TD Garden, Boston, Mass. — Brad Stevens was interviewed after the Boston Celtics won Game 3 in dramatic fashion against the Brooklyn Nets. Both teams were scrapping hard, and Boston eked out a 125-119 win in a loud TD Garden. “You know all the matchups are hard, they’re all good defenders, they are all good individual athletes,” said Stevens on the Nets defense.
“They’re all hard. It takes a great player to score in a one-on-one situation on any of them…I thought that Jayson did a good job of that. He had some tough shots but then I also thought that when we go back and look at it, I thought we were spaced pretty well around and he did a good job finding guys at different times. Marcus’ two threes in the third were huge. You know, as they were coming back and they ultimately took that lead by one for a possession, but that’s what you have to do because they’re going to send a bunch of bodies…”
Jayson Tatum had a full-fledged superstar performance, scoring at least 50 points for the fourth time this season. This was the first 40+ point playoff performance of his career, and that’s not where his record-setting stopped. Tatum became the 3rd youngest player in NBA playoff history with a 50 point game (behind Michael Jordan and Rick Barry), the sixth player in franchise history with a 50 point playoff game, and the third-youngest player in NBA history to get to 1,000 career playoff points (behind Tony Parker and childhood idol Kobe Bryant).
Stevens praised Tatum and his growth over the years and at such a young age. “He’s getting really good at it, you know. I think he’s so you know he’s so advanced. Again, for 23 years old…I’ve said the word special. I don’t say that very often obviously, and he just has a unique ability to score the ball, to slither through seams to find angles to score. But then also he’s got the vision to make every right read. He was super tonight. But he’s been like that a lot this year and you know he’s special.”