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June 8, 2022

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

Game 3: Postgame

Celtics 116, Warriors 100

Q. I know it's something you've been working through all year, but just the amount of pressure defenses throw at you, how have you just kind of reached the point where you know where to go, you're able to make those quick decisions and you have your outlets? What worked in that sense for you tonight?

JAYSON TATUM: Just watching a lot of film from game to game. I think just experience, just going through it night after night. You only can learn from it and get better and apply it to the next game and the next game.

Q. In Game 2, they seemed to just kind of anticipate where you guys were looking, either drop off the ball or kick out the ball. What did you see in the film from that and how did you implement your corrections for tonight?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, we had a lot of turnovers at the rim last game, with those guys stunting and getting back to the big. So I think just watching film and seeing where open spaces were and making sure we were getting to those, so guys could see kick-outs and things like that.

Q. Ime said yesterday that he thought the off-ball movement needed to be a little bit better to help get you guys in a better flow. Do you feel like you guys did that tonight? Do you think that's a result of film?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah. I think in that third quarter last game we got stagnant. I think obviously it starts with getting stops. Last game I think not getting stops affected our offense. We were stagnant and weren't moving it as well as we did the first game. So just being aware of that coming into tonight and making sure that the ball was popping and we were moving and cutting and things like that.

Q. What did you like about your team's response in that fourth quarter after the third? You held them to 11 points, and you seemed like you guys were driving, taking the ball to the basket? What did you like overall about that?

JAYSON TATUM: I think that's when we are at our best, when we respond to tough situations, when we respond to teams going on runs and things like that. We call a timeout, we regroup and lock back in. I think that's when we're at our best. I think we did that several times tonight, and I think that as a result we ended up winning the game.

Just being focused and locked in and everybody competing and being on the same page. We're going to need that obviously to get the job done.

Q. First Finals game in Boston in 12 years and the crowd seemed to be in it before the game even started. Was that a little bit of a boost for you guys at points in the game?

JAYSON TATUM: Of course. Throughout this entire Playoffs, we haven't been as good at home. We definitely feel bad about that, to our fans, because they give us so much energy and so much juice. Like you said, before the game even started you could feel the energy throughout the building. First Finals game since 2012 or '10, whatever it was. They were excited.

It just felt great. Felt like it's been a while since we've played in this building. So happy to get a win in front of the crowd. They've been so great for us throughout the Playoffs and all season and throughout my career. It was great to get a win for them. We're going to need them on Friday, as well.

Q. Al was talking after you guys went out and gave up that run, they went up late in the third quarter. Said earlier in the year you guys might have folded but after that you were able to bounce back and have the poise to recover from it. What allowed you to withstand that run and be able to respond the way you did to end the third and going into the fourth to regain that lead right back again?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I think that's kind of when we turned our season around, when we turned that corner. That's what I talked about earlier, responding. Earlier in the season we would have given up leads and lost games like that, whereas now -- things happen, right. They're a great team. They've got great players. They're going to make shots. They're going to go on runs. But it's all about how you respond.

We didn't hold our head down or anything. We called a timeout, regrouped, figured it out and made winning plays. I was definitely proud of the group for that.

Q. I wonder, did it feel any different from a normal playoff game? First Finals game for y'all at home. You've got Paul Pierce out there going crazy. You've got the banners. You've got people excited because it's been 12 years. Are you too locked in to soak any of that up, or does it hit you?

JAYSON TATUM: Paul Pierce? We had Nelly. We had Nelly in the building (laughter). St. Louis was in the house. It's tough, because there is so much media attention. The routines are different. We're practicing at the Garden and things like that.

So in those moments, it's like, this is a lot, this is the Finals, it's big. But at the same time you want to keep that same focus of we've got a game on Friday, we've got to lock in and things like that. When you walk in the Garden and it's already filled while you're warming up, you definitely notice a different energy. But you can't get too caught up in that. It's still basketball. It's still a game. We're just trying to win one at a time.

Q. You spoke a little bit earlier about when the Celtics are at their best, but I'm curious what you think as far as when you have been at your best in this series, you individually?

JAYSON TATUM: Just attacking the rim and not settling as much, just being aggressive. Not always for me; knowing who's helping, where they're coming from, which guy is in which spot to make the right play.

Obviously, everybody knows I can score and things like that, but my mindset throughout the Playoffs and even heightened during the Finals is I'm just trying to do whatever it takes for us to win and impact winning.

So just trying to make the right play. Obviously, it's not going to be perfect every time, but just taking that mindset into every game that I'm going to do whatever it takes for us to win and try to make the right play for myself, getting somebody open or getting somebody else a shot. I think we all have that mindset. We're really playing well as a team, and when we do that, I think we're really good.

Q. You mentioned Nelly. I don't know if you got to see, but he was wearing your jersey. It's probably not the first or last time he'll be wearing your jersey. How was it having a St. Louis guy perform at the Finals that you're playing in?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, that was big. That's my guy. I've known Nelly forever. Him and my mom went to high school. He's known my dad. St. Louis is as big as this room, so we all know each other. Nelly is arguably like the most famous guy from St. Louis, until I catch up.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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