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Celtics advance to NBA Finals with 105-102 win over Pacers in Game 4; Jaylen Brown named MVP - The Boston Globe

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Joe Mazzulla makes history — 11:55 p.m.

By Amin Touri

A little slice of history for Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla: tonight's win makes him the youngest head coach to reach the NBA Finals since Bill Russell in 1969.

Those Celtics took down the Lakers in seven games under player-coach Russell in his final season in either role.

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Jaylen Brown on MVP honor, previous snubs — 11:45 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

Highlights from Jaylen Brown's postgame press conference …

Mazzulla says... — 11:30 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

The highlights from Joe Mazzulla's postgame press conference …

When does the NBA Finals start? Get ready to wait. — 11:10 p.m.

By Jonathan Couture

The Celtics clinched their return to the NBA Finals on Monday night, but it'll be more than a week until they finally get there.

Monday's 105-102 victory at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to finish a four-game sweep of the Pacers will be Boston's last game action until June 6, the Finals' schedule locked in despite the possibility both conference finals could end in four.

The Mavericks, up, 3-0, in the Western Conference semifinals, aim to close out the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night in Dallas.

TD Garden will host the first two games of the Finals at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, and 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 9. The West champion will hosts Games 3 (8:30 p.m., June 12) and 4 (8:30 p.m., June 14).

Game 5, if needed, would be at TD Garden on Monday, June 17. Game 6 would be at the West champ on Thursday, June 20, and Game 7 back in Boston on Sunday, June 23.

All Finals games will be aired on ABC.

Adam Himmelsbach | Instant Analysis

Takeaways from Game 4: Boston better late, leaves Indiana in the dust — 11:08 p.m.

History will show that the Eastern Conference finals was a sweep by the Celtics, but the truth is it turned into an agonizing series for the Pacers, who had wonderful chances to win Games 1, 3, and 4, but ultimately lost them all.

The Celtics' final statement was made Monday night, as they clawed back from an 8-point deficit in the final six minutes to secure a 105-102 win when Derrick White drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner with 45 seconds remaining.

Boston advances to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years, where it will face the winner of the Western Conference finals between the Mavericks and Timberwolves that Dallas currently leads, 3-0. Game 1 of the Finals is set for June 6 at TD Garden.

Jayson Tatum had 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists for the Celtics, and series MVP Jaylen Brown scored a game-high 29 points. Andrew Nembhard had 24 points to lead the Pacers, who were once again without star Tyrese Haliburton (hamstring).

Neither team held a double-digit lead in the game. But the Pacers, who trailed by 1 at halftime, had an excellent chance to grab the first one with 8:35 left in the fourth, when they had generated plenty of momentum. But T.J. McConnell missed a simple layup and Brown capitalized at the other end with a 3-pointer.

After the Pacers stretched their lead back to 98-90, a quick 10-2 Boston run was capped by a Tatum driving dunk that tied the score at 100. With the score tied at 102, the Pacers' Andrew Nembhard raced to the rim and had his layup attempt blocked by Brown with 1:05 remaining.

At the other end, White calmly drilled his three, and those turned out to be the final points of this series.

Nembhard missed a potentially game-tying 3-pointer with 34 seconds left. Tatum's clinching shot was off, but Jrue Holiday, one of the unsung heroes of this series, swooped in for the rebound and the Celtics were able to run out the final seconds.


Al Horford is 'starving' for a title — 11:00 p.m.

By Amin Touri

The Celtics are back in the Finals for the second time in three years, and it might be the best chance 37-year-old Al Horford will ever have to get a ring.

After the Game 4 win over the Pacers, ESPN's Lisa Salters asked Horford how hungry he is for a title. His response?

"Starving," Horford said. "Starving. We're ready for it. We can't wait."

Jaylen Brown named series MVP — 10:45 p.m.

By Kate McInerney

"How 'bout them damn Celtics!" Cedric Maxwell exclaimed before announcing Jaylen Brown has been named Most Valuable Player of the Eastern Conference finals.

Big cheers in the arena for the Celtics — 10:41 p.m.

