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Brown named MVP of the NBA Finals as Celtics clinch historic title

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of Game 5 of the NBA Finals
Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter of Game 5 of the NBA FinalsAFP
Jaylen Brown (27) was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Monday as his Boston Celtics polished off the Dallas Mavericks four games to one to earn a record 18th championship.

"It was a full team effort," Brown said as he accepted the Finals MVP trophy named for Celtics legend Bill Russell.

The 27-year-old averaged 20.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 5.0 assists in five Finals games and delivered a strong defensive effort against Dallas star Luka Doncic, the regular-season scoring leader.

"I share this with my brothers and my partner in crime Jayson Tatum - he was with me the whole way so we share this together," Brown said.

The Celtics claimed their first title since 2008. They had reached the finals in 2022 only to come up short against the Golden State Warriors and last season they agonisingly failed to get back to the championship series, falling to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals.

On a mission this season, the Celtics won a league-leading 64 regular-season games.

They swept the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals - Brown earning MVP honours in that series, too.

Brown, in the first year of a mammoth five-year, $286 million contract extension with the Celtics, earned his third All-Star nod, but it was Tatum, not Brown, most often pointed to as the team's top star.

Snubbed for All-NBA honours and by selectors for the US Olympic basketball team for Paris, Brown now has the honour he really craved - an NBA title - and the Finals MVP to go with it.

Brown, who was taken third overall in the 2016 draft, shared a long, heartfelt embrace with Tatum as the final moments of the 106-88 clinching victory ticked off.

Brown said he'd left doubts from previous play-off misses go this season.

"I never hung my head," he said.

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