“It’s the bond that our guys have built to not want to disappoint one another. We keep talking about chemistry, bonding and belief in one another. It was on full display. That’s the only way you can explain it. There’s no basketball reason we should have won that game. But there was a collective spirit that refused to allow us to lose that game.”
Cleveland appeared to do its best to “Lose that game” after scoring a season-worst nine points during the first quarter.
“We have a lot of heart,” said Garland, who averages a team-leading 16.8 points per game. “You can lose sometimes. Sometimes you blow a lead and then you lose a game. It happens. I came back from minus-26 before. It happens.”
Jayson Tatum finished with 21 points despite making just 8 of 22 shots from the floor – including 1 of 8 from 3-point range – and committing a team-high six turnovers.
“Jayson showed frustration on his shots, but you’ve got to play through that,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said of Tatum, who averages 23.5 points per game.