Re: How the Big Three set the tone:
"Today there was a stretch where both teams were playing with force and I was fine with that. But I thought Paul set the tone for our entire team to start the game, with the force that he played with. I thought that was a great message for the entire team.”
Re: Kevin Garnett’s going inside:
“Yeah well, I don’t have to talk about it. It was terrific. Like I said before the game, he had 20 shots in Game Two, but it wasn’t the 20 shots that we wanted. Tonight he got the 20 shots that we wanted, minus the three at the end of the game."
Re: Rondo’s returning after injuring his elbow:
"It shocked me because he was out there because they said he wasn’t going to play, but once he walked out, it really didn’t surprise me in that way. We’ve got a bunch of guys like that. I’ve talked about it, it’s just ballers. Guys who like playing basketball, and they just play. They find a way. And that’s what he did.”
Re: The moment he had dislocated his elbow:
“I knew right away something was wrong when I went down but thank God for Kevin (Garnett) because I was having trouble breathing. I was worried about my elbow but I was having trouble breathing. I just kept hearing [him] tell me to breathe. Everything else took care of itself.”
Re: His left arm after returning to the game:
“It was stiff but the main thing tonight is obviously it’s going to be in pain, but what makes it feel better is we got the win. That’s the main thing we got out of this game and that’s what we were focused on."
Re: His left arm going forward:
“Regardless of all the injuries that we have, we’re a no excuse team. If I’m on the court, you may see me hold my arm but I’m not going to use it as an excuse. If D. West is out there, it’s the same way. That’s how we play. That’s our mentality. We show up Monday night and we’re on the court and we’re playing."
Re: His game-leading performance in Game 3:
“I thought tonight I was just a lot more poised. Just as a unit, as a team we had a lot more energy. I felt like I’ve been nonexistent pretty much offensively in this series. Tonight was a little more focused on offense versus defense. I thought I did a good job of balancing out to be honest."
Re: Moving forward:
“This is it. This is all in. We don’t have any days where we can rest or we can just say, ‘Hey, we’re going to take these two days or we’re going to give up this game.’ This is it.”
Re: The boost that winning Game 3 gives the team:
“Well, we’re just trying to gain some momentum. It’s one game, 2-1, so we have another home game and have to take care of home court. It’s not going to win the series if we just take care of home court. We have to get a win in Miami."
Re: Difference between the first half and second half:
“I think our pressure on defense. We picked up full court, we got to make space. We didn’t just let them pass the ball around with pick-and-rolls. We stayed aggressive tonight on defense.”
Re: KG’s big night:
“That’s what we’ve been waiting for him to do. All credit to Miami’s defense, but we know and I think he knows, that he can be dominant in this series.”
Re: Celtics' performance in Game 3:
“That was championship caliber response. No other real way to put it. They came out and played extremely hard. They played harder than us and played more efficiently than us. And they’ve earned that pedigree of the battles and the wars that they’ve been in the last four years, where we are trying to get to. We’re trying to take down a champion and it will be one of the toughest things we have to do collectively."
Re: KG’s strong play:
“Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. That’s what it reminds me of, he’s too proud of a player, talk about an MVP, one of the best players in this league, as soon as he stepped on the court as a rookie fourteen years ago."
Re: The effect of Rondo's return on the Celtics:
“I’m sure it gave them a lift. But they had already established an energy to the game. They hit us first, they knocked us back, we took a few hits to the chin and we weren’t able to respond in a positive manner."
Re: How difficult of an opponent the Celtics are:
"This is a championship team, they play with that championship DNA that they have. We can learn a lot from that effort that they put forward tonight. We understand that it wasn’t going to be easy, especially winning here. We come back Monday and we try to do it again."
Re: Rondo's injury:
“It’s a physical game, the game of basketball is a physical game. I’m not a dirty player, it’s physical. Everyone falls to the ground, everyone gets hurt, people get up.”
Re: Concerns going forward:
"They played harder tonight than us. It’s a series. You don’t win in one game, it’s the first one to 4. I thought tonight was our worst game of the playoffs so far, in what 8 games, tonight was our worst playoff game so far."
Re: Climbing uphill to start quarters:
“It’s very difficult, especially against a team like this... We got outscored 28-15 in the third and we played from behind from there. At half we had a 2 point lead and they busted it open at the start of the 2nd half.”
Re: Kevin Garnett's role in the Celtics' win:
“I think KG, he did it. He’s a hall of famer for a reason and tonight he had a hall of fame performance. They rolled with him and he brought it home.”
Re: Rondo's injury:
“You definitely don’t want to see anyone have, I guess what we call freak injuries. As competitive as we all are, us against Boston we definitely don’t want to see something like that happen. On the injury side, we basically hope the best for him and hopefully it wasn’t as bad as it looked from the floor."
Re: His pinched nerve and how it affected his game:
"I don’t want to make any excuses. I had a bad game. Those are going to happen. I wasn’t in the right places at the right time. I didn’t make many plays on offense or on defense and I can do a lot better."