The Heat were less than a second away from making the NBA Finals.
The Miami Heat’s sixth NBA Finals appearance seemed to be in the bag after Jimmy Butler hit three pressure-packed free throws to give the home team a one-point lead with three seconds left.
Three seconds later, the Boston Celtics became the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0 in a playoff series. It almost didn’t happen after Marcus Smart’s three-ball rattled out. But thanks to the heads-up play of Derrick White, who inbounded the ball, tracked it, and hit the game-winning tip, the Cs carried out the miraculous 104-103 win at the American Airlines Arena on Sunday.
The match was already setting itself up for a fantastic finish, considering the wild momentum swings that took place. That said, no one could’ve predicted that White would come up with the mega-clutch putback just before the final buzzer went off.
It was one of the craziest endgames in playoff history, and it sent the NBA world into a frenzy. Here’s how some of the league’s top personalities reacted to White’s incredible buzzer-beater.
Celtics legend Paul Pierce seemed to have lost it after seeing what just happened.
Four-time NBA All-Star Donovan Mitchell couldn’t even put into words how he felt. So, he expressed himself through a bunch of wow emojis.
New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley’s tweet pretty much mirrors every Heat fan’s disbelief right now.
Do-it-all guard Dejounte Murray of the Atlanta Hawks, White's former teammate with the San Antonio Spurs, showed love for the Game 6 hero who finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds 6 assists, 3 blocks, and 1 steal.
The same goes for one of the NBA’s best young point guards at the moment, Indiana Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton.
Perhaps Phoenix Suns swingman and 2022 NBA champion Damion Lee is correct to say that White’s tip for the ages is a product of the NBA Playoffs mystique.
Winning three straight games, all the momentum is on the Celtics’ side heading into Game 7. The Heat on the other hand will be coming off a deflating loss. Jayson Tatum and company seem poised to complete the historic comeback. But as this postseason showed, Miami is a team that’s capable of pulling off massive upsets.
You can’t just count them out on Tuesday, even if the decider will be played at Boston’s TD Garden.