By Kate McInerney

The fans in green are sticking around to watch the ceremony.

Celtics stun Pacers in chaotic finish — 10:37 p.m.

By Khari Thompson

Jaylen Brown hits Derrick White in the corner for an open 3, putting the Celtics up by 3.

Tatum misses a 3, Holiday grabs the rebound, the Pacers don't foul and the Celtics run out the clock. Boston has swept Indiana and will return to the NBA Finals.

The Finals are set to begin June 6 at TD Garden.

Celtics tie it late — 10:33 p.m.

By Katie McInerney and Khari Thompson

Back-to-back buckets from Brown and Tatum tie the game at 102. — Thompson

The Pacers call a timeout after Siakam scoops up the defensive rebound.

102-102 with 1:09 to play. Playoff basketball! — McInerney

Pacers 102, Celtics 98 | 3:32, 4th quarter

Pacers lead growing — 10:30 p.m.

By Katie McInerney and Khari Thompson

Timeout, Boston. It's 102-98 with 3:32 to play. They're blaring Timmy Trumpet. Tillman just subbed in for Tatum, but Tatum's getting extended rest with this pause and will likely return to the lineup. — McInerney

Tatum hits a stepback three to bring the Celtics back within 3. ... However, he picked up his fifth foul on a pushoff shortly after. — Thompson

Pacers 98, Celtics 90 | 5:36, 4th quarter

Pacers' lead growing — 10:25 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

Nesmith with back-to-back jumpers to extend the Pacers' lead to 8 with 5:36 to play.

Pacers 94, Celtics 90 | 6:52, 4th quarter

A hard foul has the Pacers crowd upset — 10:20 p.m.

By Katie McInerney and Khari Thompson

McConnell goes down hard — he appears to have hit his head on the court. He was trying to haul in a rebound and was fouled by Brown. He's up and OK, but the officials are reviewing to see if it is a flagrant foul.

It's not a flagrant foul. The crowd is, um, very upset. — McInerney

Here come the "Ref, you suck" chants from the Gainbridge Fieldhouse crowd. — Thompson

And big "TJ" chants. — McInerney

Tatum finds Jrue Holiday all alone in the paint for a layup. Can't get more open than that. The basket trims Indiana's lead to 4 with 6:52 remaining. — Thompson

Bad break for Boston — 10:10 p.m.

By Khari Thompson

Brown's early triple is wiped off the board. They said the shot clock expired before he got it off. That's a big blow. Celtics go from down 4 to down 7.

... Jaylen Brown just drilled another three, this time from the top of the key. Ball don't lie.

Pacers 83, Celtics 80 | End 3rd quarter

End 3rd: Pacers 83, Celtics 80 — 10:05 p.m.

By Amin Touri, Khari Thompson, Katie McInerney

With 36 minutes in the books, the Pacers lead, 83-80. Andrew Nembhard, Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum share the scoring lead with 19 points apiece. — Touri

Jaylen is heating up from 3-point range. He's now 3 for 6 after creating space with a behind-the-back dribble that led to a swish from beyond the arc to open the fourth. — Thompson

Timeout Celtics after TJ McConnell dribbles under the basket, steps back and puts one in. It's 89-85 Celtics with 10:13 to go in the game. — McInerney

TD Garden Midwest? — 10:00 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

Big cheer for Brown's 3 to make it 82-80 with 34 seconds to go in the third quarter.

And another decent cheer when TJ McConnell misses his first free throw.

Pacers 76, Celtics 75 | 3:10, 3rd quarter

Pacers holding a narrow lead — 9:55 p.m.

By Katie McInerney, Khari Thompson, and Chad Finn

Timeout, Pacers. It's 76-75 Indiana after the rebound came right to Sam Hauser and he dished it to Jrue Holiday, who rolled it in for a layup. Hauser's free-throws with 3:33 to play in the third broke a three-minute scoring drought for Boston. — McInerney

Four fouls on Turner after he hacked Sam Hauser to prevent a layup. He heads back to the bench. Celtics should attack him and try to get him out of the game if Indiana goes back to him early. — Thompson

The Celtics are in some ways fortunate to be down just a point. They're 6 for 17 from the field and 1 of 8 from 3 in the third quarter. — Finn

Adam Himmelsbach's first half takeaways — 9:50 p.m.

