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Jaylen Brown on Celtics embracing confrontation: "You have to win the game and you have to win the fight"

Celtics-Heat Game 1 gets chippy at the end as Jayson Tatum leads Boston to blowout win
Celtics-Heat Game 1 gets chippy at the end as Jayson Tatum leads Boston to blowout win 05:10

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics are not a group to run away from a challenge or a confrontation. And if that means one of their teammates gets thrown to the ground, you better believe they'll be right there to pick him up -- and send someone else to the ground if needed.

That was on display late in Sunday's Game 1 win over the Miami Heat, when Jaylen Brown had a few choice words for Heat forward Caleb Martin after he leveled Jayson Tatum while going for a rebound. Martin raced into the paint after a Bam Adebayo mid-range shot clanged off the rim and sent an inadvertent hip-check into Tatum, sending Tatum to the ground in a pretty hard manner.

No one wants to see Jayson Tatum hit the deck like that, and Brown took umbrage to Martin's perceived overzealousness on the play. Another angle shows that Jrue Holiday gave Martin a little shove, which caused the collision with Tatum. But in the heat of the moment, Brown didn't see that, so he went over to Martin -- who was trying to help Tatum up -- and slapped his hand away. Then he had some words for Martin about the play.

The Celtics know the Heat, and they are well aware of "Heat Culture." So Brown wanted to make sure there was no funny business left for the final minute of the Boston blowout.

"I just told him to watch that, making sure it's basketball plays being made out of there. We know they like to play hard and play physical, but there's a line," Brown said Tuesday after practice. "So just making sure we're not compromising the integrity of the game. I just told him to watch it. 

"I saw my guy go down, and I've got my guy's back 10 times out of 10," Brown added. "Couldn't tell what's what in the heat of the moment, but it looked like something a little extra. So I said something."

Brown said that once he saw Tatum pop right up and make his way to the free-throw line, he knew nothing more serious had gone down.

"That's what it's about. We don't have to entertain in shenanigans," said Brown. "At the same time we're not going for anything extra this series. Being professional and doing our job, making sure we have each other's back."

Brown said that the Celtics won't be the ones starting fights, but they'll finish them if needed. He agreed that this Celtics group is not afraid of confrontation.

"Every game is a fight. You have to win the game and you have to win the fight," he said. "Both are important and we embrace both. Being the better and smarter team, but also the team willing to dive on the floor and set the tone physically and not back down. You have to win the game and win the fight every night."

With a 1-0 series lead, the Celtics will be ready for a lot of fight from the Heat on Wednesday in Game 2. Brown expects the Heat to come out aggressive, fast, and hungry., and added that the Celtics need to come out like they're the ones down 0-1 before heading to Miami over the weekend.

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