The Celtics were knocked down Sunday night in South Beach, and they took it upon themselves to pick each other back up.
Many thought Boston was ready to wave the white flag after it was embarrassed in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against Miami. The C’s failed to protect home court in the first two games of the best-of-seven series, and they had their doors blown off in a high-leverage spot at Kaseya Center. It was an uncharacteristic showing from a Celtics group that historically had done a good job of bouncing back.
Boston did just that Tuesday when it avoided a sweep with a 116-99 win on the road. The visitors played inspired basketball and looked like a connected group, which was an objective established by the Celtics in a team meeting before Game 4.
“When you get to this point down 3-0, you see locker rooms and teams start to go in the other direction,” Jaylen Brown told reporters, per MassLive. “We want to make sure that we stayed together. We wanted to make sure that we looked each other in the eye and came out today and put our best foot forward — and I’m proud of our group for doing that because you see teams with their back against the wall and you see they just collapse.”
Brown and company now have some momentum and newfound morale as the series shifts back to Boston. If the Celtics can play with a proper effort level for a second straight game, they’ll have a good shot at extending the East finals even further.