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Jayson Tatum reacts to Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter’s Game 5 performances for Celtics

Jayson Tatum, Daniel Theis, Enes Kanter, Celtics

Jayson Tatum lifted the Boston Celtics over the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Friday night. However, while the young standout had a game-high 31 points on top of 10 rebounds and six assists in another all-around effort, he deflected the credit to two of his teammates.

Tatum praised Celtics big men Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter, who both provided tenacity and energy inside the paint.

“Those guys were big tonight. Lot of effort and heart, especially Enes. He never knows when he’s gonna play, but he always gives great effort and energy,” Jayson Tatum said of Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter, per Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports.

Indeed, Theis and Kanter proved to be key pieces in their all-important Game 5 win. Theis had a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds, and provided three blocks and countless hustle plays. Meanwhile, Kanter had eight points, four rebounds and two assists in 10 quality minutes.

The 28-year-old Kanter, who joined the Celtics this year, saw his minutes go down late in the season with Theis blossoming into a more versatile center. However, the native of Turkey has stayed positive despite his diminished role. On Friday, he was an instant spark off the bench when he came in the third quarter, making quick baskets down low.

Theis and Kanter teamed up to outplay Heat’s All-Star big man Bam Adebayo, who was limited to only 13 points after averaging 21.5 markers in the first four games of the series. Bam, however, had eight rebounds and eight assists.

The Celtics will try to force a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday night.