished with a nice move around the hoop or set up his teammates. It started early and he never let up.

Tatum led all scorers with 31 points off 11-for-24 shooting, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. He scored 11 points in the fourth quarter as the Celtics marched their way to a title.

Brown was just as good, with 21 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. His incredible series against the Mavs earned him Finals MVP honors, which will look real nice next to his Eastern Conference Finals MVP.

On the biggest night of their careers, both Tatum and Brown shined bright. Now they are NBA champions for the first time, which could open up the floodgates for this incredible duo.

Derrick White left it all on the floor --teeth and blood included

With a title right there for the taking, Derrick White wasn't going to let anything get in his way. Even if it means a trip to the dentist on Tuesday.

White hit the deck going for a loose ball in the second quarter, and ended up with Derrek Lively II falling on top of him, sending White's face to the floor. The Celtics got the ball and Brown finished the play with a layup to put the Celtics up by 15 points.

White chipped a tooth and his other front tooth was loose, but he didn't care after the victory.

"I'll loose all my teeth for a championship," White said after the win.

What a warrior. White had 14 points (making four of his eight threes) to go with eight rebounds and a pair of steals. In addition to a ring, White should get a contract extension from the Celtics this summer.

Jrue led the way early, showed the C's the way late

It should be no shock that the guy who already had a ring was the most relaxed Celtic on the floor to start the game. Holiday scored Boston's first six points, and had two assists and two rebounds in the first quarter. While everyone else looked a little tight after tip-off, Jrue was his calm and cool self.

Holiday finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, including four off the offensive glass, plus four assists. Now he's got a second championship ring too.

Kristaps Porzingis gave it a go

Porzingis was available for Game 4, but that one got away from the Celtics early and he never saw the floor. The big man gave it his best effort over 16 minutes in Game 5, scoring five points and pulling down a rebound for Boston.

He was clearly still hobbled with the tendon injury that will require surgery this offseason, and the Mavs did everything they could to attack Porzingis any chance they got. But he wasn't going to be denied a chance to play in a title-clinching game.

Now Porzingis can celebrate -- and focus on healing up for a chance to repeat next season.

Payton Pritchard did it again at the buzzer

This is what Payton Pritchard does. 

That was his only shot and his only points on the night. But boy were they exciting and they gave the Celtics even more life heading into the second half.

Celtics started to run away in first half

The Celtics closed both the first and second quarters on runs that built that 20-plus point cushion they got to enjoy in the second half. It was an 11-3 run to close the first quarter that really broke the game open for Boston, fueled by lockdown defense and Tatum and Brown's scoring. The Celtics went wild from downtown in the second quarter, hitting seven of their 11 shots from downtown, and finished that frame on a 10-4 run. (Thanks, Payton.)

The Mavs kept making pushes in the third quarter, but this one was never really in doubt after halftime. Closing out the first quarter strong and catching fire in the second quarter played a massive part in that.

Celtics' defense took Luka, Kyrie out of it

The Boston defense took Dallas' stars out of Game 5. Luka Doncic scored 28 points, but he had just nine in the first half as the Celtics started to run away with the game. Kyrie Irving had just five points at the break.

The duo scored 43 points, but needed 41 shots to get there. Luka and Kyrie combined to go 5-for-18 from deep.

Al Horford has his title

We'll close with this because it's the best takeaway from the night. After 17 seasons in the NBA, Al Horford is finally a champ.

We'll see what the future holds for the 38-year-old, who has always hinted that he wants to make a Tom Brady-like run at career longevity. He is signed through next season, so we'll see if he's back to attempt a repeat, a feat he accomplished in college at Florida another lifetime ago.

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