Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens keeps things — such as a historic 32-point comeback win — in perspective; he remains brutally honest about the frustration that boiled over him before the emphatic finish to Boston’s 143-140 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs.
In other words, how did the Celtics perform that poorly? The Spurs, who tacked on 72 first-half points on their way to a 29-point lead at halftime (77-48), dominated the Celtics.
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However, after the break, Boston responded by outscoring San Antonio — 42-26 — just before the final frame. Then, Jayson Tatum took over.
His 36 points in the second half, including after regulation propelled the Celtics to their most impressive win of the season.
Brad Stevens On The Celtics’ 32-Point Deficit: ‘I Was Pissed’
After the game, however, during his media availability, Stevens revealed how angry he was truly was.
“We gave ourselves a shot. Tatum was amazing, as you know, and we needed every one of those 60 points,” Stevens said after Friday’s comeback win over the Spurs, Friday night. “To be candid, I was pissed. Disappointed. We can’t be like that. I’ve said all the time, it’s easy to play from behind. It’s really hard to hold a lead in this league. (There’s) nothing more uncomfortable than being up big early in a game.”
While satisfied with the heart and effort displayed by his team, Stevens still can’t get over the first-half onslaught the Spurs put on the Celtics throughout the first half.
“I guess I’m dual-emotions right now,” Stevens added. “I’m happy with the comeback, I’m happy with the effort. I love the way that we played and competed. But, the start was ridiculous — that was ridiculous how we started today. So, if we want to be any good; we’re going to have to change that.”
Brad Stevens On Celtics Fans: ‘We Deserved To Be Booed’
Now, Stevens is hoping this will be a crucial turning point for the Celtics. He also has no qualms with fans booing his team off the floor — which happened at the end of the first half — Friday night at TD Garden.
“I think there’s a lot of things that guys have to deal with that’s noise and negativity that you have to learn how to manage and deal with,” Stevens said. “However, I said in the locker room at halftime, ‘I’ve never been booed in this building and not deserved it.’ We deserved it. We deserved to be booed. Again, it was ridiculous, and I appreciate those that stayed around to see the end. I would have left at halftime.”
Not even Stevens’ daughter, who was in attendance Friday night at TD Garden, could take any more of the Celtics’ dreadful performance any longer.
“I know my daughter left at halftime,” Stevens said. “She’s got things to do tomorrow, no reason to stay. But, she missed a good one. And maybe that’ll help us learn how important it is for us to start well.”
Next up, for the Celtics, is All-Star point guard Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers, Sunday night at TD Garden.