The Boston Celtics didn’t look their best early in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals. And Jayson Tatum was at the center of it.
Despite turning on the jets in the second half, the Celtics forward was held scoreless by the Miami Heat during his first 22 minutes of action. Tatum managed to finish the game as Boston’s leading scorer with 28 points, though he shot just 10-for-22 from the field.
The Heat ultimately topped the Celtics 112-109. Tatum shouldered much of the blame for Wednesday’s loss during his postgame video press conference.
“I take a lot of the blame,” Tatum said, as seen on NBC Sports Boston’s postgame coverage. “I didn’t play like myself in the first half. So, I’ve got to be better to start the game off.”
The Heat now have the Celtics cornered with a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Miami will punch its ticket to the NBA finals with one more win.
But the writing isn’t necessarily on the wall for Boston just yet. And Tatum knows just what the team must do if they want to battle back.
“(The) simple answer is we got to do better,” he said. “You know, we know what’s at stake. We know what’s on the line. And we got to do better. We’ve got to play complete games. (It’s) win or go home time. Wish we would have played like that from the start.”
Game 5 of the best-of-seven series is slated for Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET.