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White Scores 28, Boston Celtics Defeat Miami Heat 119-111 In Rematch Of Eastern Conference Finals


The Miami Heat and Boston Celtics have undergone significant changes since their seven-game playoff series from the previous season.

Nothing has lessened the intensity of the rivalry in the slightest.

In a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals from the previous season, Derrick White scored 28 points, five of which came from 3-point range, and the Celtics came back to defeat the Heat 119-111 on Friday night.

Jaylen Brown chipped in with six rebounds and 27 points. In their most recent meeting, the East rivals—who have faced off in the conference finals three of the previous four seasons—saw Jayson Tatum finish with 22 points.

This time, White shone down the stretch, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter for a squad that has relied on the brilliance of Tatum and Brown in their most recent postseason appearances.

“I’ve been here a couple of years and I know where guys are supposed to be at,” White said. “I’m just trying to get people in the right spots and lead from that way.”

Said Tatum: “The talent has always been there. He’s just starting to show more emotion. … I try to tell him to always be aggressive, don’t just look for me.”

He didn’t, and the Celtics advanced to 2-0 with a revamped team that is playing with a calmness that was lacking at times during the previous campaign.

Miami and Boston split their four meetings the previous season. After a seven-game back-and-forth in which it lost a three-game lead in the series, Miami eventually advanced to the NBA Finals for the eighth time.

The first of their three meetings this season took place on Friday, and at moments it seemed like an extension of that series.

Both sides shot close to 50% from the field throughout the first three quarters, with neither team leading by more than five points at the half. On the evening, there were six lead changes and six ties.

With a hand injury, Tyler Herro missed the conference finals but still managed to score 28 points and make five of Miami’s 16 3-pointers.

Bam Adebayo chipped in with seven rebounds and 27 points. Jimmy Butler scored 14 points in the end on 3 of 11 shots.

After Miami had an 88-87 lead going into the fourth quarter, White, who had eight straight Celtics points, helped Boston pull ahead 96-90.

With just over four minutes remaining, Boston’s lead had increased to 109-102 when Adebayo stopped Brown’s back-breaking shot. Butler grabbed the errant ball, raced forward, and was about to dunk it when White, who was following him, caught up to him and stopped him.

After White committed a mistake, Miami regained possession of the ball, and Butler’s putback attempt resulted in Kristaps Porzingis’ sixth foul. Following that, Butler made two free throws to trim the Celtics’ lead to 109-104.

After a Tatum free throw and a basket by Brown, Boston pulled back to 112-104.

With 59 seconds remaining, however, a second Heat surge, highlighted by a 3-pointer by Kevin Love, trimmed the lead to 114-111.

After being fouled, White made both of his free throws. Herro had a clear opportunity to attempt another 3-pointer but failed. Brown clinched it with a three-pointer from the wing as the Celtics forced the ball up the floor.

The Celtics honored the victims of this week’s tragic tragedy in Lewiston, Maine, with many acknowledgments to start the evening. The Maine Celtics, Boston’s G League club, provided their warm-up uniforms. In support of the state, as it heals from the shooting that left 18 people dead and 13 injured at a pub and bowling alley in Maine, the Celtics also wore a “Maine” band on their jerseys.

There was a silent minute before the game as part of the remembrances.

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