Celtics Postgame Live

Why Eddie House loved Celtics' response to Herro's technical foul

'We're not going back down from you.'

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For the second time in three games, things got chippy between the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat. And for the second time in three games, the Celtics stood their ground.

Saturday's dust-up occurred late in the third quarter of Game 3 at Kaseya Center when Boston's Sam Hauser sent Miami's Tyler Herro to the floor with a shove after Herro beat him off the dribble. Herro took exception by throwing the ball at Hauser's feet, which earned him a technical foul.

As Heat teammates Haywood Highsmith and Caleb Martin attempted to confront Hauser, Celtics guards Payton Pritchard and Jrue Holiday stepped in to defend their teammate.

Tensions didn't rise to the level of Game 1, when Jaylen Brown confronted Martin over his hard foul of Celtics star Jayson Tatum. But former Celtics guard Eddie House still liked the message the C's sent during the exchange en route to a 104-84 victory that gave Boston a 2-1 first-round series lead.

"We were more physical, we were more aggressive. Sometimes you've got to bully the bully, and I felt like we did that at times," House said on NBC Sports Boston's Celtics Postgame Live, as seen in the video above. "They still were handsy and got away with things, but I liked the scrum ... the energy in the building when Tyler Herro threw the ball to Sam Hauser.

"I wasn't mad at what Sam did. I know it wasn't intentional, but it was just one of those physical plays, and then Payton getting in Tyler Herro's face and then that lingering on. I like stuff like that because it's showing us, 'We're not backing down. We're not going back down from you.'"

The Celtics have an overwhelming talent advantage in this series but fell in Game 2 when the Heat imposed their will physically, pushing around C's big man Kristaps Porzingis in particular and setting the tone in the game's early stages.

On Saturday, Boston sent a definitive response, upping its defensive intensity to limit Miami to 41.6 percent shooting and 32.1 percent shooting from 3-point range (9 for 28) with 12 turnovers on its own floor.

"The word on the Celtics had been that you could punk them if you get physical with them," House added. "If you change that narrative as the Boston Celtics, there is nothing that any team in this league can do with you."

The Celtics will look to carry Saturday's momentum into Game 4 in Miami, which is set for Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Boston's Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine will be on the call with Celtics Pregame Live beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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