NBA says Horford foul on Butler correct call, as was added time
While Game 6 will be remembered as the Derrick White game, a series of controversial moments on the previous play set the stage for the winning shot.
There was the Heat’s Jimmy Butler driving left, getting bumped by Al Horford and fumbling the ball, recovering it and starting to dribble again (which appeared close to earning a double-dribble call). Then Butler drew a shooting foul on Horford initially called inside the arc with :02.1 seconds left, but after Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla challenged and it was ruled a 3-point attempt (it clearly was) at the :03 second mark. The referees added 0.9 seconds to the clock, ultimately enabling White to get the game-winning putback with O.1 left.
The referees got all that right, the NBA said in its Last Two Minute Report from Game 6. The report found just two incorrect calls in the final five minutes:
• Caleb Martin should have been called for a lane violation on Jaylen Brown’s missed free throw with 1:01 left in the game.
• Gabe Vincent should have been called for a foul on Jayson Tatum’s stumbling layup attempt with :31 remaining.
None of that changes the results, the Celtics escape Miami with a 104-103 win to force a Game 7 on Monday night. Even though that is a Game 7, it will be hard for that game to surpass the drama of Game 6.