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Al Horford: Al Horford wins NBA title with Celtics in 186th playoff game...

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Published Time: 18.06.2024 - 06:05:25 Modified Time: 18.06.2024 - 06:05:25

In his 186th career postseason game with three different teams in the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston, Horford posted 9 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals -- one of which came by diving to the floor to corral the ball and pitch it ahead to Brown for an easy score to put the Celtics up 54-39 late in the second quarter. Al Horford



Al Horford nails the 3-pointer to force Jason Kidd to call an early timeout. (0:17)

"Nobody deserved it more than Al," said Jaylen Brown, the Finals MVP. "He's been a great not just leader on the court but off the court as well. ... It's been an honor to be by his side. And Al Horford is a real-life legend and hero. It's been great to be his teammate."

In his 186th career postseason game with three different teams in the Atlanta Hawks, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston, Horford posted 9 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals -- one of which came by diving to the floor to corral the ball and pitch it ahead to Brown for an easy score to put the Celtics up 54-39 late in the second quarter.

Gary Payton previously held the mark, playing 152 postseason games before winning it all with the Miami Heat. Karl Malone holds the record for most postseason games without a title (193).

Horford's decision to sign with Boston in 2016 coincided with the drafting of Brown and came just before the Celtics brought in Jayson Tatum in 2017, ushering a string of conference finals appearances and two Finals berths.

With Kristaps Porzingis sidelined with a calf injury for most of the postseason, Horford's impact was immense, scoring 22 points with 15 rebounds and 5 assists in a close-out win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round and putting up 23 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks in a Game 3 win over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals to put Boston in position to sweep.

"We leaned on him so much," Brown said. "Probably too much for his age and where he's at. He just delivered. So consistent, so disciplined with his body. Never complains, you know what I mean. The only thing he does is add to winning."

Horford, who was born in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, celebrated the aftermath of the title with his daughter in his arms as she held a Dominican flag. He is the first Dominican-born player to win an NBA championship.

Al Horford reflected on what former Celtics executive Danny Ainge told him at his first free agency meeting with Boston: "He said, 'You can win championships in many places, but there's nothing like winning in Boston. Nothing like winning as a Celtic.'" Peter Casey/USA TODAY Sports

"Hell of a career," Celtics forward Derrick White said. "So underrated career. Just does everything for us. Doesn't ask for anything. I'm so happy for him, and I'm glad I could be a part of it. Just an amazing career, and this is just another chapter of it."

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