INDIANAPOLIS -- When Boston Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell read off Jaylen Brown's name as the winner of the Larry Bird Trophy as Eastern Conference finals MVP, no one seemed more surprised than Brown himself.

"I wasn't expecting it at all," Brown said, with the trophy sitting next to him at the podium after Boston's series-ending 105-102 Game 4 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.


But it was Brown who made a pair of plays in the final 65 seconds -- first blocking Andrew Nembhard's drive to the rim, then getting into the lane and kicking the ball out to Derrick White for what became the winning 3-pointer with 41 seconds to go, a shot that put Boston ahead for the first time since the opening possession of the second half -- that allowed the Celtics to escape from this series with a sweep and return to the NBA Finals for a second time in three years.

The Pacers, playing for a second straight game without All-NBA guard Tyrese Haliburton, certainly gave Boston all it could handle. After leading the Celtics by as many as 18 points in the second half of Saturday night's Game 3 before Boston stormed back and won in the dying seconds, Indiana took the lead in the second half Monday on a Myles Turner 3-pointer to open the third quarter and never trailed again until White's corner 3 fell.


It was a fitting victory for the Celtics, one that saw several players take their turns playing a part. Brown finished with 29 points and 6 rebounds, with his second half scoring barrage helping keep Boston in the game and eventually pull out the win. Tatum had a bucket and grabbed three defensive rebounds late after picking up his fifth foul midway through the fourth.

And then there was White who, despite going 1-for-8 to begin the game from 3, stepped up and hit the game's biggest shot, to go along with five steals and three blocks.


CHECK IT OUT: 100 sports records and the stories behind them

More From KSOO-AM / ESPN Sioux Falls