With a dramatic buzzer-beater from Derrick White, the Boston Celtics forced their NBA Eastern Conference Finals series with the Miami Heat to a game-winning seventh game with a 104-103 win at South Florida on Saturday.
The Celtics became just the fourth team in NBA history to tie a best-of-seven playoff series after leading 3-0.
They will now have a chance on Monday for an even more impressive milestone if they can become the first team to win a series after losing the first three games.
The winner of Monday’s game will face Western Conference champions Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals starting Thursday.
DERRICK WHITE RETURNS EAST FINAL TO BOSTON FOR GAME 7!
—NBA (@NBA) May 28, 2023
The Celtics had led for most of the contest, but Miami seemed to have secured the victory and the series when Jimmy Butler was fouled, attempting a three-point shot, by Al Horford.
With three seconds remaining on the clock, Butler, who had been well below par until he came to life late in the fourth quarter, kept his composure to sink all three free throws and take the score to 103-102 with three seconds to go.
Facing elimination, Marcus Smart’s three-point attempt bounced off the edge, but White was alert and strong to tip the rebound into the back, the shot only leaving his fingertips for a split second before the buzzer.
“I’m glad we won. Whatever it takes. We put our backs to the wall. Just glad we won,” White said.
“We are a resilient group. We resume. We fought for each other. The work is not yet finished. We have a tough game in Game 7 and we have to find a way to get one more win.
Jayson Tatum led Boston with 31 points and had 11 rebounds and five assists while Jaylen Brown had 26 points and 10 rebounds.
Butler entered the fourth quarter with just nine points but finished with 24 while Caleb Martin provided 21 points for Miami.
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