By Adam Himmelsbach

Celtics 69, Pacers 69 | 6:45, 3rd quarter

Game 4 is heating up — 9:45 p.m.

By Katie McInerney, Chad Finn, and Khari Thompson

The crowd is big mad after Turner is called for an offensive foul for tripping Jrue Holiday.

The Pacers have subbed in McConnell, Jackson, and Toppin for Sheppard, Turner, and Siakam. It's 69-67 Pacers with 6:50 to play.

The crowd feels more engaged in this moment than it has during any point in Game 3. ... And Horford's free throws tie it up, 69-69. — McInerney

Turner was whistled for an offensive foul on Jrue Holiday. He now has three fouls, and it will be interesting to see how he manages his temper when he returns. — Thompson

Curious to see where we go from here and whether Turner wakes up Brown a little bit. — Finn

Pacers center Myles Turner (33) shoves Celtics guard Jaylen Brown (7) in the third quarter of Game 4.Danielle Parhizkaran/Globe Staff

Things getting chippy — 9:40 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

The officials have called a double technical on Jaylen Brown and Myles Turner. Turner had Derrick White in the post and pushed him aside, knocking him down. Brown, a bystander, gave Turner a mild tap, and then Turner responded by shoving Brown out of bounds under the basket.

Myles Turner just pushed Jaylen Brown with both arms, after Brown gave him a nudge following an offensive foul when he flattened White. It's being reviewed. #Celtics

— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) May 28, 2024

Second half is underway — 9:30 p.m.

By Chad Finn and Khari Thompson

Myles Turner scored just 2 points and was a minus-8 in the first half, but he opens the second half with a pair of 3s to put the Pacers up 63-58. —

Tatum is settling for a lot of fadeaway J's so far in the second half. He was able to find his way in for a few layups and dunks in the first but those creases appear to be tightening up a bit. — Thompson

Tatum and Brown are a combined 12 for 28 from the field and 2 of 7 from 3, and it feels worse than that. — Finn

Celtics beat on the boards — 9:25 p.m.

By Chad Finn

Pacers have outrebounded the Celtics, 25-20, including eight offensive to the Celtics' five.

Celtics 58, Pacers 57 | End 2nd quarter

End 2nd: Celtics 58, Pacers 57 — 9:15 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

That's the first half. Celtics 58, Pacers 57. Andrew Nembhard's shot bounces in at the buzzer. Some notes ...

Celtics 48, Pacers 46 | 5:17, 2nd quarter

Celtics getting out in transition — 9:05 p.m.

By Katie McInerney, Chad Finn, and Adam Himmelsbach

Tatum makes the steal and dishes to Brown, who lays in a dunk on the run to put the Celtics back up, 48-46. 5:17 to play in the first half. — McInerney

Jaylen Brown is 3 for 10 with one assist and two turnovers. Forcing it too much. (He'll probably have a huge second half.) — Finn

Jaylen's been really good in these playoffs, but the free-throw shooting has to make people a bit uneasy.He's now 44 for 71 in the postseason. — Himmelsbach

Celtics 42, Pacers 42 | 7:22, 2nd quarter

Pritchard doing the dirty work — 8:55 p.m.

By Katie McInerney and Chad Finn

Payton Pritchard gets fouled by Doug McDermott on the offensive rebound after the Celtics missed three shots in a row — a Tatum pull-up 3, a block on a Tillman layup, and a Brown missed 3. Tatum finishes the job with an and-1 layup, and it's tied 42-42 with 7:22 to play. — McInerney

Jrue Holiday has hit all three of his shots, including two early 3s, and yet he's played the least of any Celtics starter at 11 minutes. Odd. — Finn

Celtics fans well-represented in Indy — 8:42 p.m.

