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Another running back by Derrick White leveled the Eastern Conference series.
The Celtics’ unexpected victory erased a 0-3 series deficit and left them on the brink of NBA history as no team (0-150) has ever won a playoff series after losing 0-3.
Marcus Smart’s 27-foot three-point shot bounced around the rim as the remaining periods of time elapsed, before White “appeared like a flash of lightning,” Jaylen Brown told reporters, grabbed the rebound and made the run back.
The buzzer turned red as the ball landed through the net, requiring a review confirming that White became only the second player in NBA history, after Michael Jordan’s “The Shot” in 1989, to score the buzzer with his team late and face elimination.
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Derrick White hits the Boston Celtics game winner.
“It felt good. Everyone was asking me, ‘Did I get rid of him,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, I think so, but it was so close, you never know,'” White told reporters afterward. However, we got it, we got it done, and now we move on to Game 7.”
Miami initially overcame a nine-point deficit with less than four minutes left and took the lead with just three seconds on the clock when Jimmy Butler made three free throws, but the Celtics weren’t done yet.
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Boston Celtics celebrate their win.
Jason Tatum added 31 points for the Celtics, while Brown and Smart added 26 and 24, respectively. Butler led the Heat with 24 points but endured a tough night.
“Basketball is yours. Basketball at its best,” Butler told reporters afterwards. “Very, very, very, very funny… We were in the same situation last year. We can do it. I know we will. We have to go ahead and win in a very, very, very difficult environment.”
Boston will now go home to TD Garden for a game 7 winner-take-all game on Monday, with the winner playing the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals, which kicks off June 1.
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