Jayson Tatum Hits the Mark With Strong Message After Celtics’ Game 5 Loss

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.

Getty Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics.

The Boston Celtics collapsed in the final seconds of their Game 5 matchup May 11 with the Milwaukee Bucks. They got outscored 5-0 in the last 30 seconds of the game, losing 110-107. A Bobby Portis put-back layup and a Jrue Holiday block were enough to seal the win for the Bucks.

After the game, superstar Jayson Tatum spoke to the media about his mentality. Tatum, a three-time All-Star, said that despite the brutal nature of the loss he wasn’t going to spend time sulking.

“I mean, I could come up here and pout, be sad, and I’m sure there would be a big story about how we’re defeated and I don’t believe in us. Or I could come in like, ‘You can’t change what happened.’ It stings, for sure,” Tatum said. “But, you know, it’s 3-2, and it’s the first to four. There’s no sense in being sad or putting your head down. Because that’s not going to do anything for next game. Always be optimistic and believe in yourself, believe in the group that we can win the game on Friday.”

Tatum, who finished the game with 34 points, six rebounds and four assists, shot 12-of-29 from the field and 2-of-11 from behind the arc. Amid his team’s late collapse, he did improve his shooting percentage in the fourth quarter, going 4-for-8, but he made no attempts in the final three minutes of the game. That’s because things didn’t go according to plan.

Celtics’ Final Inbound Play Was for Tatum

Boston’s final possession consisted of Marcus Smart driving to the hoop and having his shot blocked by Holiday. However, that wasn’t the play head coach Ime Udoka drew up. According to Tatum, he was the one who was supposed to receive the ball.

“I was supposed to come off the pin down from Al [Horford]. … Yeah, there was a little miscommunication. I guess the play broke down and, you know, Smart drove baseline,” he said. “Jrue Holiday made a good play at the rim. It’s as simple as that.”

Following the play, the Celtics’ Pat Connaughton nailed two free throws, putting the Bucks up by three. Smart then turned the ball over while attempting to bring it up the court, sealing the deal for the Bucks.

Despite the loss, Tatum said that he and the team were still locked in and ready for Friday’s Game 6 in Milwaukee.

Tatum on Game 6: ‘We Just Gotta Get Ready’

After the loss, the media asked Tatum about his message to his teammates. He said that all there is to do is focus on Game 6.

“S***, we got a game on Friday. And, you know, what happened tonight is what happened,” he said. “You know, we just gotta get ready, get our rest, and watch some film and learn from it. Just know that we got a game Friday and we try and win.”

Of course, coming back after being down 3-2 is no easy feat. According to Land of Basketball, just 52 teams, or 15.8%, have come back from down 3-2 in 329 matchups. The last team to do it was the Bucks, who came back to beat the Brooklyn Nets last season.

Winning Game 6 would be Boston’s first step toward defying the odds. The game, which tips off at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on May 13, can be streamed on ESPN.

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