By Katie McInerney and Chad Finn

Fans right below the upper-deck media seating are starting a small but loud "Let's Go Celtics!" chant as Pascal Siakam misses his second three throw. It's 32-30 with 10:40 to play. — McInerney

Don't see a ton of Celtics gear in the stands, but there was a big roar after Horford hit a 3 to put the Celtics up 32-29. This place might turn into TD Garden Midwest if the Celtics can build a sizable lead. — Finn

Celtics 29, Pacers 27 | End 1st quarter

End 1st: Celtics 29, Pacers 27 — 8:42 p.m.

By Katie McInerney and Chad Finn

That's the end of the first quarter. The Celtics lead, 29-27. Some notes:

The Celtics' defense needs to pick it up. Jaylen has had a great view of a couple of McConnell's buckets. — Finn

Aliyah Boston, the Fever star who grew up in Central Massachusetts before starring at South Carolina, is here at the game with some of her teammates. The team has been out of town this weekend but opens a three-game homestand here tomorrow. — McInerney

Celtics 23, Pacers 20 | 3:02, 1st quarter

Celtics, Pacers trading triples — 8:30 p.m.

By Katie McInerney, Chad Finn, and Khari Thompson

Sam Hauser checks in for the Celtics at 5:48 of the first. It'll be interesting to see if he can get anything going. He's 0 for 9 from 3 in the series. ... And he knocks down a 3 on his first attempt on a nice dish from Jaylen Brown. — Finn

The Celtics call a time out after Doug McDermott hits a contested 3 over Sam Hauser. 23-20, Celtics, with 3:02 to play in the first quarter. — McInerney

Xavier Tillman is getting some early minutes to give Al Horford a little time to rest on the bench. Luke Kornet is available after missing Game 3 with a wrist injury, but Tillman gets the first look as far as bigs off the bench — Thompson

Celtics 14, Pacers 8 | 7:02, 1st quarter

Jrue Holiday heating up early — 8:20 p.m.

By Katie McInerney, Chad Finn, and Khari Thompson

Jrue Holiday swishes one in right over Aaron Nesmith for his first points of the night. Holiday was questionable to play this morning, as he's been battling a fever the past few days. — McInerney

Jrue just hit another transition three. He's feeling it early. C's are extra dangerous when they get him going along with the Jays. — Thompson

The Celtics have hit four of their first six 3-point attempts and just one 2-pointer while building a 14-8 lead just before the 7-minute mark. — Finn

We're underway — 8:15 p.m.

By Amin Touri

Game 4 is underway in Indiana. Follow along with us for updates and analysis throughout the night.

Final notes before tip-off — 8:05 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

We're almost ready for tip here at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. A few things to know ...

Pregame shots — 7:45 p.m.

Ahead of tip-off, here's a look at Gainbridge Fieldhouse through the lens of the Globe photo staff.

1 of 5

Derrick White superfans, tap in — 7:30 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

How's this for fandom? I spotted this family outside Gainbridge Fieldhouse a few hours before the game and had to ask for a photo. It turns out the six of them drove the four-and-a-half hours from St. Louis — home of Jayson Tatum, they reminded me. After the game, they're hopping back in the car to head home.

One family of Celtics fans drove four and a half hours to catch Game 4 — decked out in Derrick White t-shirts.Katie McInerney

Finn: Walton was one of one — 7:15 p.m.

By Chad Finn

Basketball-reference.com tells us that exactly 515 men have played at least one game for the Boston Celtics.

For many, and perhaps most, among that fortunate 515, wearing the green and white was a high point of their lives, a treasured time and opportunity.

Some may have cherished being a Celtic as much as Bill Walton did.

No one could have cherished it more.

Read the full column.

Where does Game 3 rank in Tatum's career? — 7:00 p.m.

By Chad Finn

Jayson Tatum has played in 107 playoff games in his seven-year NBA career. It is not a challenge to identify his best performance.

It has to be his 46-point effort in Game 6 of the 2022 Eastern Conference semifinals against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics trailed, 3-2, in the series. They were on the road. It looked bleak.

The Bucks were coming off a Game 5 win in which this one-man defensive scheme named Jrue Holiday — perhaps you have heard of him? — made two sensational late plays, including a midcourt steal against Marcus Smart that suddenly looks awfully familiar.

