Jaylen Brown said before Game 4: «Don’t let us win tonight.»

Well, Brown had a pretty good feeling: His Boston Celtics forced a Game 7 against the Miami Heat with an instant classic after losing 3-0 in this series.

Boston, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, lost the first three games of the Finals to the Heat, who have had a Cinderella run as the No. 8 seed.

Now, the Celtics are one win away from history, and the Heat are one loss away from Cinderella-turned-disappointment.


Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum celebrates after the Celtics beat the Miami Heat 104-103 during Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals, Saturday, May 27, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Michael Laughlin)

After Jimmy Butler made three free throws to give the Heat a one-point lead with 3.0 seconds left, Derrick White sent a throw-in to Marcus Smart, who hit a 3-pointer, but White followed through, and his spike went wide. just about the doorbell. by a tenth of a second to send the series back to Boston, as Boston was victorious 104-103.

With just over eight and a half minutes remaining, Duncan Robinson hit a deep 3-pointer to pull Miami within one. After Boston missed a shot, Jimmy Butler’s bunt gave Miami, trailing by 13 points, its first lead since 11-9.

Boston responded with a 16-5 run to push their lead to double digits, but Miami, mainly Butler, was able to turn it into a one-point game with less than a minute to go.

After Jayson Tatum missed a layup, Robinson missed a 3-pointer that would have sent Miami to a madhouse. Smart made one of two free throws, and Miami had the ball with the shot clock out on two.

With 3.0 seconds remaining, Al Horford fouled Butler on a 3-pointer and sent him to the line for a chance to give Miami the lead. Butler knocked down all three, and the Heat won one.

Butler was seen on the bench telling his team that they need «a stop.»

I was wrong: they needed two.

Derrick White and Jaylen Brown embrace

Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) hugs guard Jaylen Brown (7) after defeating the Miami Heat in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA playoffs at the Kaseya Center . (Rich Story-USA TODAY Sports)


White scored 11 points, but none more important than the last two of the game. Tatum had 31 points, Brown had 26 and Smart added 21. Both Tatum and Brown each had 10 rebounds.

Butler struggled from the floor, knocking down just five of his 21 attempts. He did make 12 free throws to finish with 24 points.

One hundred fifty-one teams have lost 3-0 in an NBA series. The Celtics are the fourth team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after being down three games to none, and the first since the 2003 Portland Trail Blazers. They had lost their first three games to the Dallas Mavericks, but the Mavs picked up the Game 7 win despite losing the previous three. All three teams that forced Game 7 were on the road. Boston will host Game 7 on Monday night.

With a Game 7 win, the Celtics would be the first team in NBA history to win a series after losing the first three games. It’s happened four times in the NHL, but Boston isn’t as familiar with historic comebacks.

Derrick White and Jayson Tatum embrace

Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) celebrates with forward Jayson Tatum (0) after defeating the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals for the 2023 NBA Playoffs at the Kaseya Center. (Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)


The only team in Major League Baseball history to do so was the 2004 Boston Red Sox, who faced their arch-rival New York Yankees and then swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.