Jayson Tatum said the Boston Celtics didn't want to find themselves again 2-3 down in the series and that is why they were determined to win Game 5 in Miami. On Wednesday night in Miami, the Celtics claimed a 93-80 victory over the Heat to take a 3-2 lead in the series and come a win away from reaching the NBA Finals.
In the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Celtics were 2-3 down versus the Milwaukee Bucks. The Celtics won Game 6 in Milwaukee, before winning Game 7 in Boston to set up a series versus the Heat. The Celtics now have a 3-2 lead but Tatum underlined that they can't relax as the Heat are still pretty much alive in the series.
"The mindset and the talk that we had after the game was we was down 3-2 last time, had to go on the road and win a Game 6, and we did," Tatum said, per ESPN. "We can't think that it's over with. We need to go back home like we're down 3-2, with that sense of urgency that it's a must-win game, not relaxing because we're up.
It's possible [for Miami to come back]. Obviously, we did it last series, so knowing that, talking about that, obviously enjoying this one, but not being satisfied knowing that we still got things to clean up, we still need to play better.
The job's just not finished yet."
Tatum, Jaylen Brown led the Celtics to a victory
Both Tatum and Brown got off to slow starts and the Celtics trailed by five at the halftime. In the second half, Tatum scored 18 points and finished the game with 22 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists.
On the other side, Brown had a game-high 25 points. Brown committed four turnovers in the first quarters but didn't have a single turnover in the second half. "Same player," Brown said from the first half to the second.
"Just had to get settled in. That's it. As the game wears on, some of that energy, some of that intensity starts to wear off, so the game opens up a little bit. The game opened up for me in the second half. I didn't want to get down.
I didn't want to look into the past, think that this game was over. My team needed me to come out and respond. First half was s---. Threw it away. [Just] come out, play basketball in the second half."