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Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown discuss their embrace after going up 3-0 in NBA Finals

Boston Celtics "not relaxing" after taking 3-0 lead in NBA Finals
Boston Celtics "not relaxing" after taking 3-0 lead in NBA Finals 01:01

BOSTON -- Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are one win away from bringing a title back to Boston. The Celtics' star duo combined for 61 points in Boston's Game 3 win over the Mavericks in Dallas, and shared a special moment after the team's 106-99 victory on Wednesday.

The Celtics had nearly let a 21-point lead slip away to the Mavericks, but held on thanks to some clutch plays by both Tatum and Brown. In the moments after the win, the two embraced on the court and smiled about being up 3-0 in the NBA Finals.

But the message they had for each other was an important one. The series isn't over until a team wins four games, and both know that the fourth win is always the toughest.

"Just showing the emotions of the game. Two guys that were excited, tired. We're not necessarily saying like 'one more' or anything like that. We are just saying, 'however long it takes.' Nobody is relaxed," Tatum said after his 31-point performance. "Nobody is satisfied. 

"Just at that moment, you know, just told him I was proud of him and he said the same thing; that we've got to keep fighting. We can't relax. And that was basically the conversation," Tatum added. 

"It kind of doesn't even really feel real right now. I'm just trying to stay in the moment," said Brown, who scored 24 of his 30 points in the second half. "It feels great to be up 3-0 in the series but the job is not done."

Boston's star duo has been through plenty of ups and downs throughout their seven years together. Two years ago, the Celtics had a chance to go up 3-1 on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, but let Steph Curry go off and steal Game 4 in Boston. The Celtics lost that series in six games.

But instead of saying "not again" as the Mavs went on their run in the fourth quarter on Wednesday night, Tatum and Brown drew from that experience in 2022. They would not be denied this time, and they each made big plays to lead Boston to a win.

Tatum had a huge dunk with just over two minutes to go. Brown hit a clutch jumper with a minute left. Tatum believes their past failures have made them stronger this postseason.

"Experience is the best teacher. We learned from our mistakes. We learned from a team at the time that was better than us, that had been there and been over that hump and was mentally tougher at the time," he said of the Warriors series two years ago. "We've grown from that, we really have.

"If you want to be a champion, you have to be resilient in those moments. We showed that tonight," Tatum added. 

If the Celtics show that resiliency one more time, Tatum, Brown, and company will be NBA champions.

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