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‘Not relaxing because we’re up’: Jayson Tatum, Celtics taking one game at a time amid 3-2 series lead over Heat

Photo: Jim Rassol/USA TODAY Sports

The Beantown hoops faithful might be plotting now for an all-out party, but Jayson Tatum makes it clear that there’s still more adversities to come before starting to celebrate. 

Shortly after the Boston Celtics destroyed the Miami Heat to take a 3-2 East Finals deficit on Wednesday, Tatum stated that they are not in the position yet to be overly confident heading back to Massachusetts. 

“We can’t think that it’s over with,” Tatum said about being up 3-2 over the Heat, per Souichi Terada of Massachusetts Live News. “We need to go back home like we’re down 3-2. That sense of urgency like it’s a must-win game. Not relaxing because we’re up. It’s possible — obviously, we did it last series.”

He further noted that he gave a warning message to his team – that their battle with Miami is still far from over. 

“Don’t look past them. Don’t believe what you guys (the media) say on TV that we won a championship. This is far from over.”

In 44 minutes of play, Tatum had a productive evening with a near triple-double performance, etching 22 markers, 12 boards and 9 assists en route to the victory. He was aided by the game-high 25 points of his co-star Jaylen Brown — who had an thunderous exclamation dunk in the final frame that made the Boston sidelines rocking. 

With one win away and on the driver seat traveling for Game 6, the young superstar indeed holds the right mindset moving ahead. As such, the memories of their collapse against LeBron James and the mighty Cleveland Cavaliers after being up 3-2 in the 2018 Conference Finals is a gentle reminder. 

But also, knowing that they are only one step closer to punch a ticket to the NBA Finals, it can only be a motivating chance to finally land the punctuation mark and take the East coast throne after the franchise’ 12 years of waiting. 

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