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Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum gave a peek into his mindset heading into a pivotal Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors on Monday night.
Tatum entered the Chase Center wearing a Tiger Woods T-shirt. Heading into the game with the series tied 2-2, Tatum is averaging 22.3 points, 7.8 assists and 7 rebounds and is going to need to play even harder to steal another game from the Warriors on the road.
He scored 23 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out 11 assists in Game 4. But Boston picked up a loss at home to Golden State 107-97.
“I mean, I give [the Golden State Warriors] credit. They’re a great team. They’re playing well. They got a game plan, things like that,” Tatum said after the loss Friday night, via ESPN.
“But it’s on me. I got to be better. I know I’m impacting the game in other ways, but I got to be more efficient, shoot the ball better, finish at the rim better. I take accountability for that.”
On Sunday, Tatum got big praise from Warriors star Draymond Green for how he’s been able to handle the pressure in his first Finals appearance.
“It’s tough. You’re experiencing something for the first time,” Green said Sunday. “I think he’s handled it well. He’s maybe not shot the ball as well as he’d like or everyone else would like. But overall, I think he’s been playing well, and that’s why it’s a 2-2 series coming back for Game 5. I think he’s handling it all extremely well. He’s taking what the defense gives him, and that’s what great players do. But I think he’s doing a good job.”
Tatum said he’s just been trying to stay in the moment and ignore some of the criticism he’s received.
Game 5 is set for 9 p.m. ET.