Ime Udoka, the Celtics' coach, stated that the team "has to take the harder way at times."

The Celtics blew a 17-point second-quarter lead and handed the worn-down Heat a ray of hope after squandering an opportunity to close out the Miami Heat at home in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

The Celtics completed the job this time, defeating Miami and Jimmy Butler 100-96 in Game 7 on Sunday.

Jimmy Butler, who was once again terrific, missed a 3-pointer with 16.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter that would have put the Heat up 99-98.

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics won the first Larry Bird Trophy, which is given to the MVP of the Eastern Conference finals. In the series finale, he recorded 26 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two blocks, and a steal.

The Celtics' incredible comeback continues. They were 18-21 and in 11th position in the East on Jan. 6.

Udoka noted early in the series, "We always had glimpses of success." "For the most part, we were just trying to remain consistent, knowing that we were pretty excellent defensively all along."

 Trying to get our men on the same page and understand what we needed from them on the offensive. At the time, it was the goal.

"However, we did notice some excellent things early on." Just up and down, a little bit erratic. But we were always confident that as we were healthy and our defence improved, we'd be able to continue to develop offensively."

For the 22nd time in team history, and for the first time since 2010, Boston has advanced to the NBA Finals. The Celtics will take against the Golden State Warriors in an attempt to earn a league-record 18th title, breaking a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers.

The NBA Finals begin on Thursday in San Francisco (9 p.m. ET, ABC).