Tatum's best playoff game? No doubt.

Game 6, Milwaukee, 2022 must be the choice.

Oh, yeah: And we just witnessed the runner-up.

Read the full story.

Dan Shaughnessy on Bill Walton's time in Boston — 6:45 p.m.

By Dan Shaughnessy

The memories and stories started pouring in as soon as the news broke.

Everyone remotely connected to the 1985-86 Celtics has a Bill Walton memory. Invariably, those stories are personal. And all of us were shocked Monday when it was learned that Walton had died in California at the age of 71.

No player ever loved playing for the Celtics more than Walton. And it's cruel and ironic that Bill would pass as the team is on the cusp of another appearance in the NBA Finals, which would mean a chance to win an NBA-record 18th banner.

My friend Rich Johnson, longtime curator of the New England Sports Museum and — like Walton — someone with a lifelong stutter, weighed in online, sending out a recording of the Grateful Dead's "He's Gone," while writing, "Listening while wiping away tears. His personal kindness to me was life changing."

Read the full column here.

Holiday, Kornet available; Haliburton out — 6:25 p.m.

By Katie McInerney

The Celtics announce Jrue Holiday (illness) and Luke Kornet (wrist) are both available for tonight.

Holiday was also questionable to play before Saturday's Game 3, but finished with the second-most minutes of any Celtic other than Jaylen Brown.

Kornet has been out since Game 2, when he injured his wrist in the first quarter. Oshae Brissett has been getting more minutes in Kornet's absence.

Tyrese Haliburton is also out, coach Rick Carlisle announced.

Haliburton, who missed most of January with a hamstring injury during the regular season, exited Game 2 with the same issue and missed Game 3.

An All-NBA third team selection this season, Haliburton averaged 19.2 points and 8.3 assists in the playoffs before suffering the injury.

Catching up with Rajon Rondo — 6:15 p.m.

By Gary Washburn

The man standing above the Boston media seating at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, observing from his suite, has a different look than during his Celtics days. He drove two hours from his native Louisville with his family to watch his former team close in on the NBA Finals, using the game as a learning tool for his son.

Rajon Rondo kept a low profile as he watched. He did not stroll on the floor pregame to greet Celtics executives or players. He did not want to be recognized. Instead, the former four-time All-Star and NBA player just wanted to offer his first organization his support.

It's been nearly 10 years since Rondo, now 38, dazzled fans with his passing ability, and that fake behind-the-back that turned into a silky floater off the glass. He's retired, coaching his son Rajon Jr., a 12-year-old prospect, and decided to reserve a suite to watch Game 3. He openly cheered for the Celtics as they rallied from an 18-point deficit for a 114-111 win over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.


Rick Carlisle: 'We are going after them.' — 6:00 p.m.

By Khari Thompson

It didn't take long for the anger in Rick Carlisle's voice to surface during his postgame press conference.

The Pacers blew a late fourth-quarter lead for the second time in three games, and the mere mention of how Indiana lost Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals after being up 8 with less than three minutes to go irked him.

Carlisle waved his hand and cut off the first question after his opening statement Saturday night before it was finished.

"I just watched the ending," Carlisle said. "So, you don't need to remind me. I saw everything that happened. Everything. Everything. Everything that happened, yeah. Anybody else?"

The Pacers have no choice but to come at the Celtics even harder in Game 4, Carlisle said. They are in a position no team in NBA history has ever come back from, trailing Boston, 3-0.

Carlisle was asked why he believes his group is capable of making the comeback.

"We've got to look at what's in front of us," Carlisle said. "We've got the best fans in the NBA here, we've got the greatest basketball building on the planet, and we've got another game in front of them to go after those guys, and believe me when I tell you we are going after them."


Amin Touri can be reached at amin.touri@globe.com. Katie McInerney can be reached at katie.mcinerney@globe.com. Follow her @k8tmac. Chad Finn can be reached at chad.finn@globe.com. Follow him @GlobeChadFinn. Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him @adamhimmelsbach. Khari Thompson can be reached at khari.thompson@globe.com.

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