The Boston Celtics defeated the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Finals 104-103 this Saturday night thanks to a miraculous double by Derrick White, who, when only 0.1 seconds remained! he pushed the ball against the backboard and gave the Massachusetts team the win. Thus, the Celtics, who lost the series 3-0, the they tied for 3-3 and everything will be defined in the seventh and final game in Boston.
It must be remembered once more: No team in NBA history has turned from 0-3 in a playoff series in 150 precedents. and the Celtics are now one step away from creating that authentic sports miracle. It was a heart-stopping finish to a game of tremendous intensity, with the Heat who, despite their tremendous offensive difficulties, managed to come back from ten points behind in the fourth period and went up 103-102 with three free kicks scored by Jimmy Butler with three seconds to play. It seemed to be the sentence on the Celtics, but White’s play will take the series to Boston for the seventh and decisive game, where the ticket to the Finals against the Denver Nuggets will be at stake and a possible comeback for sports history.
White finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists and became the unexpected hero of a night in which Jayson Tatum had 31 points, 25 of them in the first half and in which Jaylen Brown finished with 26. But you have to break down what happened in the Heat, who had Butler, their top star, with a forgettable first three quarters (he finished with 5/21 in field goals). However, he shot his level at the decisive moment and closed with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 8 assists.
The 21 points and 15 rebounds of Caleb Martin in Erik Spoelstra’s team, now forced to win at the TD Garden to avoid suffering an unprecedented comeback, were not rewarded either.
Tatum, the one who commanded the victory
Tatum put on a recital in the first half. He took responsibility and scored 25 points until the break. He fouled the Heat and was perfect from the free throw line, at 11/11. He scored eight straight points for the Celtics in the second period and drove a 10-2 run that shot the lead to eleven points when the game was 52-41, against a Heat where Butler was slow to pick up the pace. The Heat star started 2/10 shooting from the field, but stood up then and, with nine points, moved Miami within four points at halftime.
Smart was the only one to shoot with ease from the triple and hit the third of his night for 62-55, but his team got stuck and Miami managed to get just two units away (62-60), with Jaylen Brown forced to sit on the bench by committing her fourth foul with 09:45 left in the third quarter. Balance was restored and intensity increased. It was at that moment that the game presented an unusual image, with Caleb Martin who lost a shoe in an offensive action and returned to defend with the shoe in one hand, until committing a foul, so as not to leave his team with one less in that play.
Tatum had a great night. (Photo: AFP)
Miami made very bad shooting decisions and was very ineffective. He suffered a 0-9 run after missing 17 of 20 shots from the field, which allowed the Celtics to add their maximum lead at 78-65. But a long series of fumbles allowed Spoelstra’s men to stay seven points behind despite their two leaders, Butler and Adebayo together adding 5/28 shooting from the field.
However, the two figures of the Heat demonstrated throughout this postseason their competitive soul and this Saturday they did it again by coming back, once again, ten points behind to get to a 103-102 lead with just three seconds to play.
Butler, between astonishment and disappointment. (Photo: AFP)
About the end, what was seen in images: a distraction curtain from Smart to Brown for Tatum to receive. Since the forward couldn’t, the one who took the ball was Smart himself, who launched that triple to which White ran quickly to capture the offensive rebound and convert the double on the hour. From movie.
Now, everything will be defined this Monday, from 9:30 p.m. (Argentine time) at the TD Garden, the home of the Celtics. Boston’s historic reassembly, the final victory for the Heat?