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May 15, 2018

Marcus Smart

Boston, Massachusetts: Game Two

Celtics - 107, Cavaliers - 94

Q. Marcus, people in this town talk a lot about Celtic pride. The energy in the building today was off the hook, your energy was off the hook. Do you feel like you guys are just in a special moment? Do you feel like this is a special group of guys right now?
MARCUS SMART: I definitely do. We're locked in. You know, Brad [Stevens] and this coaching staff always talks to us about being locked in and in the moment, and those are big things for us, so we're just trying to stay locked in and focus on each other and really decrease all the outside noise and distractions.

Q. How important was it for you guys to absorb that first blow that LeBron was going to throw you, 21 points in the first quarter but to not get down there and keep yourself and continue fighting back?
MARCUS SMART: You know, you've got to tip your hat to LeBron. He's been doing this for a long time, and if not the greatest, one of them to do it. We knew coming into this game that he was going to come out and give everything he had and he was going to have a game like this, and you know, our job was to just keep going, make it tough on him all night. Eventually those shots he was hitting in the first half, in the second half stopped falling, and it took a full team effort, everybody off the bench, and guys we just kept sending at him.

Q. You got pretty heated there in the second half when Al [Horford] went down on that foul by JR Smith. What did you see there that got you so upset by that?
MARCUS SMART: Oh, man, we're out there to play basketball. You know, and I just looked at it, Al is a defenseless person. He's in the air. He can't control how his body goes, and he's not even looking, and you go and take two hands to the back, that's a dirty shot. You just can't allow that to keep happening. That's not the first time JR has done some dirty stuff, especially playing against us. He's known for it, especially playing against us. We know that. So you know, it's like a bully, you keep letting a bully keep picking on you, he's going to pick on you until you finally stand up, and that's what I tried to do. One of my guys was down, and I took offense to it.

Q. When Ty Lue was in here, he said they need to find someone that can match your level of toughness. How important is it to you at all times to be setting that gold standard for toughness in the series?
MARCUS SMART: That's me. That's how I was raised. I'm the youngest of four boys. My whole life I had to fight. I had to get down and do things in order to secure my spot in the household. So coming on to the court it's nothing different. We're the underdogs. We're coming in, Cleveland is picked to beat us. We've got to come and give energy, extraordinary energy all the time, and I just try to be that spark plug.

Q. After you saw Jayson Tatum had that collision with LeBron, how did you guys view LeBron's game after that? Ty Lue thought he might have lost a little bit of punch in his game?
MARCUS SMART: You know, I didn't really get to see the play. I just seen the foul called. I was on the other side on the bench. So from what they told me, he got hit in the face, and he went out. I didn't know what was going on.

You know, that was big for us. He went out. I don't think Jayson was intentionally trying. He was trying to make a basketball play, it just happened. He went out, and it allowed us to pick up our pressure even more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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