"I'd lose all my teeth for a championship" - Derrick White displays fighting spirit after nasty injury in Game 5 

NBA: Finals-Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics
NBA: Finals-Dallas Mavericks at Boston Celtics

Derrick White was ready to risk it all to ensure the Boston Celtics closed out the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. White's energy and hustle, coupled with his readiness to put his body on the line, didn't go in vain. The Celtics ultimately won their 18th NBA championship with a dominant 106-88 victory at TD Garden on Monday.

The triumph was a bitter-sweet one for Derrick White, who chipped his front tooth during one of Game 5's hustle plays. The pain of the nasty injury was eased after White and Co. completed the job in five games:

"I'd lose all my teeth for a championship. I'll get it fixed. I'm going to enjoy this one," White said during the trophy presentation ceremony.

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How did Derrick White chip his tooth?

Known for making game-winning hustle plays doesn't entirely reflect in the box score. With 2:09 remaining in the second quarter of Game 5, the Celtics guard threw himself on the floor to recover a loose ball.

He subsequently smashed his face on the floor while attempting to keep the possession alive for Boston. To make matters worse, Mavericks center Dereck Lively II fell on top of White and the latter's face smashed on the floor as a result.

White chipped his front tooth and was left bloodied after the incident. The brutal blow didn't deter White though, as he continued in the game after getting looked at by the team doctors.

Jaylen Brown, who won the Finals MVP award, found the funny side of White's injury and was heard teasing his teammate, "you sure is ugly" in the third quarter.

Derrick White's role in Celtics' 18th title

Derrick White made winning plays throughout the 2024 NBA Finals. Be it blocking shots in clutch situations or knocking down jumpers to ease the pressure off of Boston, White came up huge for the Celtics.

In Game 5, White ended with 14 points from 4-of-10 shooting from the field. All of his four made baskets came from beyond the arc. He also had eight rebounds, one assist, two steals and one block as he left his imprint on the game.

For the series, White averaged 13.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg and 2.6 apg in five games. He was terrific from 3-point range for the entire series as well, shooting 39.5% from distance. He also averaged 1.2 spg and 1.0 bpg against the Mavericks.

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Edited by Veer Badani
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