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3/16 Arbella Quote Worthy: Hawks vs. Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 129-120 victory to Atlanta.

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

BRAD STEVENS

RE: Any news on Gordon Hayward’s condition?

“No. Sent him home after halftime, from what I heard. I talked to him at halftime. Obviously, pretty woozy from that hit. So, I don’t have any update on him, but you could see right away that it was quite a hit.”

RE: Al Horford’s status:

“So Al was – talked a little bit about his knee not feeling perfect right out of the gate in the half, so I didn’t know if we were going to have him back or not. And, you know, I was trying to get through without him. And then he told me at the start of the fourth, or nine minutes left, that he felt better for whatever reason and was good to go. But my hope was not to put him back in but that stretch from the end of the third to the middle of the fourth was not good for us. And the guys did a great job of responding to that and finding a way to win the game.”

RE: How Kyrie Irving has impacted the last two games:

“Yeah, I mean I think the way he passes the ball, he’s been active on the glass offensive and defensive, and he’s obviously always going to go double-figures in scoring. So, I mean, every night. He’s doing a lot for us, he’s – he’s really, really played well recently. He’s had a great year anyways, but I just think he is – he’s, he’s filling it up right now in every category and I think he’s – you know, at the end of games people are paying so much attention to him he’s just getting rid of it, making the right play. He probably shot a few he shouldn’t have shot, but ultimately we have – it’s good that the ball is moving and finding the next right guy. And he leads that.”

RE: How maddening is it to deal with the up-and-down swings?

“Well, I think the – yeah, it’s maddening because what happened in the end of the third, early fourth, was they ratcheted up their pressure and we were on our heels, and you could see it. I mean, you could hear their bench one time yelling, ‘Go, go, go!’ You knew a trap was coming and we turned it over, right? Like, we were on our heels, they were attacking us. But the other team’s out there too. And so, I think that you ultimately have to realize that’s part of a game; you have to be able to move on to what’s next. And you have to – everybody’s got to stay ready. You’ve seen a lot of games where you give up leads like that, starters come back in and they’re not ready because they’ve mentally checked out of the game. But our guys did a good job of coming back in and salting it away after the fact. But, no, we can’t give up a 20-point run, or whatever, in eight minutes.”

RE: Marcus Smart’s kick-starting a run after the Celtics gave up the lead:

“I mean, it’s interesting. You can go through a lot of our games that were close, that we end up pulling away or a lot of the games like this where you win late, and he makes the play where he just rips the ball away. He just gets a ball he’s not supposed to get, gets his hands on a – on a ball that very few people will get their hands on, and he did a great job. He did a great job in that stretch, but we kind of – we lean on him for that. He’s – that’s his – that’s his uniqueness, is being able to come up with plays and balls that other people can’t do.”
AL HORFORD

RE: Defense tonight:

“We knew that they have been playing at a very high level offensively, and a little frustrating there because we let our foot off the gas there and kind of let them back in the game and we had to fight. We need to figure that out because Monday we have a tough one.”

RE: Is it difficult when things are going well offensively guys lose their focus on defense?

“I think it just starts with my fault, my fault and then it is two, three, four mistakes and then you give the team confidence. For our group it is important that we keep our focus throughout even when the game is supposed to be at a reach. I mean this proves any team can get in it.”
KYRIE IRVING

RE: What do you take away from a game like this when you blow a big lead?

“We just have to have a sense of maturity and throw a few of these young guys out there and they started picking up their pressure and being tougher. It is good experience for those young guys to get that. The Hawks have been playing well and to be mature about having the lead on them you have to be keep the pressure on them and play smart basketball on both ends of the floor, and we didn’t do that and it showed. So we just learn from it and go from there.”

RE: Your rebounding has improved this year how has that evolved?

“Well I just wasn’t asked to do it a lot in Cleveland. Tristan (Thompson) was like an offensive rebound maniac and LeBron (James) was trying to get the rebound. I was with some thirsty guys for the rebounding and that is okay that is their job and I fully support that so I wasn’t really down there that much. I have always been capable of doing it but helping our bigs here is a point of emphasis for us. We finish out defensive possessions with rebounds.”
LLOYD PIERCE

RE: The game:

“It was a fun game. We knew we’d come out and get a tough Boston team. What an atmosphere, I love playing here. It’s a special place in our league and obviously a lot more special when it’s St. Patty’s Day here. But I like the energy, I liked how they came out. We knew we were going to get Boston at their best and I liked how our guys responded. To be down 20 in the third and to tie the ball game up. It’s a testament to the guys in that locker room. Young, old, whatever you want to call them. I think they’re doing a hell of a job of playing together and competing and that is all I can ask for.”

RE: What’s going through your mind when you’re down 25?

“To me it’s the easiest way to coach because now it’s we’re all competitors, it’s a challenge. The only thing I can rely on; who’s playing hard, who’s competing, who doesn’t care about anything than their personal pride and not being embarrassed. I have found a group with Trae (Young), Jaylen (Adams), Vince (Carter), (Kent) Bazemore, I think Alex (Len) was out there. That just competed and we got stops and were able to score. You know, it’s about us. It doesn’t matter who’s on the court. At that point you just have to compete, and I thought our guys did and the guys that came back in took advantage of the momentum that we had. Tried to compete as well but they just made a better run the last four or five minutes.”
TRAE YOUNG

RE: Coming back from being down 25:

“We’ve been doing that a lot throughout this year. We get down big and have to fight our way back into the game. Then we be in the game and we run out of gas. I think that’s what happened today, we just ran out of gas. I’m proud of the way we fought back to get into the game, but we need to get better at not getting into that big of a deficit though.”

RE: What changed defensively in the third quarter?

“They were shooting a great percentage early on, throughout the whole game. The first half, I believe they were shooting above 50%. I think in the third quarter, we were getting stops and they were missing shots. We were able to make some.”
JOHN COLLINS

RE: What did you guys do to get back in it?

“I think the second group came in and gave us a lot of energy. I think they played well. I think we stopped turning over the ball, the ball started moving around, guys started hitting shots and we got our flow back. It was easy for us to get back in once we get in a rhythm like that.”

RE: What was missing to put you guys over the hump after you tied it?

“You know, I would say just experience is the big thing. I don’t really think we’re missing anybody or any pieces necessarily. I feel like a couple times down the stretch, make a couple better decisions and those change the outcome of games.”