Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum insists what happened after Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals series against the Miami Heat won't affect the team negatively long-term. After failing to close out Game 2 and losing to the Heat, there were reports that several Celtics players yelled at each other and that also objects were thrown in the locker room.
But on Saturday, the Celtics came out with a great intensity and beat the Heat 117-106 to reduce the deficit to 2-1. "It's been normal," said Tatum, who had 25 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists in 41 minutes, per ESPN.
"Anybody that's played sports, played in a team game, we're not supposed to be happy being down 0-2. If you are, then you don't care. We care about this. "Basketball is a game of emotions. So we want guys to be frustrated, be upset, to care.
It's nothing personal. We just have to figure some things out. It's nothing more than that. "You're supposed to talk it out, figure it out and come together for the next game. Leave what happened in the past in the past because you can't change it."
Tatum happy to have Gordon Hayward back
After being out for a while due to an injury, Hayward returned to the lineup and scored six points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists. "It meant everything," Tatum said of Hayward's return.
"Obviously, we played a while without him. And I've said it before: crazy that anyone would think we're better without him. We're so much better when he's out there and so much more dynamic, so much more versatile when he's out there.
"It felt great to have the full team back. He played great in his first game, and he's going to continue to get better, get his feel back. So to have him back is everything." After a Game 3 win, Celtics guard Jaylen Brown spoke highly of his teammates and joined Tatum in claiming everything's perfectly fine withing the locker room.
"There are some great guys in that locker room," Brown said after leading Boston with 26 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 blocked shot in 42 minutes. "A lot of emotion, a lot of passion. But we're a family.
We're here for each other at the end of the day. We exemplified that when we came out together. We stayed together during some tough moments. "But we didn't hang our head. We kept our will high and persevered to win this game."