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May 27, 2023

Jayson Tatum

Boston Celtics

Game 6: Postgame

Celtics 104, Heat 103

Q. Jayson, what was your viewpoint on that final play and the swing of emotions you guys had in that final three seconds there?

JAYSON TATUM: Ooh-whee. Oh, my God. That was incredible. Man, we drew up a play. They kind of took away that -- I was trying to get the ball. Jimmy and Strus jumped out to me, Smart came and shot it, and we just crashed the glass. Everything was like a blur after that. D-White tipped it in, but that felt like the longest 10 seconds ever waiting for confirmation if he made it or not.

I'm still like in disbelief. That s--- was crazy.

But I'm glad we've got another chance, another opportunity. It's far from over. Still an uphill battle. But it always feels good to give yourself another chance, another opportunity.

Q. You've been on the wrong side of go-ahead shots, but what is that like when it's three free throws, you can't contest, you can't board, you can't deny? You have to stand there and watch the score flip. How tough is that?

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah, I mean, it is tough. We didn't -- we missed some shots. We missed some free throws. We had a turnover. It just seems like everything that could go wrong was going wrong that last two and a half, three minutes or whatever. We fouled, three-point shot.

But there was still three seconds left. You don't have time to think about -- you're just in the moment, next play. And it worked out.

Q. Game 5 in Boston was awesome. What do you expect from the Garden on Monday? And now yes, Game 7, are you ready to make history? There is always a first time.

JAYSON TATUM: Yeah. Right now, I'm just excited that we just gave ourselves another chance. We didn't play well the first three games. We didn't deserve to win. Whatever you want to say. We really took it one game at a time.

The series is not over. We've still got a big game Monday. But just the grit that we showed to get to this moment, I'm proud of that. I'm proud to be on this team.

I've never been so excited to go back to Boston in my life, and I cannot wait to see all the fans on Monday because it's going to be fun.

Q. You guys struggled from three. Only Derrick and Marcus were able to hit threes in this game. It's usually a formula for a loss. How do you pull out this game not hitting these shots?

JAYSON TATUM: Defense. I think -- damn, we only made seven threes. Yeah, it was defense that kept us in the game, that allowed us to stay in the game.

We've kind of changed that around to win these last three games, and our defensive identity has been the reason why. It's a hell of a win -- 44 percent from the field, 20 percent from three, and still find a way to win? I'll take it every day of the week.

Q. A celebration like this feels like you guys won something, like the series almost. How do you in such a short time re-center and take the realization that there's still one left?

JAYSON TATUM: Oh, no, we all talked about it. We're all aware it's not time to celebrate. We didn't accomplish anything. We won a big game that we had to win in incredible fashion. We're proud of the way we played, proud of the way we figured it out.

But the job is far from finished. This is a great team, really well-coached team, and we've got to be ready on Monday. It's not over. Both teams want this extremely -- like to the highest degree. They want it. We want it. The guys are competing on both ends, giving everything they have.

You like being a part of series and games like that. It brings the best out of you.

It's going to be tough on Monday for sure.

Q. The last time out, the focus was on trying to get you the ball. What do you remember about the discussions in the huddle and kind of the mood after such a deflating moment that preceded it?

JAYSON TATUM: We drew up a play, and I was one option, JB was an option, but the guy that was on the ball kind of went with me. D-White passed it to Smart. I thought that shot was good. It kind of went in and out, and y'all saw the rest. D-White made a hell of a play.

Q. How did you during that timeout not get discouraged? You had given up the lead. What's going through your head in terms of trying to save the game and not thinking the game was over, and then the elation from what Derrick did? How do you capsulize those two minutes?

JAYSON TATUM: It's crazy. One of the ball boys asked me that after the game. He was like, what does it feel like being out there, and I told him, you're aware of the score, you're aware of what's happening, but also you don't understand like the magnitude -- you're just staying in the moment.

I didn't have time to think like oh, s--- the season might be over. It was like no, we've got three seconds left, we try and make a play. Whatever happened just happened.

Nobody was sitting there pouting like oh, we blew it. No, we've got three seconds left. Joe drew up a play. We tried to execute it to the best of our ability and try to make something happen. That never crossed my mind while I was sitting there. I was just trying to see what we were running.

Q. I saw you talking to Derrick, had a moment on the floor and then later in the locker room talking to JB, what were the conversations like?

JAYSON TATUM: I kind of like -- I don't even remember what I said on the court. I was in shock. But when I got back to the locker room, everybody was excited, and it was just like a sigh of relief. Like we didn't play well on offense. We didn't shoot the ball well. We missed some free throws late that guys probably wish they could have back.

It was just like, ooh, we have another chance. You don't always get second chances in things like that, so everybody was just like, just take a deep breath. We won a big game. We have a special opportunity to play better on Monday back home.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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