Such an intense series could only find its conclusion in a very tight ending. The Boston Celtics won game-7, leading the match from the second quarter onwards without ever going beyond 12 points. The Toronto Raptors are left with the honor of truly exiting the stage as reigning champions, also having the shot to equalize it with 12 seconds left.
To make the difference when the values are so similar were the small plays, such as that of Marcus Smart (sensational block on Norman Powell launched on the counterattack), Jayson Tatum (attack rebound on a free throw wrong by a teammate) and the rookie Grant Williams (excellent defense on the shot of Fred VanVleet’s possible equalizer), legitimizing a series in which the green-and-whites seemed superior.
As it should be, leading the Celtics in Game-7 was the best player on the team, Jayson Tatum. The number 0 closed a performance of 29 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists: he is the second youngest ever with 25 + 10 + 5 in a game-7 after Kobe Bryant in NBA history. The attacking rebound with a foul suffered 35 seconds from the end remains in the eyes to give his team +3, even if he missed the free throw which would have given two possessions of advantage.
To give a hand to Tatum, as always Jaylen Brown, author of 21 points with 8 rebounds (making a shiver run down the backs of the green-and-whites after slipping with the knee that suffered a bad twist, fortunately without immediate consequences). Together with him only Kemba Walker (14) and Marcus Smart (16) finished in double figures, albeit with bad percentages (11/31 combined with 3/17 of three), with the bench producing only 7 points. But it was enough to win a place in the conference finals.
Boston thus advances to the third conference final in four years, having lost the last two in 2017 and 2018 to LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers. Waiting for them will be the Miami Heat against whom they have won twice in the regular season and lost once in the bubble.