Boston, thanks to a basket on the rebound from Derrick White just before the buzzer, chained a third consecutive success against Miami (104-103), to equalize with three victories everywhere in the final of the Eastern Conference, Saturday in the play-offs of the NBA.
The Celtics are on the verge of a historic feat: led three wins to zero, they tied at three everywhere, winning at the Heat (104-103) thanks to a tap from Derrick White at the buzzer, Saturday in play- NBA offs.
In 150 occasions, never has a team with such a deficit reversed this compromised situation, to win the series in seven matches. This is what seems to be able to accomplish Boston, who will be favorites to win the final meeting, Monday at TD Garden, in front of their public, and validate a second presence in a row on the last step of the championship, to better dream of an 18th. record title.
It was not necessary to be heart in Miami, for this sixth game of the final of the Eastern Conference, which will undoubtedly remain in the annals. Because it took very little for the Celtics to fall by the wayside and for the Heat to succeed in a funny hold-up, after hanging on until the end.
A tap for history
Exactly two tenths of a second. Sufficient time for Derrick White, rising on the rebound after a failed long-range attempt by Marcus Smart (21 pts), to hit his tap and the ball left his fingers, before the red light displayed on the panel the end of the match.
The slow motion left little room for doubt, to the great joy of the C’s, suddenly miraculous but deserving, and to the chagrin of the Heat, long disarticulated but still valiant, who thought they would join the Nuggets in the final, when Jimmy Butler did not did not tremble when entering his three free throws inherited from an avoidable fault from Al Horford.
So three seconds from the end, Miami was back in front for the second time in the quarter, after being led for so long, even abused, showing up to 12 units behind in the previous one. Symbol of this resurrection, which will certainly not have been enough at the end of this very intense battle, Butler scored 13 of his 24 points in the last four minutes, after having nevertheless suffered martyrdom in the face of repeated two-man strikes on his overcoat, lamenting an address at half mast (5/21 in shots, 11 rebounds, 8 assists).
Before he woke up, his lieutenants held the Heat house by being skilful behind the arc (14/30), like Caleb Martin (21 pts) and Gabe Vincent (15 pts), precious for his return from injury, he who missed the previous match due to a sprained ankle.
The C’s, who took out the barbed wire in their racket and won the fight inside, have long relied on Jayson Tatum (31 pts, 12 rebounds), their main driving force with Jaylen Brown (26 pts, 10 rebounds ), Robert Williams III deploying a lot of energy (10 pts, 7 rebounds).
Deferred for three games, Boston still is, but he has ensured that Miami, like him now, has its feet on the edge of the abyss, thanks to a final action which risks leaving serious traces for its opponent, because the Floridians have enough to be knocked out.
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