Celtics reach NBA Finals, beat Heat 100-96 in Game 7

MIAMI — Jayson Tatum had 26 points, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart had 24 each, and the Boston Celtics had a wild rebound in the closing seconds to end the week. 100-96 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday night to reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.

Al Horford had 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who never trailed on the road to a Game 7 win — and that’s not counting the bubble, this is the legendary team The first such victory since the 1974 win over Milwaukee for the NBA championship.

Next up is Boston: the Golden State Warriors in a series that starts Thursday in San Francisco.

Jimmy Butler took the Heat to Game 7 with 47 points on Friday in Boston, where he led the Heat with 35 points in what became their season-ending battle. Bam Adebayo had 25 points for the Heat, who trailed by 11 with less than three minutes left before attempting one final rebound.

Max Strus hit a 3-pointer with 51 seconds left to give the Heat a 98-96 lead. They had a chance to take the lead with about 17 seconds left when Butler attempted a 3-pointer from the right wing, but the shot missed – and the Celtics escaped.

Boston forced nine straight turnovers for the Heat in the clutches of the fourth quarter, using the period to turn an 82-79 lead into a 90-79 advantage — and the Celtics have made the last four trips to the East Zhongdu lost the final and found a way to persevere.

Kyle Lowry scored 15 points for the Heat. Grant Williams had 11 points for the Celtics.

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