Boston Celtics blew a second straight second-half lead and lost 106-101 to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, Celtics guard Marcus Smart was yelling at his teammates in the locker room before leaving the room swearing, according to ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Smart left the locker room yelling, “Y’all on some bulls—,” according to Andrews, and there were several loud clanks — like someone throwing things — coming from inside it, while several players, beyond just Smart, were yelling.
Though Smart left without speaking to reporters after being requested following Game 2 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals, those who did speak — Celtics coach Brad Stevens, guards Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown, and forward Jayson Tatum — all tried to downplay the situation.
“It was nothing,” Walker said. “It was nothing.”
“Guys were emotional after a hard game,” Stevens said. “Hard loss.”
“It really just, a lot of emotions just flying around,” Brown said. “Obviously we feel like we could have won, we should have won, but we didn’t. So just a lot of emotions flying around. That’s it.”
“I don’t know who said that,” Tatum said. “I mean, we’re 0-2. I mean, we’re frustrated, but this is team sports.
“We’re not supposed to be happy we’re down 0-2, but nothing out of the ordinary, just talking about the game. It’s cool. Got to get ready for the next one.”
To do that, the Celtics will have to figure out what happened to them in the fourth quarter of Game 1 and the third quarter of Game 2 — both of which saw Boston cough up double-digit leads (14 points in Game 1, and 15 in Game 2). Boston was outscored 37-17 in the third quarter Thursday night, disintegrating in a hail of missed shots and ugly turnovers.
“Man, they outplayed us,” Walker said. “They outplayed us. It’s really unacceptable on our behalf. It was just a really bad quarter for us.
“We didn’t continue to do the things that we did to get us up and get us that lead. I think we got kind of comfortable, and those guys, they took great advantage of it. They played hard. They played really hard. They played a lot harder than us. They wanted it.”
But even after that, the Celtics managed to stabilize themselves. And after going on a 15-2 run, Boston took a 94-89 lead with 4:25 left when Walker buried a 3-pointer, and it appeared the Celtics might be able to survive their disastrous third quarter.