BOSTON (CBS) — The Celtics will try to fight off elimination on Thursday night when they host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Cavaliers took the first two games of the series in Boston, embarrassing the Celtics with a 130-86 victory in Game 2, so the Celtics are eager to give their fans the game they deserve on Thursday night.

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“We weren’t that good the last time we played here, and that’s a scar we feel. We want to play a lot better tonight,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Thursday.

The Celtics face a 3-1 deficit against the defending champion Cavaliers, but as Stevens pointed out, a 3-1 series hole isn’t as insurmountable as it once was.

“It was 3-1 for the Warriors playing Oklahoma City [last postseason], the Cavs playing the Warriors [in last year’s NBA Finals], the Cubs playing the Indians [in the World Series]. You just have to focus on what you can control and win that next possession,” said Stevens.

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There’s been a narrative that the Celtics are just an annoyance at the moment, standing in the way of the Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals rematch that the world wants. Stevens said that notion is providing more fuel to a Celtics team ready for a battle on Thursday night.

“You do feel some of that, no question about it. When I’m around our guys, it’s more about what we need to do tactically and possession-to-possession, but they have radios and the internet, Twitter, all those things. They know what is being said. We also understand we’re playing a heck of a team and we have to have not only the mentality with a chip on our shoulder, but we have to play really well,” said Stevens. “We have to be focused through all of that. Certainly we’ve had discussions about the a reason we’re here, and the chip on your shoulder mentality is a big reason why.”

The coach added that the chip on their shoulder throughout the season is a big reason why the Celtics are where they are.

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Stevens also touched on Isaiah Thomas’ injury and his team overcoming the loss of their leading scorer. Listen to the full interview below, and tune in to Celtics-Cavaliers Game 5 on 98.5 The Sports Hub starting at 8pm!