How Derrick White Explained Final Play Of Celtics-Heat Game 6

White's heads-up play might prove to be a season-defining moment


May 28, 2023

Derrick White didn’t have anyone specifically tell him to crash the glass in the final seconds of Game 6 in the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night, but it’s something that’s been stressed to the Boston Celtics all season.

And that’s just what White did, providing a heads-up play in what could prove to be a season-defining moment at Kaseya Center. White’s game-winning bucket lifted the Celtics to a 104-103 victory and helped Boston tie up the best-of-seven series 3-3.

White shared what was going through his head on the play, which started with him inbounding the ball with three seconds remaining and the C’s trailing 103-102. White got the ball to Marcus Smart, who put up the initial shot before the former finished on a season-extending putback.

“(Gabe) Vincent was on me, and he kind of was up top denying JT (Jayson Tatum), so I couldn’t get him the ball, and they did a good job of denying JB (Jaylen Brown), too and Smart flashed, hit him, and there really was nobody on me, so I just spaced to the corner, and when he shot it just tried to crash,” White told reporters after Boston’s thrilling victory, per ASAP Sports. “Ball came to me, I made the shot. That’s what I saw.”

White added: “It don’t do no good to stand in the corner there, whether he makes it or not, so I just was crashing the glass, and it came right to me.”

White said he was just happy to come through for the Celtics. His teammates were equally as shocked and thrilled in the moment while head coach Joe Mazzulla couldn’t help but think about Boston’s next challenge.

“It felt good,” White said of beating the buzzer. “Everybody was asking me, ‘Did you get it off?’, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I think so.’ But it was so close, you never know.”

Thanks to White’s heroics, the Celtics will host the Heat in a winner-take-all Game 7 on Monday night. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Rich Storry/USA TODAY Sports Images
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