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May 25, 2022

Al Horford

Boston Celtics

Game 5: Postgame

Celtics 93, Heat 80

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Al.

Q. Did you get the sense after that first half that it wasn't going to take much to tip this game if somebody got hot?

AL HORFORD: No. You know, for us, it was just to come out and continue to play the way that we've established. In the first half it was tough because, you know, we weren't hitting shots, we were turning the ball over.

The key for us was continuing to do what we do defending, then on offense just playing how we play. Eventually we were able to get it going.

Q. What do you think has gotten you to this point as a team where you guys can shake off a half like that, where it seems like everything was going wrong, but you aren't affected by it, just refocus?

AL HORFORD: Yeah, I mean, it's really experience for us. Just even in these Playoffs, we've been put in different positions, different situations. Even in this series, I feel like we've grown as a group. It's something that, you know, we're better for. Each game we're trying to learn and trying to be better.

Q. You've made a lot of trips to the Playoffs over the years. What is the message to the group over the next couple days about the opportunity you guys have in front of you on Friday?

AL HORFORD: Just continuing to do what we've been doing. Preparing, getting our rest, approaching that game on Friday at home, just do what we do.

Q. What changed in the third quarter?

AL HORFORD: Well, we stopped turning the ball over. That was a big thing. And, you know, we were able to -- we continued to defend. But turnovers, I think that was the biggest thing.

Q. What do you think got Jayson and Jaylen going?

AL HORFORD: I'm not sure, honestly. I'm not sure. I just think we just kept playing. Those guys, they're very gifted scorers. It's like you get a shot to go in or you get something, they feel good. We just kind of got it going.

It was great to see.

Q. You haven't had two days off in a row in like almost a month now. This was the game where it really seemed like you guys were able to outlast them with energy. What is it about the way this team is structured and operates and communicates that allows them to do that?

AL HORFORD: Yeah, I mean, it's just us continuing to play our style of basketball, doing the little things. D White for us was unbelievable tonight. He was great. His energy, his activity, just such a smart player, made really big plays. People probably won't talk about it enough, but for me he was huge. The minutes he gave us, the impact he had on this game. It's going to take different guys to be able to step up and do things like that.

Q. What type of lift does Rob give you guys defensively when he's playing like he has?

AL HORFORD: Huge. Huge. Rob is obviously a very big part of what we do. I'm just impressed with him, with his poise, and just him being able to go out there and be put in different positions. He's great. He's great defensively. We're very grateful that he's able to play, and he's giving us some minutes.

But he's huge for us.

Q. Ime said, whatever you can get from Rob and Marcus, even if they're not 100 percent, is invaluable. How important is it to have them on the floor?

AL HORFORD: It's very important. Marcus does so much for our group. His plays, his leadership. We need him. We need him. I wasn't expecting that he was going to play today, so I was very happy to see him out there.

And Rob, obviously the same way. That's our guy. We need him. We need him playing like he's playing now with a lot of energy. Just very glad that we have all our guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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