BOSTON — The Orlando Magic made it interesting.
The Boston Celtics made it official, defeating the Magic 96-84 Friday in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.
Boston, one of the most storied franchises in the NBA, is headed back to the Finals for the 21st time and second time in three seasons.
The Celtics, who defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 Finals, will play the winner of the Lakers-Phoenix Suns series. Game 1 of the NBA Finals is Thursday, opening in the Western Conference champion’s city.
“We’ve got a tough road. Phoenix or the Lakers, it’s not going to be easy for us,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “I’m glad we’re going to get done and get some rest. That may be the most important thing going into the next series.”
This is an unexpected trip to the NBA Finals for the Celtics. Written off as too old and too injured, the Celtics compiled a 27-27 record after a 23-5 start.