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Tatum: Celtics didn't want Miami losses to 'define the season'

Megan Briggs / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Jayson Tatum and the Boston Celtics aren't done yet.

Following Tuesday's 116-99 win over the Miami Heat to avoid a series sweep, Tatum asserted that the Celtics were determined not to let Games 1-3 leave a lasting impression.

"We didn't play well those first three games, we didn't deserve to win," Tatum said, via NBC Sports. "But we didn't want that to define us, define the season. And we still got a long, uphill battle to go, but tonight was a good start."

The Celtics star led all scorers with 33 points in Game 4, adding 11 rebounds, seven assists, and two blocks.

Tatum scored 14 points in the third quarter as the Celtics bested Miami 38-23 in the frame, flipping a six-point halftime deficit into a nine-point lead. Boston never trailed in the fourth quarter.

With the victory, the Celtics avoided what would've been their fourth Eastern Conference finals loss since 2017.

Boston went 57-25 in the regular season, the franchise's best record since the 2008-09 campaign. The team was the odds-on favorite to win the NBA championship following the Milwaukee Bucks' first-round elimination to the No. 8 Heat.

Game 5 on Thursday will see the series shift back to Boston, where the Celtics are just 4-5 this postseason.

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