Derrick White’s last-second putback in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat sealed a dramatic 104-103 victory for the Celtics. The victory was significant as it erased the Celtics’ 0-3 series deficit, putting them on the verge of making NBA history. No team has ever won a playoff series after being down 0-3 (0-150).
Marcus Smart’s three-point shot bounced around the rim before White grabbed the rebound and made the putback just as the buzzer sounded. The play was reviewed and confirmed as a buzzer-beater. White became only the second player in NBA history, after Michael Jordan in 1989, to score a buzzer-beater with his team trailing and facing elimination.
Despite the Heat initially taking the lead with three seconds left on the clock after Jimmy Butler made three free throws, the Celtics managed to secure the victory. Jayson Tatum scored 31 points for the Celtics, while Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart added 26 and 24 points, respectively. Butler led the Heat with 24 points but had a challenging night.
The series now moves to a decisive Game 7 at TD Garden, with the winner advancing to face the Denver Nuggets in the NBA Finals, which is set to begin on June 1.
The Celtics and Heat Series could be the greatest comeback in NBA history in a 7 game series. Here is our list of top 10 NBA Playoffs 7 Game Series.
2016 NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors
Description: The Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, overcame a 3-1 series deficit to defeat the Warriors, becoming the first team in NBA history to accomplish this in the NBA Finals.
Date: June 19, 2016
Winner: Cleveland Cavaliers
2013 NBA Finals: Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs
Description: The series featured several closely contested games, including a memorable Game 6 where the Heat won in overtime after a clutch three-pointer by Ray Allen to force extra time. The Heat ultimately won the series in Game 7.
Date: June 20, 2013
Winner: Miami Heat
1998 NBA Finals: Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz
Description: In a rematch of the previous year’s NBA Finals, the Bulls and Jazz battled in a closely contested series. In Game 6, Michael Jordan hit a game-winning shot to secure the title, and the Bulls won the series in Game 7.
Date: June 14, 1998
Winner: Chicago Bulls
1988 NBA Finals: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons
Description: This series showcased the intense rivalry between the Lakers and Pistons. In Game 6, Isiah Thomas scored 25 points in the third quarter while playing through an ankle injury. The Pistons won Game 7 to secure their first NBA championship.
Date: June 21, 1988
Winner: Detroit Pistons
1969 NBA Finals: Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Description: The Celtics and Lakers had a historic rivalry, and this series was no exception. The Celtics won Game 7 in dramatic fashion, with Don Nelson hitting a game-winning shot that bounced several times on the rim.
Date: April 24, 1969
Winner: Boston Celtics
2014 Western Conference First Round: Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors
Description: This series was marked by close games and intense competition. In Game 7, the Clippers held off the Warriors to advance to the next round.
Date: May 3, 2014
Winner: Los Angeles Clippers
2006 Western Conference First Round: Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Description: In a highly entertaining series, the Suns and Lakers traded blows. In Game 7, the Suns secured a victory to advance to the next round.
Date: May 6, 2006
Winner: Phoenix Suns
1981 Eastern Conference Finals: Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Description: The Celtics and 76ers engaged in a fierce battle throughout the series. In Game 7, the Celtics edged out the 76ers, with Larry Bird and Julius Erving putting on a memorable duel.
Date: May 3, 1981
Winner: Boston Celtics
1970 NBA Finals: New York Knicks vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Description: This series featured hard-fought games between two talented teams. The Knicks won Game 7 to capture their first NBA championship.
Date: May 8, 1970
Winner: New York Knicks
2019 Eastern Conference Semifinals: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Description: The series showcased several thrilling moments, including Kawhi Leonard’s series-clinching shot in Game 7, which bounced on the rim multiple times before dropping in.
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