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Boston Celtics win — again

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

To Boston now, where, for the 18th time in franchise history, the Celtics are NBA champions. Boston took down the Dallas Mavericks in a decisive Game 5 victory last night to claim the most titles in NBA history. And just as the clock struck zero, the crowd at TD Garden in Boston erupted.

(CHEERING)

KELLY: Esteban Bustillos, from member station GBH, has been covering the finals and joins us now from Boston. Hey, there.

ESTEBAN BUSTILLOS, BYLINE: Hi, Mary Louise.

KELLY: So 18th banner - the Celtics are no strangers to wins. What does this particular win mean for them?

BUSTILLOS: Yeah, so the Celtics last won the finals in 2008, which might as well be a century in Boston years. And 16 years to the day that they got their last trophy - which was on June 17 - the Celtics got their 18th championship. How's that for some stats?

KELLY: There you go.

BUSTILLOS: Now, Jaylen Brown, who got finals MVP honors after averaging over 20 points a game in this series, talked afterwards about how the team's failures of the past - like losing in the Eastern Conference finals last year or the NBA finals in 2022 - got them ready for this win.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JAYLEN BROWN: I think we learned. I think we learned from all our mistakes, all of our adversity. I think it's made us stronger, made us tougher. And all season, you could see it. You know, we started from the jump. We made all the sacrifices. We played both ends of the ball at a high level. We didn't skip any steps.

BUSTILLOS: Yeah, the Celtics didn't skip any steps, and now they're NBA champions.

KELLY: Well, and I love the idea of, like, Boston sports years being like dog years to the rest of us when it's been - in between championships. As we mentioned, they won on their home court. Describe the scene there in Boston.

BUSTILLOS: Yes. So confetti absolutely everywhere. Players, staffers were soaked in champagne and other alcohol. Team members were busting out the victory cigars. It was a party, and fans in the stands were just as excited. Michaela and Alyssa Alperen and their mother, Lisa, were ecstatic after the win.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ALYSSA ALPEREN: Now we go parading.

LISA ALPEREN: Now we're going to celebrate.

A ALPEREN: We're going to the parade.

L ALPEREN: We're going to celebrate.

A ALPEREN: We'll celebrate tonight, and then we're on the streets of Boston this week.

MICHAELA ALPEREN: We're going to celebrate with a parade, and then someone's getting a banner 18 tattoo. Yes.

KELLY: Esteban, I am told - you live in Boston. You're talking to us from Boston. But I am told you're actually from Dallas. What about the Mavericks? Where are they going to go from here?

BUSTILLOS: Right. So losing 4-1 is tough, but they have one of the best players in the league right now in Luka Doncic, who led the NBA in postseason points, rebounds, assists and steals in these playoffs. So the future's bright in Dallas, and Doncic expressed pride in the team.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LUKA DONCIC: I'm proud of every guy that stepped on the floor, all the coaches and all the people behind. Obviously, we didn't win finals, but we did have a hell of a season, and I'm proud of every one of them.

BUSTILLOS: And look, I'm sure Luka is going to learn from this, and I'm sure we'll see more of him in the finals someday soon.

KELLY: OK. So championship parade - Boston is famous for them. When is it?

BUSTILLOS: Right. So right now, Boston is planning to host a championship parade for the Celtics this Friday. It's a big deal. But unless you're trying to see the Celtics, I would avoid downtown Boston. Officials are expecting over a million people in attendance. It's going to be packed.

KELLY: Over a million people - wow. That will be something to watch. Esteban Bustillos with member station GBH in Boston, but not from there originally - so I guess congratulations and condolences, in order, for last night's game.

BUSTILLOS: Thank you, Mary Louise.

KELLY: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF ANDERSON .PAAK SONG, "COME DOWN") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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