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September 19, 2020

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

Game 3: Postgame

Celtics - 117, Heat - 106

Q. Congrats on the win tonight, but one of the things that stands out is the way that you guys attacked the paint. From your perspective, and I asked Jaylen this same question, you're so versatile, you can score in so many different ways, but you had some pretty significant dunks tonight. How important was it to sort of send that aggressive message and take control of what you guys were doing inside?

JAYSON TATUM: It was important. Obviously, we came out aggressive. Our backs are against the wall. We were down 0-2. I think we should play like that all the time, like we're fighting for our lives. And we realize that. But it was just one game at a time. We played well. We played better. But we will take the win.

Q. How much did it mean to you guys to have Gordon Hayward back out there on the floor tonight?

JAYSON TATUM: It meant everything. Obviously, we played awhile without him, and I've said it before, it's crazy that anybody would think we would be better without him. We're so much better when he's out there and obviously we're so much more dynamic, so much more versatile when he's out there. So, it felt great to have a full team back and he played great in his first game. He's going to continue to get better, get his skills back. So, to have him back, man, it was everything.

Q. How did Gordon's presence and the reads that he was making on the defense with all their different cuts, both down the middle and flaring out, how did that allow you guys to get more aggressive at the point of attack and create turnovers?

JAYSON TATUM: Just his decision-making, his ability to make plays for others and for himself. It just opens up the floor so much more. They’ve got to respect him. So, it just -- having a bunch of guys out there you really can't hop off of, because everybody can shoot, knock down shots and make plays, I think makes it tough.

Q. Do you see Game 3 as a potential defining moment for this group in that you're facing some adversity coming into this, both on and off the court, and you play so connected, so focused and with such force as a group in getting this win?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, we could have come here and laid down. We could have played like we were fighting for our lives. It wasn't perfect. It's never going to be perfect. But just playing connected, playing together with a purpose, like we did tonight, it gives ourselves a chance. That's all you want is just to be able to give yourself a chance. We ain't got to win all of them at once, we just got to win one game at a time.

Q. You guys have seen in other series that you guys have played how quickly momentum can swing, how a 17-point lead can go away, how it can come back. Does that help when you're down in a hole in a series 2-0, knowing kind of what's happened here, how many comebacks have happened? Does that keep you guys pumped up?

JAYSON TATUM: I mean, you never want to be down two games, but we put ourselves in that position and we had to come in and figure it out. We did. We got us a win. It doesn’t mean nothing. You got to win four of them, so Tuesday we'll be back at it.

Q. I know you said the other night, what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room, but what can you tell us about the last 48 hours and what has that meant to your team?

JAYSON TATUM: It's been normal. Anybody that plays sports, plays in a team game, we're not supposed to be happy if we're down 0-2. If you are, then you don't care. We care about this. Basketball is a game of emotions, so we want guys to be frustrated, be upset, to care. It's nothing personal. We just got to figure some things out. So, it's nothing more than that. Anybody that has played a team sport understands that you're not supposed to be happy when you're losing or you're down 0-2. You're supposed to tough it out, figure it out, and come together for the next game. What happened in the past is in the past and we can't change it.

Q. Marcus spent some more time on Dragic tonight, who continually gave you guys problems in the first couple games. Just talk about the impact he had for you guys in that matchup in trying to keep him under control.

JAYSON TATUM: I mean, Marcus is special night-in and night-out. One of the best, if not the best, defender in the league. Everybody knows it. It's no secret. You guys know it. We know it. He's consistent. So, we know what he brings to the team.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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