Derrick White + effort = Game 7.
What an absolutely, positively, unpredictably insane ending to Game 6, all capped by a play that could go down in NBA history as the one that ignited history.
Down by two with 3.0 seconds remaining, Marcus Smart caught an inbound pass and fired up a fadeaway 3-pointer that rattled around the rim and popped out. This play wasn’t about him, though. This play was all about the man who passed him the ball.
That man was Derrick White, who, after passing the ball in to Smart, crashed the glass from the near-side corner and tipped the ball in with a tenth of a second to spare to force Game 7 in the most improbable of ways.
The play was downright shocking to everyone who was watching – the Celtics included. Neither the Celtics nor the Heat knew whether or not to celebrate. But after a moment of discussion between the officials, the shot was deemed good and the Boston burst into celebration knowing that it had somehow forced Game 7.
With that Game 7, the Boston Celtics now have a true opportunity to become the first team in league history to ever overcome an 0-3 series deficit. If that happens, this shot by White will be one that will never, ever be forgotten as long as the NBA is still around.
Jaylen Brown said after Game 6 that the Celtics feel “like we’ve been to hell and back.” Brown somehow navigated his own such trip during Game 6 alone.
Brown opened up the contest red-hot from the field, scoring 10 points during the opening quarter on 5-for-6 shooting. Soon, though, he became saddled with foul trouble and picked up his fourth with 9:49 left in the third quarter.
That moment could have taken Brown out of the game. Instead, he found a way to dial in and play foul-free for the remainder of the night while compiling a monster double-double.
Brown finished the contest with 26 points and 10 rebounds, including 13 points and three boards following that fourth foul. This marked his second double-double of the postseason, and he also pitched in three assists and two steals during the victory.
While his gaudy numbers are strong enough to garner all of the attention, his shooting efficiency should also earn praise. Brown shot 9-for-16 from the field. He, along with Miami’s Caleb Martin, were the only starters in the game who shot better than 47 percent from the field.
What a night by Brown. He battled through a very difficult basketball position to help power his team to a Game 7. If he can do the same Monday night, the Celtics might just wind up feeling like they’re heaven.
Box Score Nuggets
- Three Celtics scored 21 or more points, with Jayson Tatum scoring a game-high 31, Jaylen Brown scoring 26, and Marcus Smart adding in 21.
- Boston blocked eight shots, including three from Derrick White, and two apiece from Jayson Tatum and Al Horford.
- Tatum (31 points, 12 rebounds) and Brown (26 points, 10 rebounds) each logged double-doubles.
- Miami committed just five turnovers.
- Jimmy Butler led Miami with 24 points, but he shot just 5-for-21 from the field.
- Boston won despite its worst 3-point shooting game of the season, at 20 percent.
- The Celtics made as many free throws, 29, as Miami attempted.
- Tatum shot a perfect 15-for-15 from the free-throw line, while Butler shot 12-for-14 from the stripe.
- Three Heat players logged double-doubles, including a 21-point, 15-rebound game from Caleb Martin.
Quote of the Night
"D-White, like a flash of lightning, just came out of nowhere and saved the day."- Jaylen Brown on Derrick White's game-winner