The Miami Heat just came 0.1 seconds away from reaching the NBA Finals before Derrick White and the Boston Celtics ripped the Eastern Conference championship right out of their hands. After overcoming a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, Jimmy Butler gave the Heat a 103-102 lead at the foul line with three seconds left on the clock.
The Celtics called timeout and drew up an inbound play that resulted in an ugly Marcus Smart jumper. The shot bricked, but White emerged out of thin air to grab the rebound and attempt a putback. The ball left his finger tips with 0.1 seconds left on the clock and fell through the basket as time expired. Boston won, 104-103, to force Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The Celtics originally trailed in this series 3-0. No team in NBA history has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series, and the Celtics very nearly became the latest team to suffer defeat under those circumstances. Instead, they became just the fourth team ever to turn a 3-0 deficit into a 3-3 series tie, joining the 1951 New York Knicks, 1994 Denver Nuggets and 2003 Portland Trail Blazers.
These Celtics have one advantage those teams didn't. As the higher seed, the Celtics will host Game 7. The other three teams to get this far all had to play Game 7 on the road. Of course, the Celtics are no stranger to that situation, as they won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals in Miami a season ago.
Now Boston and Miami are set for one final showdown. The winner will not only reach the Finals, but split the 1-1 tie between the two teams in playoff series across the past four seasons. White has now etched his name in Celtics history forever.