For Derrick White & the Celtics, It Was Lesson Learned Against the Pelicans

Derrick White

Getty It wasn't pretty, but Derrick White and the Boston Celtics got things done against the New Orleans Pelicans.

This hasn’t been the greatest stretch for Derrick White and the Boston Celtics. White has been in the midst of a mini shooting slump, and the Celtics were fresh off two straight home losses after setting a record for 20 straight wins at TD Garden to begin a season.

For much of the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, January 30, White and the Celtics struggled. That all changed in the fourth quarter when White scored eight points in a span of 2:03 and the Celtics rallied from an 11-point deficit with 10:12 to go to pull out a 118-112 victory. For White and the Celtics, the gutsy comeback was a lesson learned.

Derrick White: ‘It’s Not Always Going To Be Perfect’

Despite having the best record in the NBA, the Celtics have struggled a bit lately, falling to the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers in their last two games at home. While those are two top-tier teams in the Western Conference, the loss to the Clippers was especially concerning because LA dominated from the opening tap on the second night of a back-to-back en route to a 115-96 victory.

It appeared the Celtics were on their way to their third straight home loss as the Pelicans led 92-81 with 10:12 remaining.

That’s when White and the Celtics heated up.

White, who had been in a shooting slump, shot his way out of it by draining two straight 3-pointers, including one that gave Boston its first lead (99-98) of the fourth quarter with 5:05 to go. He added a third 3-pointer with 3:05 remaining to build Boston’s lead to 107-101.

After the game, NBC Sports Boston reporter Abby Chin asked White what he learned from a game like this, where he struggled for much of it before heating up down the stretch.

“It’s not always going to be perfect — energy or whatever it might be,” White said. “It’s a long season. We just need to find new ways to win each and every game, and we did that today.”

White Gave Plenty of Credit to His Teammates

White struggled mightily for much of the game before catching fire when it counted most. He went 6-for-14 from the floor, but four of those field goals came in the fourth quarter.

He finished with 17 points in yet another balanced scoring attack as all five starters finished with double figures in scoring.

White knew he was struggling, but was encouraged by his teammates to keep letting his shots fly.

“Obviously, it’s been a little bit of a struggle,” White said postgame. “Everybody was just telling me to stay confident, keep shooting. They were just trusting me.

“It’s good to reward that trust. After that, I was just trying to keep making shots and stay in the moment and try to help us win any way I could. It’s obviously a struggle most of the game, but it’s good to make one and do what ever it takes to help us win that game.”

His first 3-pointer of the fourth quarter tied the game at 94-94 with 6:22 left and helped take a little weight off his shoulders.

“It felt great,” he said. “Obviously, we were making a little bit of a run, too, so a big momentum change. It felt great to finally get one down.”

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