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May 25, 2022

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

Game 5: Postgame

Celtics 93, Heat 80

Q. What was said at halftime amongst you guys? How nice was it to see what you were able to accomplish offensively and defensively in the second half?

JAYSON TATUM: Essentially, we had too many turnovers. We didn't like how we were playing. We were still only down five. Basically just, you know, talked about how much does it mean to us.

We know all the plays and things like that, but saw the 50/50 balls and hustle plays and things like that are about toughness and effort. That's what we talked about, us playing better, taking care of the ball, just competing because we know what's on the line.

Q. You were grabbing at your shoulder a lot. Seemed like it was really bothering you. You got better throughout the game as they started to wear down. How does this team manage to outlast the opponent?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, it was bothering me. I got Nick, my trainer, he takes care of me. We just figure it out. Obviously, they're a really good team. Both teams play hard, compete and things like that.

But guys like D White, obviously Smart being out there, just his presence, and J.B. made some big shots. Everybody contributed from the beginning till the end.

Q. You've been in this position before with a chance to go to the Finals. Does this feel different?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, it does. My rookie year, being up 3-2, you know, obviously different team now. I'm a lot better, J.B. is. We're just older. And we've been through those tough times.

But, you know, the mindset and the talk that we had after the game was we was down 3-2 last time, had to go on the road and win a Game 6, and we did. We can't think that it's over with. We need to go back home like we’re down 3-2, with that sense of urgency that it's a must-win game, not relaxing because we’re up.

It's possible. Obviously, we did it last series, so knowing that, talking about that, obviously enjoying this one, but not being satisfied knowing that we still got things to clean up, we still need to play better. The job's just not finished yet.

Q. How well do you and Jaylen feed off each other like you did in the third and fourth quarter today?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, my teammate for five years. Watched a lot of film together. Talk a lot throughout the game. I knew that he had it going. Kind of bringing the ball up, things like that, trying to find him, find the hot hand, for him to score, make the right play. That's just something we've gotten so much better at over the course of these last five years.

Q. Did it feel like after the first half that if you could get a burst in the third quarter, given everything that happened, the game was there for you guys if you could just start to play a little bit better?

JAYSON TATUM: I mean, yeah, we definitely talked about starting and having a good third quarter. Obviously, Game 1, we had a terrible third quarter. We're aware of that. We talked about that.

We wanted to start off well, limit our turnovers, give ourselves a chance.

Q. Obviously this is not the first time you guys have been in this position, having a chance to close this out at home. What's the message over the next couple days for the group of the opportunity that you have?

JAYSON TATUM: Don't look past them. Don't believe what you guys say on TV, that we're going to the championship, because this is far from over.

We talked about it. We just went into Milwaukee and won a very big Game 6. So, know that it's possible. Like we came with the mindset tonight that it was a must-win game, that we need to carry that over, go into Friday like we down 3-2.

This is a great team, well-coached. They not going to give up. It's not going to be easy. So, you know, I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a challenge, but it's going to be fun.

Q. Throughout this postseason run, your pick and roll usage has shot up from the regular season. What is your comfort level as a lead ball handler right now?

JAYSON TATUM: Comfort level? Like a scale of 1 to 10?

Q. Sure.

JAYSON TATUM: You know, very comfortable. Each series presents different challenges. Miami guards differently than Milwaukee did. Watching film from game to game, that's the key. That's what it's all about, watching film, seeing what you did well, what you can improve on, what adjustments they might make, kind of what to be ready for.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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