Assorted reaction following Boston’s 96-84 series-clinching win over the Orlando Magic Friday night:
— Paul Pierce on being up 3-0 and closing out the Magic in Game 6:
“Me personally, I never really think negative about losing or being up 3‑0 and something tragic happening. My whole mindset is coming into here we’re going to win this game no matter what. This team’s going to walk out of this building with a win, that is my whole mindset. As far as what happened with hockey, this is not hockey. It’s basketball. Even though one day it’s possibly going to happen, I’m pretty sure as long as this game is being played it will happen one day. I’m just glad we were able to prolong it one more year.
— Ray Allen on losing to the Magic in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals:
“I remember it like it was yesterday. I do remember once zero hit the clock, going over to Rashard [Lewis] and telling them congratulations, good luck. Go win the whole thing. Talking to Dwight [Howard] about it, saying the same thing. So what a difference the year makes. We retooled.”
— Magic guard J.J. Redick on the physical nature of the series:
“I think they’re competitors, we’re competitors. Things get testy out on the basketball court. If you expect 30 grown men to go out there and play their asses off and things not to get testy then you’re crazy.”
— Magic guard Jameer Nelson on his season being over:
“Anytime you lose when your goal is to win championship, if you’re putting everything into it, you’re going to be disappointed. You can’t really say what the level of the pain is right now. I just know that everybody in this locker room put everything into it. Our coaching staff, our management, everybody put everything into it. We were all upset, disappointed. Bad thing is we gotta wait until next year to do it all over.”
— Nate Robinson on his big night:
“It was huge, it was big. I am just speechless right now. My teammates, we got the job done today… I mean just the opportunity to play. I got my chance today. I just showed that I could play the game of basketball.”
— Pierce on getting back to the Finals:
“Man it’s a great feeling. You never take these moments for granted. This is an opportunity that I have for my second trip to the Finals. Knowing that a lot of guys never made it. So we’re real excited about this. Going to soak it all up. Going to enjoy it. There’s nothing like it. Being the only team ‑‑ one of the last teams standing. All 28 NBA teams got to watch us now. So we never take these moments for granted. Especially at this point in my career where it’s winding down. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, to get back here is a great accomplishment, but even greater if we win another one.”
— A clearly exhausted Pierce had a funny moment in the Celtics locker room after the game, knocking over an entire tray of garlic bread onto the floor.
“I’m tired,” said Pierce. “This (referring to the playoffs) is stressful.”