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Nia Long, Paul Pierce lead reaction to Celtics’ clinching spot in Finals

The Boston Celtics didn’t make it easy — could it have gone any other way? — but after a dozen years, the team is headed back to the NBA Finals.T

Naturally, social media was abuzz with reactions to Boston’s 100-96 win over the Miami Heat in Game 7 on South Beach on Sunday, from the coach’s fiancée to franchise icons and beyond.

Nia Long, engaged to Celtics coach Ime Udoka, has been a regular at the TD Garden throughout the season. She didn’t make the trip to Florida for Game 7, but that didn’t stop her from celebrating in the aftermath:

Paul Pierce, a member of each of the last two Celtics teams to advance to the Finals — including the most recent championship win — kept it simple: 

The blockbuster trade of Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2013 was the first step in laying the foundation for the current run, as the Celtics were able to use draft picks acquired in the deal to select Jaylen Brown in 2016 and, after a subsequent deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, Jayson Tatum a year later.

Meanwhile, former Celtic Tacko Fall appears to have nothing but love for his ex-teammates:

It wouldn’t have been a celebration without Kendrick Perkins, whose injury in 2010 may have cost the Celtics a shot at a second title in a three-year span:

Perkins, who serves as an analyst for both NBC Sports Boston and ESPN, also congratulated Tatum on winning the inaugural Larry Bird Trophy as Eastern Conference Finals MVP:

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora — whose team, amazingly, now has the longest championship appearance drought in the city — nonetheless appears to be fired up:

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