2023 Playoffs: East Final | Celtics (2) vs. Heat (8)

Celtics head home 1 win away from history, NBA Finals

The Celtics become the 4th team in NBA history to force Game 7 after losing the first 3 games of a playoff series.

Inside the NBA wraps its head around Boston being on the verge of accomplishing what has never been done in NBA postseason history.

MIAMI (AP) — Maybe Kevin Garnett was right. Maybe, as he screamed in celebration of Boston’s 2008 NBA championship, anything truly is possible.

Even the impossible.

After stunning the Miami Heat 104-103 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Derrick White’s unreal buzzer-beating putback, the Celtics are one win away from history, and that alone puts them in a very small club. Of the first 150 teams that trailed a best-of-seven series 3-0 in NBA history, just three found a way to extend the matchup to Game 7.

Teams to force Game 7 after trailing 3-0

1951 NBA Finals — New York trailed Rochester 3-0, lost in Game 7
1994 West Semis — Denver trailed Utah 3-0, lost in Game 7
2003 First Round — Portland trailed Dallas 3-0, lost in Game 7
2023 East Finals — Boston trailed Miami 3-0, Game 7 on Monday (8:30 ET, TNT)

The previous three teams to force Game 7 after trailing 3-0 lost in Game 7, but none of them had home-court advantage, which will be case for the Celtics on Monday night.

“We’ve got another chance, another opportunity,” said Jayson Tatum, who had 31 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in Game 6. “It’s far from over. Still an uphill battle.”

The Celtics are 27-9 in Game 7s and have won their last four — including a 112-88 win against Philadelphia in the previous round that featured Tatum breaking out for 51 points, the most in a Game 7 in NBA history. Boston also beat the Heat in Game 7 in Miami in last year’s East finals when Jimmy Butler missed what would have been a go-ahead 3-pointer with about 17 seconds left.

The Heat are 6-5 all-time in Game 7s, losing their last two. Miami is 0-2 when facing such a game on the road.

The winner of Monday’s matchup will advance to face the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals.