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May 23, 2023

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

Game 4: Postgame

Boston Celtics 116, Miami Heat 99

Q. What happened in the second half? 18-0 run, seemed like those two threes after that Strus three got you going. What happened and how comfortable were you in that second half, especially the fourth quarter?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I mean, honestly to start the third quarter, could have went the other way. We gave up some threes. They got -- we turned the ball over. But I think we just have to settle down a little bit. We saw a couple go in, and we started to play free. We were getting stops, getting out in transition, the ball was popping, and we was just finding guys.

Q. Jaylen said everything was going wrong in the games before this. Where do you have to be at mentally and emotionally or where were you at that point when they went up nine in the third quarter and you did go on that run? Where were you personally at that point? Were you feeling like it was going to be another instance of last game or what was the difference tonight?

JAYSON TATUM: No, I think we just have to regroup. That's what we did. It could have went either way. We could have separated or brought us together, and we settled in, and we just started making plays.

Obviously, shots were falling, things like that, but I think we were just playing the right way. We was getting stops, we was moving the ball. We played well.

Q. Jayson, after Joe called that timeout early in the third quarter, you guys started running all their shooters off the line, and in general they lost their three-point rhythm, you started getting transition buckets and kind of snowballed from there. How big a part of your defensive identity are those hard close-outs and how much does that force you to play on a string and develop connectivity across the board?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I think today was our best defensive game, just how we were moving, how we were rotating. We tried to make guys uncomfortable, and we were just there for one another. It's not going to be perfect. You're going to get beat. You're going to go for a pump fake. But it just felt like we were all connected, especially in that second half defensively, just rotating, helping, things like that.

Q. Can you take us through that shot where Derrick blocks the shot, gets it over to you, you get it to Al, Al gets it under the basket to Brown? Just seemed like a perfect play in terms of you guys all being on the same page. Put that into words for me, that play.

JAYSON TATUM: You kind of said it, D-White got the block, ball bounced to Derrick, I grabbed it and we were running the floor. I think our defense really affected our offense in a good way, in a positive way. We were getting stops, getting turnovers, and we were running, leading to transition baskets and getting lay-ups in transition just kind of opens up the game offensively for everybody.

Q. Jaylen says that you guys galvanized yesterday. What did you do with the team to get back on the same page after the way Game 3 went?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, everybody was in good spirits, everybody was upbeat, and as cliché as it sounds, we just tried to take it one game at a time. We tried to break it down. We didn't play well the first three games, we didn't deserve to win, but we didn't want that to define us, define the season. We've still got a long uphill battle to go. But tonight was a good start. Just to try to carry this momentum towards Thursday.

Q. Jayson, what did Joe draw up in that timeout early in the fourth when you came back in, got that jumper at the elbow to put you guys back up seven? Did it feel good to keep that momentum going from the third quarter given?

JAYSON TATUM: I just didn't make no field goals. I was getting free throws in the fourth quarter.

But they was playing zone, and quite frankly we kind of struggled against the zone the first couple games. So, it kind of had us stagnant. So, when I came back in, he just drew up a play to get some movement, finding open space, and then make the right play. I shot the ball, and it went in.

Q. You mentioned obviously just winning that turnover battle and how beneficial it was in the second half. How was that truly beneficial offensively, on the offensive end for you guys? Were you guys able to get turnovers and have the confidence to make those shots?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, they're a really good defensive team. So, the more opportunities you can get to push the ball in transition, when their defense is not set, when they score, it's easy to set your defense, but you're getting stops, you're getting turnovers, and you're running, maybe it's a cross match, you find a mismatch or something. That's how we want to play with pace.

So, getting stops and forcing turnovers and things like that is obviously helping for us.

Q. How do you guys maintain that defensive connectivity in the next game and against the inevitable adjustments that Spo and the Heat are going to make?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, we've got to watch film. I'm certain they feel like they could play better, some things they could do differently. Even though we won, there's things that we've got to clean up and be ready for the adjustments from game to game. So, it's just part of being in the Playoffs.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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