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Jayson Tatum On His Performance In Game 3: "I Feel Like I Left The Guys Hanging Tonight"

Jayson Tatum On His Performance In Game 3: "I Feel Like I Left The Guys Hanging Tonight"

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals went the way of the Miami Heat, as they won 109-103 in Boston to wrestle back home-court advantage from the Boston Celtics. Miami went up by 21 points after the first quarter and managed to stave off a late Celtics comeback, as the home team did cut the gap to just a point in the fourth quarter.

While there are a lot of storylines to come out of this game, one, in particular, stands out, and that was the play of Jayson Tatum. The Celtics star had a miserable outing as he finished with just 10 points on 3-14 shooting from the field and 1-7 from beyond the arc. It snapped a 6-game run in these playoffs where he had scored at least 20 points and Tatum accepted the blame for this loss in the press conference:

Jayson Tatum on his performance in Game 3: "Six turnovers and no field goals in the second half. That is unacceptable. I have to play better. I feel like I left the guys hanging tonight. That's on me"

It brought back memories of that disastrous Game 3 against the Milwaukee Bucks in the Conference Semifinals, where Tatum had 10 points on 4-19 shooting. Celtics fans can take some confidence going forward from the fact that the next three games against the Bucks saw Tatum score 30 or more points on each occasion. That, of course, included a memorable Game 6 where he finished with 46 points and outdueled Giannis Antetokounmpo.

He is fully capable of a big bounce-back performance in Game 4 and the Heat will be wary of that. The Celtics might need him to have a big game too, as they can ill afford to go down 3-1 in this series, as that will be too big of a hurdle to overcome.  Again, if that series against the Bucks was anything to go by, we should see a very different Tatum in that pivotal Game 4.