Jayson Tatum took the personal blame on the Boston Celtics’ shortcomings en route to their 130-122 Game 3 defeat against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.
“I have to play better, I think,” Tatum said, per Souichi Terada of MassLive. “I had some timely turnovers, especially some reads at the rim. Maybe try and get fouled where I have to do a better job of making the decisions in some of those moments just in timely situations. So this one tonight is on me.”
Tatum willed the C’s with his double-double of 25 points and 10 boards. Despite these, he shot an inconsistent 9-of-22 from the field and had four turnovers.
But more than Tatum’s shooting and ball handling deficiencies, the Celtics were clearly outmatched by the Hawks in many departments. Atlanta dominated the glass with 48 boards, opposed to Boston’s 29. The home club also shot a highly precise 56 percent shooting throughout the night in courtesy of seven players draining double-digit scoring which was led by Trae Young’s 32-point piece.
With the victory, the Hawks find themselves at least back on track of the seven-game series, finally picking up a composure on the pivotal encounter.
“I didn’t think we were gonna win every game in the playoffs,” Tatum said. “They played well tonight. We come back, get some rest, watch film, learn from it, and I’m extremely motivated and confident that we’re going to play better next game.”
Tatum and his Celtics squad will look to correct their errors and respond against the Hawks on Sunday inside State Farm Arena.