THE BOSTON CELTICS reached the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years this weekend after ovecoming Miami Heat for a 100-96 game-seven win.
Now the Celtics will face the Golden State Warriors in the Finals on Thursday.
At one stage the Celtics led by 17 at one point in the second quarter but a fourth-quarter flurry helped Miami repeatedly reduce the advantage.
After Butler's missed three-pointer, Boston's Marcus Smart - who had 24 points and nine rebounds in total - made two free throws to seal the long-awaited finals place.
Series MVP Jayson Tatum starred for the Celtics with 26 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, while Jaylen Brown had 24 points.
Tatum, who won the first ever Larry Bird Eastern Conference Finals MVP award said: I couldn't be prouder of these guys.
It’s all about 18 ☘️ pic.twitter.com/SAzFNFEJG3
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 30, 2022
'The road we took to get here, not a lot of people believed in us.
'We took the toughest route and it worked out'
Ime Udoka, the Celtic's head coach said that failing to beat the Warriors next will mean that winning the Eastern Conference title will count for nothing
"It'll be all for naught if we go lay an egg in the Finals, and we understand that," Udoka said after the Celtics' 100-96 win.
"Guys were quick to celebrate but quick to flip the page and say 'we got four more.'
The Warriors, beat the Dallas Mavericks to earn their place in the finals,
The NBA Finals begin Thursday at 9 p.m. ET.