Keys to the Game: Heat 111, Celtics 103

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

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Key Moment

Jimmy Butler was spectacular Friday night in Boston. So spectacular that he single-handedly carried the Heat to a season-saving win, which forced a Game 7, winner-take-all contest to be played Sunday night in Miami.

Butler scored 47 points Wednesday, including seven during the final 2:06 of the contest to fuel the Heat’s 111-103 victory. Five of those points were as clutch as clutch can be.

The first three were scored off a driving, and-one layup with 2:06 left in the game. Butler drew a foul on Al Horford, canned the shot, then made his free throw to break a 99-99 tie. The next two points arrived with less than a minute remaining, after Jayson Tatum made it a four-point game with a driving floater in the paint.

Miami was set to inbound from its offensive baseline with just 2.2 seconds left on the shot clock. Everyone in the building knew where the Heat were going with the pass, and it still worked.

Butler caught the inbound pass while facing away from the basket and while standing just inside the right wing in front of Boston’s bench. He turned over his left shoulder and actually collided with his teammate, Max Strus, before rising up for a deep 2-pointer. Derrick White challenged the shot perfectly, placing his right hand in front of Butler’s eyes, but the shot still fell through the net off the back of the iron.

While Butler’s and-one changed the momentum of the game, it was that 2-pointer that ostensibly sealed the game. Miami led by six with just 43.9 seconds left following his jumper and tacked on four more free throws to close out its win.

Key Player

Derrick White did everything he could to keep the Celtics in the game Friday night. He was sensational off the bench, particularly during the second half.

White scored 18 of his 22 points over the final two quarters, including 11 during the fourth. The rest of Boston’s team totaled 17 points during the fourth period.

All in all on the night, the versatile guard shot 7-for-14 from the field. He connected on four of his seven 3-pointers, including three triples during the fourth. That’s two more than he had made during his first four games of the series combined.

White rounded out his box score with five assists, three steals, three rebounds and one blocked shot. Those assist and steal totals tied for the highest mark on the team.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Three Celtics scored at least 20 points, led by Jayson Tatum's 30.
  • Jimmy Butler led the game outright in scoring with 47 points, and he tied for the game high in rebounds with nine.
  • Four players tied for the top rebounding mark with nine apiece.
  • Butler neared a triple-double with 47 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
  • Kyle Lowry led the game with 10 assists.
  • Derrick White led all reserves with 22 points.
  • Boston scored 23 points off of Miami's turnovers, and the Heat scored 22 points off of the Celtics' turnovers.
  • The teams combined to shoot an impressive 52-for-56 from the free-throw line (24-for-25 by Miami, 28-for-31 for Boston).
  • Both teams grabbed 10 steals.

Quote of the Night

Derrick White on Boston's mindset following Game 6