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May 25, 2021

Kawhi Leonard

Los Angeles, California, USA

Postgame Press Conference

Dallas Mavericks - 127, Los Angeles Clippers - 121

Q. As one of the leaders of this team what's your message to the team to keep them from not panicking and not getting too concerned despite being down 0-2 and going into Dallas?

KAWHI LEONARD: Just making sure that we stay on an even keel. Just play our basketball. We just got to figure it out. We got to figure it out. Just like the regular season, you might lose two in a row, and then you go on a winning streak. So just having that same mentality. We're playing the same team, so we know what they're doing. And, yeah, that's pretty much it. That's the message, just got to stay focused and make sure that we are keeping our eye on the prize.

Q. That was a phenomenal effort in the first half offensively, especially by you, but that third quarter it just seemed like things got away from the team again and by the end of the game it's you and PG is the biggest guys out on the floor. What were your takeaways from those particular lineups and how do you match what you're doing in the first half offensively with applying some kind of resistance defensively against this team?

KAWHI LEONARD: I mean, that's what we got to do. We got to get stops. We have to get stops. You're not going to make every shot. It's the NBA. Those coaches and good players over there are going to make adjustments to get the ball out of the best players' hands or just make it harder for them. But we got to make shots. We got to make them miss shots, so we got to play defense. So shooting 58 percent, 52 from the three is just not going to cut it.

Q. What's your state of mind and this team's state of mind right now? This is not the way you guys had hoped to start off the series.

KAWHI LEONARD: Like I said, we got to play defense. We got to figure this out. Just come in and see what we're doing wrong. There's a lot of, too many easy baskets out there for Dallas and, yeah.

Q. I saw when Porzingis three bounced off the rim and sort of went in, you sort of just laughed. It kind of seemed like that kind of night for them. At some point when their four guys are shooting 60 from the field, 60 from three, how much of that is game plan mistakes and how much of that is them just making shots?

KAWHI LEONARD: They're making shots. They're playing great basketball. You got to give them credit. I mean, some of those wide open looks is on our part, for sure. But they're making shots. They're stepping into it with confidence.

Q. You mentioned how regular season you guys lose a couple, rattle off a win streak. This team rarely lost back-to-back games this season, was really good at bouncing back. How do you apply what worked so well in the regular season and kind of find the answers to a series like this against one opponent?

KAWHI LEONARD: There's no magic, we just got to come out and play basketball, like I said, get stops. That's the name of the game right now. They are shooting too great in the first two games. We have to help each other, we have to help each other too many straight line drives, dunks, layups. Yeah, we got to hang our hat on the defensive end.

Q. Terance checked in in the third quarter and it seemed like it kind of gave you guys a boost, especially getting downhill to the rim. Is that something that you guys needed, was like that energy spark to kind of get your guys going in terms of actually getting more to the rim as the game went on?

KAWHI LEONARD: We was getting to the rim all night pretty much. He did a good job. I give him credit. But that's not what we need to do. We need to get stops, like I've been saying.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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