White’s tip at the buzzer forces Game 7 back in Boston

Derrick White’s tip-in just before the buzzer lifted the Celtics to a 104-103 win at Miami in Saturday’s Game 6, forcing a Game 7 back in Boston on Monday night.

After Jimmy Butler made three free throws to give the Heat the lead with 3.0 seconds left, the Celtics took a timeout to prepare for their final possession. White inbounded the ball to Marcus Smart, who went up for a 3-pointer.

After passing to Smart, White broke for the corner and then made a mad dash to the basket. Smart’s jumper was all in the hole, only to bounce out and right toward White as he elevated toward the rim for the game-winning tip.

Boston (68-33 straight up, 55-45-1 against the spread) has now won three in a row and with a Game 7 win at home tomorrow, it would become the first team in NBA history to rally from a 3-0 deficit to win a postseason series.

Although the Celtics won outright to keep their season alive, Miami (56-45 SU, 43-54-2 ATS) did hook up its betting backers with a spread cover as a two or 2.5-point home underdog. The 207 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 209-point total.

As of early Sunday afternoon, most betting shops had Boston installed as a 7.5-point home favorite with a total of 203. The Heat are +255 or +260 on the money line.

The ‘under’ has now cashed in three straight games after the ‘over’ was a winner in the first three games of the series.

Miami is 12-3 ATS with 10 outright wins in its last 15 games as an underdog. Erik Spoelstra’s team has been an underdog of 7.5 points or more 10 times this season, going 8-2 ATS in those situations.

Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 31 points in Game 6 despite missing all eight of his 3-point attempts. He made all 15 of his free throws, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out five assists, blocked two shots and had one steal.

Jaylen Brown finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Smart had 21 points. White added 11 points, four rebounds, three blocked shots and six assists without a turnover. Robert Williams was also in double figures with 10 points and seven boards in 17 minutes of playing time from off the bench.

Jimmy Butler didn’t shoot the ball well, hitting just 5-of-21 field-goal attempts, but he still contributed 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and one steal. Caleb Martin produced 21 points, 15 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot. He buried 4-of-8 launches from long distance.

After missing Game 5 with an ankle injury, Gabe Vincent played more than 41 minutes and finished with 15 points and four boards. Duncan Robinson scored 13 points, making 3-of-6 from downtown.

The Westgate SuperBook now has Denver as the -125 ‘chalk’ to win the 2023 NBA Finals. Boston is a +125 underdog and Miami has +1600 odds (or 16/1).

With his winning bucket last night, White joined Michael Jordan (jumper over Craig Ehlo at Cleveland in 1989) as only the second player in NBA history to make a game-winning buzzer beater in the postseason when his team was trailing and facing elimination.

TNT will broadcast Monday’s game at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

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