Just hours after the world lost basketball and broadcasting legend Bill Walton, the Boston Celtics completed their first Eastern Conference Finals sweep since 1986, defeating the Indiana Pacers 105-102. The win moves the Celtics four victories away from securing their 18th title in franchise history.

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Bill Walton, the Sixth Man of the Year on that 1986 Celtics team, was remembered fondly as the team advanced. On this historic, emotional day for one of the NBA’s original teams, Jaylen Brown was named Eastern Conference Finals MVP, earning the Larry Bird Trophy.

Boston trailed 98-90 with 5:56 to play after a pair of buckets by former Celtic Aaron Nesmith. From that moment until the final buzzer, the Celtics executed with poise and determination, closing the game on a 15-4 run. Jayson Tatum’s five points and Brown’s two-way brilliance led the charge.


With the score tied at 102, Brown blocked Andrew Nembhard’s layup attempt. On the other end, Brown drove into the lane, collapsing the defense, and found Derrick White for an open corner three-pointer, putting Boston ahead for good.

Brown (29 points, 6 rebounds, 4 three-pointers) and Tatum (26 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists) combined for 55 points, leading the Celtics back to the NBA Finals for the second time in three years. Brown and Tatum each scored 25+ points in the same game for the 17th time in the Playoffs, tying Larry Bird and Kevin McHale for the most by any duo in franchise history. The Celtics improved to 14-3 in those games.

The Celtics swept the East Finals and reached the NBA Finals with two or fewer losses (12-2) for the first time since the 1986 squad (11-1).

Boston now looks ahead to the NBA Finals, carrying the spirit of their past legends as they chase their 18th championship.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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