Game 6 between the Celtics and Heat in Miami was a chaotic, sloppy affair that fittingly featured a chaotic, sloppy ending.
After Boston led by as many as 13 in the second half, Miami was able to take the lead in the closing seconds thanks to Jimmy Butler, who had a rough night for most of the evening (5-of-21 shooting), but found his way to the free throw line over and over late. His last trip to the line almost won it for the Heat, as he got fouled by Al Horford in the corner, somehow keeping his feet behind the three-point line.
Jimmy Butler draws a massive foul on Horford for a chance to tie the game pic.twitter.com/BOq6rTBPr8
— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) May 28, 2023
The foul was initially ruled a two, but was challenged by Boston and not only upheld as a foul but changed to a three-shot foul thanks to Butler’s footwork. Butler would go on to sink all three free throws, giving Miami a one-point lead with three seconds to play.
Jimmy hits all 3 pic.twitter.com/SjzPbSgwvH
— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) May 28, 2023
On the ensuing inbound, Derrick White got the ball into Marcus Smart, who put up a turnaround three that rimmed out, but by taking the three off the catch, there was just enough time for White to dart in from the corner and tip it in off glass before the buzzer sounded to save Boston’s season.
It’s a ridiculous play by White, who deserves a ton of credit for crashing in to even be in position to try that tip, much less to know he had such little time that he just had to catch and release it as fast as possible to beat the buzzer. It is an absolutely insane way for one of the oddest games of the postseason to come to an end.
Boston winning isn’t a surprise as they seemingly had control of this game for most of the night, but their inability to knock down threes (7-of-35) allowed Miami to stay in it with the long ball despite Butler’s rough night prior to the final couple of minutes. Butler almost showed up at just the right time to send the Heat to the Finals, but instead the two teams are headed back to Boston for Game 7.