Celtics still looking to right some wrongs heading into Game 3

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Celtics still looking to right some wrongs heading into Game 3

BOSTON For the past 48 hours, the Boston Celtics have been hearing about how well they played in their 115-111 overtime loss on Wednesday.

C's coach Doc Rivers didn't need to see the video to know that while there was plenty to be pleased with in his team's play, there was significant area for improvement - especially defensively.

"We can play better. That was the message to our guys today," Rivers said. "We made a ton of mistakes defensively, transition. We have not given our best shot yet."

They certainly hope to tonight in what is indeed a must-win game for the Celtics.

Miami understands all too well that tonight's game will be the most challenging of the series for them.

"You always know the margin of error is small on the road," Heat guard James Jones told CSNNE.com. "The crowd brings an enormous amount of energy. And against a team like this, they can really make you pay if you're not careful."

More than anything, Jones said, playing on the road challenges your ability to lock in mentally to the task at hand.

"When you're on the road and you got 20,000 screaming fans," Jones said, "hoping you miss every shot, if you start listening to the crowd, you'll find yourself playing at a faster pace or playing out of your comfort zone."

Being home for the playoffs has been a good thing for the Celtics who come in with a 6-1 playoff record at home.

"We're looking forward to being home, playing in front of our fans," C's Keyon Dooling said after the C's Game 2 loss on Wednesday. "We still have to play well, obviously, but being in front of our fans will give us a lift - a huge lift- for sure."

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

Crowder on Cousins' style: 'Step up to the test or you get run over'

BOSTON – There was a point in the fourth quarter when Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins was fouled trying to score which brought about an automatic, intense and angry scowl from the all-star center. 

He raised his hand as he were going to strike back at the potential assailant. 

And then he saw the man was Jae Crowder. 

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Cousins, who had a game-high 28 points, then went to the free throw line, incident-free. 

“I’m not one those other cats he be punking,” said Crowder with a grin.

That moment was one of many throughout Friday night’s game when Crowder made his presence felt when the game mattered most, and wasn’t afraid to mix it up with whoever stood between him and helping the Celtics win – even Cousins. 

But as Crowder explained following Boston’s 97-92 win, that moment was about two physical players who have developed an on-the-floor rapport that speaks to their intensity and desire to win at all costs. 

“He’s going to bring the game to you; his physicality,” said Crowder who had 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting. “He’s a very physical type of guy. If he senses you’re not physical at all, he’ll let you know. He’s a dog down there; he’s a bull. I love to go against a player like that. He’s going to give you his best shot each and every night. You either step up to the test or you get run over.” 

As soon as the two made eye contact, Crowder knew it was one of the many intimidation methods used by Cousins against opposing players. 

Crowder wasn’t having it. 

“That’s my guy; he’s my guy,” Crowder said of Cousins. “He plays a lot of tactics against a lot of other players. I’ve earned that respect with him. He knows I’m going to fight him just as hard as anybody else. We leave it on the court. He’s a good friend of mine. We’ve become friends, just playing ball, playing basketball the right way.”