Derrick White saves Boston’s season after a follow-up buzzer-beater to force Game 7

Derrick White called game (NBAE via Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

“The Celtics are gonna win this a Game 7 back in Boston!”

What a ball game.

Talking about clutch genes and sheer focus, boy did Derrick White just live up to it.

With the Boston Celtics trailing by a point with only three seconds left during the do-or-die Game 6, White just boosted the green nation’s chance of coming back from a 0-3 series deficit after sending in the buzzer-beating follow-up shot to stun the Miami Heat, 104-103, to force a Game 7 in the ongoing Eastern Conference finals of the NBA Playoffs last May 28, 2023.

As Marcus Smart hoisted a catch-and-shoot three-pointer from the left elbow, White navigated through the floor and then rushed from the baseline in an attempt to tip in the ball if the shot will miss.

White’s instincts then proved him right as Smart’s shot went off the rim and fell to his direction for an easy follow-up dagger with 0.2 seconds left to operate.

While Boston was busy praising White and acknowledging his game-winning effort, the whole Miami organization on the other end was shocked in disbelief and will seek to regroup themselves in a hostile Celtic environment for all the marbles.

It was a sorry loss for the Heat after coming back from a double-digit deficit to carry a one-point lead before Boston called timeout to map out their final offensive play.

Despite the struggles Jimmy Butler had in the first three quarters, Miami’s superstar activated beast mode in the last two minutes to single-handedly erase Boston’s seven-point lead.

Butler scored seven quick points to keep Miami’s hopes alive of closing out the series at home and gave the Heat a clearer chance of bagging the game when he sank all three of his shots from the charity stripe after Al Horford fouled him in the right baseline.

However, disaster then struck Miami after White’s demoralizing game-winner that will send the final clash to Boston’s home floor.

It was all Boston in the first three quarters after the duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown outdueled Butler and Bam Adebayo on the offensive end.

After Brown sat out most of the third quarter due to foul trouble, Smart was locked-in and provided the spark that they needed to continue their momentum while protecting their lead.

Miami had their mini-runs prior to their incredible fourth-quarter rally but the Celtics just kept on punching back and were determined to chase NBA history as the only team to come back from a 0-3 series deficit in the playoffs.

White had 11 points, six assists, and four rebounds including his game-winning deuce while the duo of Tatum and Brown combined for 57 points and 22 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Miami got 24 markers from Butler but Adebayo, their other star, was only held for 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Caleb Martin continued his stellar outing for the Heat and chipped in 21 points and 15 rebounds but Boston won’t go away and will look to finish the series at home on May 30, 2023.