Tatum, Brown share C's mindset for Game 6 vs. Heat


The Boston Celtics are riding high after their Game 5 win over the Miami Heat, but don't mistake their positivity for complacency.

C's stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown know they'll have to be at their best to close out the Eastern Conference Finals series Friday night at TD Garden. After their 93-80 victory on Wednesday, they shared similar messages about the team's mindset heading into Game 6 up 3-2.

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"Don't look past them," Tatum said. "Don't believe what you guys (the media) say on TV that we won a championship. This is far from over. We just went into Milwaukee and won a very big Game 6, so know that it's possible. We came with the mindset that night that it's a must-win game; we need to carry that over and go into Friday like we're down 3-2.

"This is a great team, well-coached. They're not going to give up, it's not going to be easy. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a challenge, but it's going to be fun."

While Tatum urged the Celtics not to overlook their opponent, Brown noted the importance of giving 100 percent in front of the home crowd.


"This is a great opportunity," Brown said. "Leave everything on the floor. You don't want any feelings of regret. We've got an opportunity to do something with this group that's special, so let's not take that for granted. Let's come out Friday on our home floor and play the best version of basketball we played all season.

"It's a big game for us. At the same time, just breathe, relax. Sometimes we can be a little bit too tense because we know how important these moments are. But just come out and play our game and we'll be fine."

Both Tatum and Brown overcame rough first-half performances to lead the Celtics to victory in Game 5. They combined to shoot 3-for-16 (19 percent) from the floor in the first half, their worst combined field goal percentage in any half this season. In the second half, they combined for 33 points on 13-for-18 shooting. Brown finished with 25 points and Tatum chipped in 22.

The C's will look to punch their ticket to the NBA Finals on Friday in Game 6 with tip-off set for 8:30 p.m. ET. Coverage begins right here on NBC Sports Boston with Celtics Pregame Live at 7:30 p.m.