NBA Conference Finals

Derrick White strikes at buzzer, Celtics force Game 7 vs Heat


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Derrick White strikes at buzzer, Celtics force Game 7 vs Heat

THRILLER. Celtics guard Derrick White celebrates with forward Jayson Tatum after knocking in the game-winner at the buzzer against the Heat in Game 6.

Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Just when it looked like it’s all over for the Celtics, Derrick White comes through as Boston escapes the Miami Heat by a point at the buzzer to force a do-or-die Game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals

Derrick White scored on a tip-in just before the buzzer sounded and the Boston Celtics forced a Game 7 with a solid 104-103 victory over the host Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night, May 27 (Sunday, May 28, Manila time).

After Jimmy Butler made three free throws with 3.0 seconds left to give Miami the lead, Boston’s Marcus Smart had his three-point attempt go in and out. White moved into position and got the rebound and quickly banked the ball in for a dramatic victory for the Celtics.

Second-seeded Boston has won the past three games to become just the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after losing the first three games of a playoff series.

Game 7 is Monday night in Boston.

No. 8 seed Miami had taken the one-point lead with a 15-4 burst after trailing by 10 with under five minutes remaining. Butler scored 13 of the Heat’s points during the rally.

Jayson Tatum registered 31 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 assists and Jaylen Brown added 26 points and 10 rebounds for the Celtics. Smart scored 21 points, White had 11, and Robert Williams III added 10.

Butler was just 5-of-21 shooting while finishing with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists. He had 15 points in the fourth quarter. Caleb Martin recorded 21 points and 15 rebounds for the Heat.

The Celtics are 5-0 in elimination games this postseason. They barely looked interested in continuing the series while being whipped 128-102 in Game 3 before staging the impressive recovery.

Miami’s Gabe Vincent had 15 points, Duncan Robinson added 13, Bam Adebayo contributed 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Max Strus had 10 points.

Smart split two free throws with 16.9 seconds remaining to give Boston a two-point lead. Butler was looking for the last shot and was fouled by Al Horford with 3.0 seconds left. The call was reviewed, and Butler was ruled to be behind the three-point line and was granted three free throws and he made them all.

White drained a triple and Smart converted a three-point play to give Boston a 98-88 advantage with 4:56 remaining.

Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon (right forearm strain) sat out the contest.

The Celtics shot 43.6% from the field and were a shaky 7-of-35 from three-point range.

Miami shot just 35.5%, but made 14-of-30 shot attempts from behind the arc.

Tatum scored 16 of his 25 first-half points in the second quarter to help the Celtics hold a 57-53 halftime lead. Butler had just 9 points in the half on 2-of-10 shooting, while Martin had team highs of 14 points and 9 rebounds. –

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