Derrick White Delivered Celtics ‘Sick’ Moment In NBA Finals Game 2

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BOSTON — Derrick White’s no stranger when it comes to delivering in the dire moments for the Celtics while in a playoff run, but the 29-year-old took clutch to a whole other level in Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

In the fourth quarter, after the Mavericks cut Boston’s lead down to 103-98, White seized the opportunity to deliver yet another all-time postseason play that Celtics fans will soon not forget. White chase down blocked Dallas forward P.J. Washington’s layup attempt with 50.1 seconds, putting the Mavericks away and slamming the door on their chances of evening up the series at 1-1 before both teams leave Boston.

“Just sprinting back, trying to make a play,” White said after Boston’s 105-98 Game 2 win. “Obviously they were making a little run there and whatever means necessary, just sprint back and meet him at the rim.”

White’s playoff highlight reel had already begun accumulating its film since joining the Celtics two years ago. In last season’s Eastern Conference Finals, White finished a buzzer-beating tip-in against the Heat to force a Game 7. During this past conference finals series with the Pacers, White broke a 102-102 tie by draining a corner 3-pointer, leaving 43.9 seconds in Game 4.

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But something about White’s block on Washington just felt different, and the uproar at TD Garden spoke for itself.

“That was sick,” Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla said.

Mazzulla continued: “He’s not defined by scoring. He rebounds, he plays defense, he can play pick-and-roll, ball handling, the pick-and-roll screener. He’s had blocks on bigs. So he’s just another guy that’s selfless and wants to impact the game in any way that he can, and it looks different every night.”

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Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd wanted a foul on the play, feeling as though White’s block was a bit more controversial than Boston’s crowd felt. And on a second look, White’s hand does appear to graze Washington’s, but the contact didn’t constitute a foul call — which Dallas desperately needed at the moment.

Kidd stood by his stance.

“My interpretation? It looked like a foul,” Kidd told reporters, per a league-provided transcript. “But it wasn’t called. So it wasn’t a foul.”

White finished the night with 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting with five rebounds, three steals and two blocks. It was exactly the kind of performance Boston needed from its starting guard and certainly worthy of being taken into consideration once White meets with the Celtics at the negotiation table to potentially reach a contract extension agreement this offseason.

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