Derrick White saved the Boston Celtics' season with his buzzer-beater against the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. With the Celtics trailing by a point and facing elimination, White rebounded Marcus Smart's miss and scored the game-winning layup just as time expired, giving Boston a 104-103 Game 6 victory.
It was an incredible play by Derrick White, who inbounded the ball to Smart with three seconds left in regulation. The Celtics' guard ran to the corner after initiating the pass, then crashed the boards when Smart's shot went up. With no Heat player boxing out White, the veteran grabbed the rebound and laid it up off the glass, just in time.
“There really was nobody on me,” White told reporters after Game 6. “So I just spaced to the corner, and then when he shot it just tried to crash. The ball came to me, I made the shot.”
"There really was nobody on me… Ball came to me, made the shot… We're just happy we won. However we got to get it done, we got it done."
Derrick White on his game-winning shot that forced an ECF Game 7 vs. the Heat 🗣
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) May 28, 2023
The ball left White's had with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. There was confusion initially as to whether the shot should've counted. The announcers on TNT seemed to think that the shot would be waived off and the Heat would win Game 6 and the series. Instead, the basket was quickly ruled good, and White became the Game 6 hero for the Celtics.
“I just was crashing the glass and it came right to me,” White said. “It's gonna be a little crazy, my phone's already blowing up.”
White did much more than just score the game-winning putback to help the Celtics beat the Heat in Game 6. In addition to recording 11 points, six rebounds and four assists, White played excellent defense. Jimmy Butler missed all six of his field-goal attempts when he was being guarded by White as the primary defender, according to ESPN.
White leads all players in the series with 21 made 3-pointers.