WASHINGTON ― Derrick White put up 28 points as the Boston Celtics beat rivals Miami 119-111 while NBA Draft top pick Victor Wembanyama starred in his first win for the San Antonio Spurs.
Jayson Tatum scored 22 points and Jaylen Brown contributed 27 in a strong all-around display from Boston, with all five starters in double figures as the Celtics won their home opener, a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference championship series.
Miami trailed by just three points with 47.1 seconds left when Jimmy Butler was called for a foul on White, which was unsuccessfully challenged by furious Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
White then drained his two free throws and when Tyler Herro missed a 3-point jumper and Brown sank his from 30-feet out, Miami’s resistance was finally over.
Three crucial blocks added to an impressive performance from White, who was delighted with beating a Heat team that secured a place in the NBA Finals with a game-seven triumph at Boston.
“Anytime you’re on home court, you want to protect the home court and obviously, last time we played them here, they came out winning,” White said.