Three seconds were all that remained between a crushing loss and an offseason full of regret for the Boston Celtics. Then like a flash of lightning, Derrick White saved the day with one of the biggest and most improbable buckets in franchise history. Following three Jimmy Butler free throws that gave the Miami Heat a one-point lead in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, all hope seemed lost — until suddenly it wasn’t. Beginning the final possession as the inbounder, White dished to Marcus Smart for a game-winning 3-point attempt that rimmed out, only for a hustling White to get behind the defense as he tracked Smart’s shot the whole way. The miss bounced directly into White’s waiting hands underneath the basket, and in the same motion he flicked the putback layup into the bucket a fraction of a second before time expired. The stunning sequence allowed the Celtics to win their third straight game and force a deciding Game 7 in Boston, and White’s 11 points, four rebounds, six assists and three blocks helped his squad hold off the Heat in an heart-stopping 104-103 win on May 27, 2023.
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