Things got away from the Celtics in a hurry at the start of Monday’s fourth quarter. It took only 70 seconds for their 10-point deficit entering the frame to swell to 17. Miami’s top two players of the series, Caleb Martin and Jimmy Butler, accounted for the entire 7-0 run.
Martin opened it up with a wide-open 3-pointer from the top of the arc to push Miami’s lead to 13. The shot came in transition after Martin found himself unguarded thanks to a miscommunication by Boston’s defense. Derrick White, who stopped the ball in transition, seemingly thought that one of his teammates getting back on defense from the other end was going to switch onto Martin. As such, White backed off of him. When no other Boston player stepped up, Martin then stepped right into the 3-pointer and drilled it.
Boston went on to commit consecutive turnovers on its next two possessions that led to another four Miami points, all of which were scored by Butler. He first canned a pullup jumper and then dunked one home after poking away a steal from Jaylen Brown that led to Butler’s uncontested slam at the other end.
That was Miami’s knockout punch. The Celtics never responded from there, as the Heat’s lead remained at 15 or more the rest of the way before the team closed out its 103-84 victory.
Derrick White saved the day with his miraculous tip-in to force Game 7. He nearly saved the day during Game 7 as well, as he was Boston’s only offensive weapon during the second half of Monday’s series finale.
White scored 13 of his 18 points during the second half to give the C’s a fighting chance. He single-handedly sliced Miami’s 16-point lead in half by scoring eight straight points from the 10:14 mark to the 8:29 mark of the third period. He then cut Boston’s deficit down to seven with a three-point play at the 3:33 mark of the same quarter.
Unfortunately for Boston, no one else on the team could muster up any offense during that second half, which allowed Miami to regain complete control. White was the only Celtics player who scored more than seven points during the second half.
White finished the game with 18 points on 5-for-12 shooting, to go along with two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Box Score Nuggets
- Jimmy Butler (28 points) and Caleb Martin (26 points) led the game in scoring.
- Boston's leading scorer was Jaylen Brown with 19 points, while Derrick White added in 18.
- Boston committed 15 turnovers and shot just 39 percent from the field.
- Jayson Tatum (14 points, 11 rebounds) was the only Celtics player who logged a double-double, while two Heat players, Martin (26 points, 10 rebounds) and Bam Adebayo (12 points, 10 rebounds) did so.
- Miami shot 50 percent from long range (14-for-28).
- The game featured only 35 total bench points.
- Miami out-assisted the Celtics 26-18.
Quote of the Night
"That's one of the best locker rooms I've been around."- Joe Mazzulla on this Celtics team