Jaylen Brown

How Celtics matched 2022 Warriors with impressive Finals feat

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After a dominant playoff run that culminated with a 2024 NBA Finals victory, the Boston Celtics achieved a rare feat, joining the likes of the San Antonio Spurs and Warriors in championship history.

The Celtics trounced the Dallas Mavericks in the series, scoring at least 100 points and allowing fewer than 100 points, which only had been previously accomplished by the 2022 Warriors and 2014 San Antonio Spurs.

Despite an off day in Game 4, which saw the Mavericks cruise to a 38-point win, the Finals were a display of dominance from the Celtics, who won an NBA-record 18th championship. While Dallas came into the series on a hot streak thanks to the unreal scoring tandem of Kyrie Irving and Luca Dončić, Boston’s suffocating defensive alignments proved too much for the Mavericks to handle.

The title is the first for the likes of Boston superstars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who avenged a brutal 2022 NBA Finals loss to Golden State. In that series, the Celtics had plenty of chances to take control, only to be thwarted by the Warriors’ imposing defense and Steph Curry’s postseason brilliance.

One of the big motivating factors for Boston was watching the Warriors celebrate on TD Garden’s legendary parquet floor after clinching the series with a Game 6 win. Tatum, Brown, Al Horford and company vowed to change the narrative surrounding the franchise and win the Larry O’Brien Trophy after many close calls. Since their previous title in 2008, Boston had lost in the Finals in 2009 and 2022 in addition to losing five times in the Eastern Conference finals.

With a 16-3 postseason record, second only to the 2017 Warriors who went 16-1, this Boston squad cemented themselves as one of the best in NBA history.

Counting the regular season and the postseason, Boston’s 80-21 record is 11th best in league history, trailing the likes of the Warriors and Chicago Bulls dynasties, among others. Given the Celtics' veteran-heavy roster and the unbelievable trade for before the start of the season for Jrue Holiday, it’s no surprise that Boston had such a legendary run.

With a plus-1083 point differential this season, the rest of the league didn’t really stand a chance. That mark is fourth best in NBA history, with the only teams ahead of them on the list being the 2017 Warriors, 1971 Milwaukee Bucks and the 1996 Bulls squad regarded as the greatest team ever.

It still will take a few more incredible postseason runs from Tatum and Brown to etch themselves in the pantheon of NBA greats, but given Boston’s impressive roster-building skills, it’s likely that this core group of Celtics will be competing for more titles in the future.

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