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Celtics try to look past, shake off flat effort in Game 4

2024 NBA Finals - Boston Celtics v Dallas Mavericks

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 14: The Boston Celtics look on during the game against the Dallas Mavericks during Game 4 of the 2024 NBA Finals on June 14, 2024 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

“That was a butt whupping. That’s it. They just beat us. Not much to it, honestly.”

Sam Hauser summed up the comments of every Celtic after the Dallas Mavericks blew them out of the building in Game 4 Friday night, a 38-point thrashing that was the third-largest margin of victory in Finals history.

Boston praised Dallas and their effort to a man, but there was also an air of shrugging it off and moving on.

“They played well tonight and we didn’t,” Jayson Tatum said. “We had the right mindset and right intentions. We wanted to come out and play super well and win, but it just didn’t go that way tonight.

“But, you know, we are fortunate. We get another opportunity on Monday.”

That was the other theme from Boston in the aftermath of Game 4 — move on to Game 5 and the chance to close it out Monday at home.

“We just regroup. We keep our same mentality, and we come out and get ready to fight in another battle on our home floor,” Jaylen Brown said.

“You’ve got to do it together as a team,” said Jrue Holiday, the one guy who has a ring in the Celtics’ locker room. “Everybody has to be clicking and being, again, the more desperate team. We’ve just got to go back home. I think locking into tendencies, locking into the game plan, and I think we’ll be okay.”

That was one of the other themes from Boston — watch the film, take away a few lessons, then come back better.

“You know, we always say you lose by two or you lose by 30, they all count the same,” Tatum said. “But we do need to be better. We’re not making any excuses. We need to be better, and we will. We will be better.”

“There’s a lot of stuff that we can control,” coach Joe Mazzulla said. “We’ll go back on the film and we’ll watch that, and we’ll really try to be disciplined and control it.”

The Celtics said all the right things after one of their ugliest losses of the season. On Monday, we’ll see if they can put those words into action.