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1/19 Arbella Quote Worthy: Celtics at Hawks

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 113-105 victory over Atlanta.

Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.

BRAD STEVENS

RE: Opening statement:

“In the first half our defense just wasn’t very good and then Kyrie was special and kept us in it. Then in the second half we really guarded and I thought we showed some tired legs shooting the ball but we were just gritty and we found a way to win. That is a good win and those are hard to come by, and I think that’s one of those things about this league and that is that you have to earn every one of them.”

RE: On winning the second game of a back-to-back:

“We needed that kind of response compared to what we have done in the last few opportunities on back-to-backs, no question about that.”

RE: On the teams effort after Smart was ejected:

“I thought we played really hard after that but I thought we played really hard to start the half. We just missed a couple of open looks that were really good looks. Defensively we had put Marcus [Smart] on [John] Collins, which is unique but we have all seen him do that before and when he went out, I thought our guys collectively picked up where he left off.”

RE: On the effort of Terry Rozier:

“I thought Terry was great tonight. He struggled to shoot the ball for the first three quarters but I thought his energy and Jaylen’s energy, specifically in the late third and early fourth quarter, were pivotal for our team. Terry is playing at a really high level and he is the type of player that can go 4-12 and really have a positive impact on the game in many other ways.”
AL HORFORD

RE: On the Celtics 4th quarter comeback:

“I think that Terry set the tone for us early in the quarter, picking up their guards full-court as well as his energy rebounding the ball. He was just making timely plays and I feel like the rest of the guys followed his lead. Jaylen made some really good plays down the stretch as well and we were able to finish the game strong.”

RE: On getting the win after struggling early:

“For us this is a big win. I understand their record isn’t the best but they have been playing really well as of late and they have really beat some high-quality teams. We knew that they were waiting for us and that they would be ready tonight as they came out really aggressive early in the game. Once we were able to settle down, then we were able to play our style in the second half.”

RE: On the Celtics’ fourth quarter defense:

“I think we were more engaged on the defensive end. Everyone was really giving those extra efforts and I think again that it started with Terry, from his energy and his activity on the defensive end and that really changed things for us.”
KYRIE IRVING

RE: On pulling out a win after being down 16 points on the road:

“It’s a good road win against a well-tested team. They have been playing well as of late and they put up a bunch of points on us in the first half but you can’t bend when you are in a situation like that. We knew that they would cool off eventually and we were able to weather the storm.”

RE: On the altercation between Smart and Bembry:

“If it gets to that point, then obviously somebody said something very disrespectful…We all get paid pretty handsomely from the NBA and our respective teams. So to go out there and start fighting on the floor, we have to realize that this isn’t the 80’s. This is a different brand of basketball nowadays but anything can happen out there and you have to be ready for anything.”

RE: On the growth of Trae Young:

“Coach Stevens said it best before the game when we were going over the scouting report and that is that he has gotten more comfortable month-to-month and that is all you can ask for from a rookie in this league. He is just really seeing what it takes to not only be a starting point guard in this league but to be effective in addition to that. I’m just super proud of him that he has continued to show growth. You know this league is hard and the point guard position is stacked.”
LLOYD PIERCE

RE: On takeaways from tonight’s game:

“It was encouraging to see, when the scrum occurred and when the double tech occurred, it was encouraging to see our guys band together. I think the lesson is after everything gets settled, we have to be the composed team. I think they were intentionally trying to make the game a little more physical and get under our skin a little bit because we were hard to guard for a while. After everything settled, we had two back-to-back plays - I think one was a turnover and Dre’, I think, got his shot blocked on the second - where we were out of sync and didn’t execute what we wanted to offensively and that gave them some momentum and put a bug in their ear to just apply more pressure. I think that’s what happened from that moment on.”

RE: On the Hawks’ reaction to double technical fouls:

“I thought the tech was them just trying to be more physical and see if they could bother and affect what we were doing offensively. And for a moment I thought it worked. It did bother us. We sped ourselves up. We started to play … really, we didn’t execute for a couple possessions. I think the teaching point for all of our guys is at that moment, that’s really when we want to execute. We had them rattled. They’re trying to be physical. It’s a great opportunity to use their aggression to try and bait and get fouls. They shot 17 second-half free throws, I think we only had six. So it kept us on our heels. We stayed on the perimeter and that’s why we had 41 three-point attempts. We love shooting the three, but we also want to get to the foul line and get into the paint. We were unable to do that in the second half.”

RE: On the Celtics’ second-half adjustments:

“They switched a lot defensively and it slowed us down. I thought we were dinking a little bit more than we needed to. What you saw in the OKC game was movement. What you saw in the first half of tonight was movement. We stopped moving and we were easier to guard because they were switching and we didn’t put as much pressure on them with our movement.”
DEANDRE' BEMBRY

RE: On difference in first three quarters and the fourth:

“We were just swinging the ball from side to side. Everybody was touching the ball, hitting some shots. Obviously, that always helps. We just kept it simple. Fourth quarter, they were being aggressive on us and we were on our heels.”
TRAE YOUNG

RE: On the game:

“We were up pretty big in the first quarter. We just let it slip away.”

RE: On the first three quarters:

“We were making shots, making the right reads, playing with a lot of energy. Making plays, making shots. At the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to – making shots.”

RE: On guarding Kyrie Irving:

“You saw him. He’s one of the best point guards in our league. He’s one of the best one-on-one players in our league. He’s very shifty. He knows how to score from all three levels. He’s obviously one of the toughest guys to guard.”
TAUREAN PRINCE

RE: On the frustration level:

“There’s not really a frustration level. We know we let one get away from us. They know we let one get away from us. It’s just time to go back to the drawing board and do what we do best and come back next game.”

RE: On Boston’s defensive adjustments:

“They were pretty much giving us what we wanted the whole entire game. We just failed to capitalize on it. We got out of sync of what we were doing the first half, and started to get in our own way in the second half. It’s just part of our growth, and we have another game in a couple of days. We have to forget about this one.”
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