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Like the third quarter of Game 1, when the Heat outscored the Celtics 39-14, Miami threw a haymaker in the first frame on Saturday, outproducing Boston 39-18 in the opening period.

The Heat came into TD Garden and played with far more urgency and physicality. The Celtics, who cut what once was a 26-point deficit down to one in the fourth quarter, probably would've overcome that if they took better care of the ball.

Instead, they committed 24 turnovers, many of them unforced, and Miami converted those mistakes into 33 points.


After the loss, Ime Udoka said of the Heat playing with greater urgency: "That's what we spoke up about, not being caught off-guard or complacent or content with getting a win at their place, and understanding how they're going to guard guys, be physical, and we didn't match that from the start.

"It looked liked we were kind of wilting to their pressure. (We) started complaining to the refs and took us out of the game from the start. Disappointed to come out that flat in a conference finals game."

When it comes to not matching the Heat's physicality in this series, Udoka remarked: "We have at times. Like I said, two quarters really stand out." He went on to say, "that can't be the reason we lose the series."


Jayson Tatum said of the Heat playing with greater urgency: "Why? I don't know. I wish we would've, honestly, clearly." Tatum went on to say, "we've got to be better starting the game."

Tatum, who struggled to the tune of ten points on 3/14 shooting and was responsible for six of those 24 turnovers, said of his performance: "I feel like I left the guys hanging tonight. That's on me; I acknowledge that."


When discussing the first 20 minutes of the game, Jaylen Brown expressed: "We started out flat. It seemed like we were looking around too much instead of playing the game. And they got it going, they got stops and made shots, and we didn't in the first half. We didn't match their intensity out of the gate."

He later remarked: "As a unit, we have to make sure that we're all ready from the jump."

And when it comes to the Heat being the more physical team to this point in the series, Brown declared: "If we want to win this series, we have to match that physicality. We just gotta man up."

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Brown, who scored a game-high 40 points but also had seven turnovers, more than anyone else on either team, said of the latter: "Just being stronger; driving. I'm going to keep being aggressive. I'm going to keep getting to the basket. I'm going to keep doing what I do. But be stronger when I get in there.

"They let a lot of stuff go tonight. Especially when I feel like I drive and I get to the basket, I feel like there's two hands on me all the time. I don't ever get those hand-checking calls. But I don't make excuses. We get better."


When Al Horford stepped to the podium, he quickly got asked about his team's lack of urgency. Struggling to find the words, he conveyed: "We have to understand we need to be better, come out with more sense of urgency. Coming back home, you tend to relax, and I felt like we did that."

But Boston's 4-3 at TD Garden in the playoffs this year and hasn't played as well at home as usual. To that point, Horford declared: "We are excited to be here. We are excited for our fans to rally behind us. But we need to be more consistent at home and come out with the right sense of urgency. It's something that we need to be better (at) starting Monday."

Horford, who was terrific in Game 3, registering 20 points, grabbing 14 rebounds, distributing three assists, and swiping three steals, also stated: "I believe in our guys. Time-and-time again this year, they figure it out; Jayson figures it out. Jaylen figures it out. Those guys are battle tested, and I believe they'll be fine."

We'll find out on Monday.

Further Reading

What Stood Out from Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals: Heat Play with More Urgency, Celtics Commit 24 Turnovers in Loss

Marcus Smart, Robert Williams Earn NBA All-Defensive Team Selections

A 'Grateful' Al Horford Discusses Getting Cleared for Game 2

What Stood Out from Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals: Celtics Win Decisively, Tying the Series as it Heads to Boston

For the Celtics to Avoid Going Down 0-2, Here's What they Have to Address

Jayson Tatum, Celtics Discuss Heat Outscoring Them 39-14 in Third Quarter: 'I've got to lead better, I've got to play better in those moments, and I'm just looking forward to responding'