How Celtics’ Jayson Tatum Explained End-Of-Game Reaction Vs. Pacers

'Frustrated, like a bad day at work'


December 22, 2022

BOSTON — Jayson Tatum didn’t stick around for any on-court festivities following an uninspiring, 117-112, loss for the Boston Celtics to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

There was no dapping up or words of encouragement for Aaron Nesmith, who turned in a strong 15-point, six-rebound effort against his former team, as those kind of moments are commonplace in the NBA. Instead, Tatum headed right for the locker room.

It surely was a bitter defeat for the Celtics after they no-showed the first half before Tatum rallied them to make a game of it.

Tatum, who netted 28 of his game-high 41 points in the second half, was also involved in a controversial play in the final 10 seconds of regulation with Boston trailing by five. Trying to cut into the deficit once more, Tatum launched a 3-pointer that happened to go in while getting fouled. But officials ruled the infraction occurred before Tatum got into his shooting motion, meaning the critical basket didn’t count.

That had to have added to Tatum’s frustrations — it sure looked that way on the court — but he took a diplomatic approach to discussing the call while pushing back against the notion he “stormed” off the floor following the loss.

“I don’t know if I stormed off the court,” Tatum said. “I guess our definition of stormed off the court is a little different. I mean, that one call or not called it didn’t change the outcome of the game. I talked to (Daniel) Theis before the game and Aaron during the game.

“It was a tough night. Frustrated, like a bad day at work. You don’t want to talk (to) your colleagues after a bad day of work. Just want to go home and kick your feet up and watch some TV.”

Tatum’s explanation of his reaction is very relatable. The Celtics are far from playing their best at the moment, having dropped three straight home games and are losers in five of their last six.

And Tatum knows the only remedy to getting this terrible taste out of their mouths is to come out on the winning side of a game.

“Man, I think we just need to win,” Tatum said. “We need to win and we have fun together off the court. We bond. This is a close group. We’re just having a tough stretch. I’ve had a tough stretch every year since I’ve been in the NBA and this is no different. But we got to figure it out. We got to regroup. We got to get back on track.”

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Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum
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