Rachel B. Glaser, Buzzer Beater, 2023. On Monday night, the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics in definitive fashion in Game 7, winning the Eastern Conference Finals on Boston's home court. It was a Heat fan's fantasy. Caleb Martin played like a sleek god with magic powers. The three-pointers looked easy. With few shooting fouls, the game flowed swiftly and without controversy. For a Celtics fan, it must have been a slow nightmare, beginning with Jayson Tatum's ankle roll in the first possession and ending with the starters on the bench, resigned to a nineteen-point loss. It was the opposite of the chaotic Game 6 of the series, which was one of the most thrilling and heartbreaking games I've ever seen. Game 6 began with the Celtics continuing their momentum from their win in Game 5. They looked skilled and confident. Jaylen Brown hit his first five shots. The Celtics led for most of the game. Miami's Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo had a rough shooting night, but Caleb Martin, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, Kyle Lowry, and Duncan Robinson kept them afloat. Watching with my husband and our friend, I spoke with conviction about an ambiguous injury I was sure Jimmy was dealing with. I wondered if someone had kidnapped his daughter and ordered him to throw the game. “Get the ball to Caleb Martin!” I yelled, though a few weeks ago that name meant nothing to me. Jimmy came alive in the fourth quarter. The Heat were trailing by two with sixteen seconds to go. In what seemed like the last possession, he was fouled while shooting a three. The clock stopped at 2.1 seconds, but after the Celtics' challenge and the replay, the refs put more time on the clock. Jimmy made all three free throws, putting Miami up by one. The Celtics had the ball with three seconds to go. Derrick White inbounded it to Marcus Smart, who missed a three, and with a tenth of a second left and Max Strus trailing him, White looped around to the basket, grabbed the rebound, and in one […]
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