Derrick White did what only Michael Jordan had done before him: He hit a game-winning buzzer-beater when his team was facing elimination and trailing before the shot. Becoming only the second player in NBA history to do so. White tipped in a missed three-pointer by Marcus Smart as time expired, giving the Boston Celtics a thrilling 104-103 win over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday night.
White’s tip-in is second only to Jordan’s “The Shot”. The Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers were locked in a tight battle in Game 5 of their first-round series on May 7, 1989. The Bulls trailed by one point with only three seconds left. Jordan got the ball from the inbound and quickly moved to his right. He soared over Craig Ehlo, who tried to contest him. Jordan seemed to defy gravity as he released the ball. Jordan’s clutch performance gave the Bulls a 101-100 win and a series win over the Cavaliers.
Smart took the final shot for the Celtics, a three-pointer from straightaway that was heavily contested. The ball hit the iron and popped up in the air, where White came flying in from the baseline. He got his right hand on the ball and tipped it through the hoop just before the buzzer sounded. The officials reviewed the play and confirmed that it was a good basket.
It looked like Jimmy Butler had saved the day for the Heat when he drew a foul from Al Horford on a three-point attempt and sank all three free throws to give Miami a one-point lead with 3.0 seconds left. But White’s heroics overshadowed Butler’s 24-point performance, which came on a rough 5-of-21 shooting night.
The Celtics survived a late rally by the Heat thanks to a clutch performance by White. White scored 11 points and dished out six assists. Jayson Tatum was the star of the night with 31 points and 12 rebounds, while Jaylen Brown had a double-double of 26 points and ten rebounds. The Heat got a huge lift from Caleb Martin, who had 21 points and 15 rebounds. Martin hit four triples and kept Miami close with his relentless effort, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Celtics’ firepower.
The Celtics have turned the series around with their offense and defense. They have also gotten contributions from all of their starters and key bench players, as they have shown their depth and versatility. The Heat, on the other hand, will have to regroup and bounce back from a devastating loss, as they have let slip three golden opportunities to advance to the NBA Finals.
The Celtics and Heat will now face off in a winner-take-all Game 7 on Monday night at TD Garden at 8:30 p.m., as Boston attempts to become the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-0 deficit.
Game 7 promises to be an epic showdown between two teams that have fought hard and given their all in this series. It will be a battle of wills and skills, as both teams will leave nothing on the court. Who will emerge victorious and book their ticket to the NBA Finals? Will it be the Celtics, who are looking to make history and emulate their legendary predecessors? Or will it be the Heat, who are looking to spoil the party and prove their doubters wrong?
Ankush Singh is an Editor for FirstSportz. He specializes in NBA news and articles. He enjoys watching the game because it is full of action, drama, and thrill. He likes to spice up his sports stories with humor and flair, but also with facts and accuracy. His goal is to make the readers laugh and learn about the latest NBA buzz.
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