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May 23, 2023

Marcus Smart

Boston Celtics

Game 4: Postgame

Boston Celtics 116, Miami Heat 99

Q. Marcus, you get down nine early second half, that play where Jayson blocks Strus, you got the ball back, then hit a three. That's the type of plays they've been making all series, but you guys rallied and instead 18-0 run. What happened there where you guys didn't fold and back up but you guys played with force?

MARCUS SMART: We didn't get too high or too low. Those type of plays are devastating to teams. They've been making it all series.

Today we just -- once he hit it, we just wanted to keep going. We wanted to come down, try to get another block, and if they're going to do that again, then that's just how it's going to go. But we wanted to come out and continue to play hard no matter what, and we did that.

Q. You and Jaylen said at shootaround, "Don't let us win one." Obviously, it's just one game, but now what?

MARCUS SMART: Now we've just got to go win another one. That's all that matters. We take it one game at a time. We understand the odds are stacked against us, but we're a team that believes in us no matter what, and we've just got to keep going, and all that matters is the next game.

Q. What we saw today is what was missing in the first three games. What is going to be the key to finding consistency and replicating tonight's success?

MARCUS SMART: Doing the little things over and over. Tonight was the little things.

We trusted in each other, we believed in each other continuously. Even when we were down, we continuously believed in each other, and that's what we've got to continue to do. No matter what we've got to continue to play the right way, continue to believe in each other, and let the chips fall where they may.

Q. In the second half Joe called a quick timeout, and you immediately sat in the coach's chair and were talking to your teammates. You weren't on the floor at the time. What were you telling them and what did you guys get back to?

MARCUS SMART: Just telling them keep going. This is a pivotal point for us right now. We've got to turn it up a little bit more. If you're tired, come out of the game. Get somebody else in there that's fresh and that can keep it going. But we've got to continue to go and do whatever it takes to win this game tonight.

Q. Along those same lines, there was a point there in the fourth quarter where you guys were walking it up, taking the full eight seconds to get over half court, then you got the ball and pushed and were waving guys over. Is there something in there where you recognize, hey, it's too early for us to be playing the clock game, and we need to keep moving? What kind of message are you sending there in that moment to your teammates?

MARCUS SMART: Just wanted to control the pace. When we can get out and run, we're a really good team, and this team does a really good job, Miami, of not letting you do that.

When we have those opportunities, we have got to take full advantage of it, and that's just all I wanted to do. I think I pushed it and got Rob an open dunk and then got JB an and-one. Just getting those guys get out in transition and letting them make the right play.

Q. After the timeout in the third it looked like Jayson got the guys in a small circle and said some stuff to you guys. What was he telling you guys throughout the second half, and how was he setting the tone on both ends in that half?

MARCUS SMART: Letting guys know we're here, just keep going. It's not going to be easy, but we're going to win this game. We've just got to keep playing the right way, and then he came out and led by example. He got the block, he's helping, he's getting rebounds and he's making his shots, making the right plays. When you've got a guy like Jayson and Jaylen leading the way by example, everybody else falls in line.

Q. Marcus, you didn't score in the first half but 11 points in the second half. What adjustments did you make?

MARCUS SMART: I just continued to take what the defense gave me, take good shots, take the open shots, pick my spots wisely. Sometimes the ball just doesn't go in for you. But you've got to stay confident. My teammates did a good job of making sure that I stayed confident and took the shots when I was open.

Q. You guys forced 16 turnovers tonight. That's the most since the first round. Defensively what did you see from you guys tonight that you were able to up the pressure?

MARCUS SMART: We were just playing Celtics basketball on the defensive end. Everybody was helping one another. We were going to take it. Weren't leaving it up for grabs as much as we usually did and it showed tonight. That's just how we've got to continue to play.

Q. You guys don't have to come back for 3-0 anymore, now you have to come back from 3-1 and teams have done that. How important is it to take one game and compartmentalize it and go okay, we have to go and do it again and repeat back in Boston?

MARCUS SMART: That's all that matters is one game. We get to play in front of our home crowd. They did a good job of taking a nice lead in the series, and we did a good job of responding, and now we've got to do it again. All that matters is the next game.

Q. After that timeout early in the third quarter, you guys came out and started running shooters off the line and just kind of rotating aggressively on defense. How does playing that style get back into that defensive identity you guys have of bringing the pressure up to them and then getting into transition?

MARCUS SMART: Exactly that. We brought the pressure to them. We weren't playing off our back foot, like we have been in this series. We were the aggressor on both ends, and we just wanted to continue that. Once we started running those guys off the three and making them make plays, everybody just did a good job of rotating and helping each other out, and then that allowed us to get out and run.

Q. How big was Grant tonight, just his ability to stay ready?

MARCUS SMART: Huge. Huge. He's a great professional. His professionalism is underrated. We talk a lot about Grant, but we love Grant and we love everything he brings to this team. You need a guy like Grant on your team to win, and he helps us win games. When he's playing like that and he's focused like that, we're going to be all right.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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