The Celtics’ meltdown Thursday night extended beyond the court and into the locker room, where tensions ran high after Boston’s 106-101 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.
The C’s blew a 17-point lead, thanks in large to an awful third quarter, and the frustration reached a boiling point when Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown reportedly were at the center of a postgame confrontation.
Brown, among others, downplayed the situation, which reportedly didn’t turn physical despite tempers flaring. So, perhaps this spat will even spark Boston, which now trails 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
Sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Celtics coach Brad Stevens held a late-night meeting with Boston’s leaders — Smart, Brown, Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker — to work through the postgame emotions.
The Celtics and Heat return to the hardwood Saturday night for Game 3, which feels like a must-win for Boston. A 3-0 deficit probably would be insurmountable, all but crushing the Celtics’ NBA Finals hopes.
It’ll be fascinating to see how the Celtics respond to the adversity, with their backs against the wall, especially in wake of Thursday night’s blowup and subsequent meeting.
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