Celtics

Jayson Tatum keeps inaugural Larry Bird Trophy in house

Celtics

Fittingly, the winner of the inaugural Larry Bird Trophy for MVP of the Eastern Conference Finals wears green.

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum earned the award following his team's 100-96 win in Game 7 over the Miami Heat on South Beach on Sunday night, leading the C's with 26 points (9 for 21 shooting, 4 for 7 from 3) to go along with 10 rebounds, six assists and two blocks.

For the series, Tatum averaged 25 points, 8.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game, shooting 47.6 percent from the floor and 36.7 percent from 3-point range.

"It feels great," Tatum said. "I'm just extremely happy and grateful, for all of us. I still feel like a kid living out my dream."

Aside from a 10-point clunker in a Game 3 loss, Tatum's 26 points were actually his fewest of the series on Sunday, but he had plenty of help from Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart (24 points apiece) in staving off the Heat. Tatum's high for the series was 31 points in a Game 5 win.

Now, fresh off a First Team All-NBA nod in his fifth NBA season, Tatum is off to the NBA Finals for the first time. He can become the first Celtic to earn NBA Finals MVP honors since Paul Pierce did so in 2008, when he helped Boston to its most recent title against Tatum's idol, Kobe Bryant.