Up to that point White had had a miserable game, missing 15 of 20 shots. But with 14 seconds remaining, he fired in a 15-footer to tie the score. Seconds later he deflected Monroe's one-hander from the foul line to put the game into overtime. White scored seven points in the extra period, including a dazzling fall-away jumper over a lunging Lucas that gave the Celts an early four-point edge. It was a lead Cowens protected with fury. With 1:20 to play, he leaped across the lane to block Bradley's open baseline shot, then went downcourt to seal the win with a tip-in of his own miss.
In the locker room afterward, Heinsohn was busy explaining how the Knicks' defense had stymied his team in the second half when Auerbach walked past the crowd of reporters and asked the coach to join him in one corner. It was the Celtics' most important win of the year and certainly their most stirring, but undoubtedly along the way a few touches had been overlooked.