May 25, 2022
Game 5: Postgame
Celtics 93, Heat 80
Q. To put it simply: what was the difference between the first and second half?
JAYLEN BROWN: Just guys getting settled in, keep being aggressive, stop turning the ball over. We gave them a lot more shots than we had in the first half. We was only down by five. We knew if we took care of it, we would get some open opportunities and knock 'em down.
So just continue to play basketball, be aggressive. That's why basketball is 48 minutes.
Q. Ime said he talked to you early in the game about the turnovers that you were having, just told you it's Game 5, we can't be doing that anymore. What was that conversation? How have the Heat made things difficult on you, how did you overcome that in the second half?
JAYLEN BROWN: Just play basketball. I think he was talking to the whole team. I wasn't the only person that had some turnovers.
I mean, it is what it is. I'm going to keep being aggressive. I'm going to keep getting into the paint, making them stop me. I just got to do a better job of finding the right guy. Hopefully next game some of those hand-checking calls, I'll get one. But I'm going to keep being aggressive and keep getting into the paint.
Miami does a good job of slapping down and reaching and grabbing, making it tough for you. It's a little bit of both. I got to do a better job, for sure, but overall as a team, we got to do a better job, too.
Q. You pride yourself on being a resilient player. You were able to hit shots in the second half. Seemed like you played with more focus and were more comfortable. Why was that? Why did you seem like a different player after halftime?
JAYLEN BROWN: Same player, just had to get settled in. That's it. As the game wears on, some of that energy, some of that intensity starts to wear off, so the game opens up a little bit. The game opened up for me in the second half. I didn't want to get down. I didn't want to look into the past, think that this game was over. My team needed me to come out and respond.
First half was [expletive], threw it away. Come out, play basketball in the second half.
Q. You guys haven't had two days off in a row in weeks now. How is your defense allowing you to have opportunities? What is about you guys and the way this team is?
JAYLEN BROWN: Our defense is key. Every night we come out and hang our hat on that side of the ball. It was great to have even in a limited role Marcus and Rob, to be able to be out there, because their presence on that side of the ball is felt. Rob does a great job of contesting shots, helps out everybody. Marcus, of course, being on the ball, doing what he does. Our defense is key.
Every night we give ourselves a chance with our defense. We didn't play great in the first half, but we only gave up 42 points. Kept us in the game. We were down five. Got settled in the second half and the game opened up, it was over from there.
Our defense is what continues to win us games. We got to keep hanging our hat on the defensive side of the ball.
Q. This obviously isn't the first time you've been through the wringer in the Playoffs. What is the message over the next couple days as you have this opportunity in front of you to make it a step farther than you have before?
JAYLEN BROWN: This is a great opportunity. Leave everything on the floor. You don't want any feelings of regret. We got an opportunity to do something with this group that's special.
So let's not take that for granted. Let's come out tomorrow on our home floor, or Friday on our home floor, and play the best version of basketball we played all season. This is a big game for us.
At the same time, you know, just breathe, relax. Sometimes it can be a little bit too tense. We know how important these moments are. But just come out and play our game and we'll be fine.
Q. Obviously you and Jayson got it going in the fourth quarter. How big were Derrick and Al especially in the first half?
JAYLEN BROWN: Yeah, Derrick the last two games has been fantastic. His contributions to our team have been great. He might not get all the credit, but the way he started Game 4, where he came out and we was able to jump on them early. How he came out today again was huge.
Derrick has been playing great these last two games. He's been essential. We need him to keep playing with that same type of aggression. He was just fantastic tonight. Poise under control, made timely baskets.
Al, you know, Al is old reliable. Al does what he's been doing his whole career, stepping up in big moments, making timely shots, rebounding, being a defensive stopper for us, and also being that relief valve. Those two were definitely the story of the game tonight. They kept us in it defensively when our offense wasn't going. Al and Derrick, they had it going.
Q. How much do you and Jayson kind of feed off each other when you get hot like you did there in the second half?
JAYLEN BROWN: We just play basketball. We're always talking to each other, encouraging each other. We know what weâ€™re capable of. Sometimes it's more so mental, trying to get over the adversity or sometimes we over-thinking a little bit too much.
We just got to come out and play basketball. We feel like there's not a lot of people who can play basketball with us two. When he gets going, when I get going, we know that we're going to put ourselves in a good spot to win.
Q. On your Conference Finals experience, is there any way that previous experience playing deep into the Conference Finals can help you on Friday night? If so, what ways does it help?
JAYLEN BROWN: Yeah, you can say that, it will help. We had a lot of guys that's been in those moments. But so have they. Miami, they have a lot of guys that been to the Finals or won a championship.
I'm not sure how much it will help against a team like Miami that's really experienced with a lot of vets. But definitely having experience and learning from it is an advantage.
We just got to come out on our home floor, take care of business, play good basketball, take care of it, hit shots and defend and we'll be fine.
Q. Obviously always nice to score a hundred plus and win by 20. This one really felt like a slugfest from the opening tip. Why is it important to be able to win ugly games in the Playoffs? What do you enjoy about winning that way?
JAYLEN BROWN: Hey, it's the Playoffs. I mean, if you want to do anything special, that's what it's going to take. Winning on the road, winning when you're not hitting shots, winning when things aren't going your way. That is key. It's always going to be ups and downs. Finding different ways to win is a sign of a good team.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports