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June 6, 2021

Tyronn Lue

Los Angeles, California, USA

Press Conference

Q. In a game like this, afternoon game, short rest, travel, heavy minutes in the last game, do the young guys like Terance and Luke have a larger potential impact just because of the perceived young legs that they have?

TYRONN LUE: No. I think Game 7, no excuses. If we had to play back to back to back, we have to be ready. Game 7 is where the stars step up and stars play well. We're just excited and ready for this opportunity.

Q. Do you think having your guys against the wall motivates your team like it did in Game 6?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah, I just think, like I said, we're ready for the opportunity. Game 7, leave it all out on the line, win or go home, and like I said, our guys are excited about this opportunity. We know what we have to do on both sides of the basketball, so we're just ready to play.

Q. I wanted to know, quarter two of last game, you guys obviously held them to one turnover and then held them down to 17 points. How do you duplicate that performance and have it be sustainable for four quarters today?

TYRONN LUE: I think just understanding what we're trying to do defensively, and I think last game we still made some mistakes but we didn't make as many as we did before, but I think having Kawhi on Luka as the primary ball handler I think was great for us, and I think when it came to the pick-and-rolls with their 5s, I think blitzing that to get the ball out of Luka's hands was really good for us. We've got to do a little bit of the same stuff tonight and we've just got to be ready to make adjustments when we need to.

Like I said, I loved our mindset going into that game, and our defense is what really kept us in the game because we were able to make some shots in that fourth quarter.

Q. I was wondering, what do you think has gone into you guys' ability to handle adversity and be resilient during the ups and downs of this series and how do you think that applies to Game 7?

TYRONN LUE: I think just going through all we've been through this season. I think so many injuries, guys stepping up, different guys having opportunities to play in big games in key situations, and we just found ways to win. I just think this team has been resilient all season long with an attitude of no excuses and doing what we have to do to win a game. Like I said, we're ready to go for Game 7; they're pumped, I'm pumped, and we're ready to go.

Q. You mentioned being pumped up. How much communication have you had with the guys today and what are they saying?

TYRONN LUE: Oh, they're ready to go. We had a little walk-through before the game and just cleaned up a couple of things we wanted to do offensively and defensively. The guys are locked in and focused and ready to go.

Q. Kawhi and Paul, they were great in terms of staying out of foul trouble. That hasn't been a problem for Kawhi but it has been for Paul. How do you encourage them to basically get through a game without getting themselves into foul trouble, and if it comes to a point where one of them do get into foul trouble, do you consider keeping them in or do you kind of trust the rest of the squad to kind of pick it up if you have to sub them out?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah, I think depending on how the flow of the game is going, what the score of the game is, we have a little breathing room, if we're able to get those guys out and get them back in, that's what you want to do. But if it's a tight game or we're down a little bit, then you've just got to read the game. But I just think tonight we've just got to turn everything loose, foul trouble, whatever, and we've got to be on the floor and we just can't have silly fouls to put us in that situation.

Kawhi and PG understand that. It's a big game, and we need those guys on the floor.

Q. From your experience with Game 7s, what do they come down to?

TYRONN LUE: I think just trust. I think the mental toughness if things don't go right early or if you don't get a call or you're not making shots, you've just got to have the mental toughness just to get through it. No matter how you've got to do it to win a game, you've got to do it. If it's 49 to 48 or 150 to 149, you've just got to win the game, and that's the biggest thing.

Whatever you've got to do, you've got to give yourself to the team, you've got to sacrifice, and however many minutes you play or seconds you play you've got to give it your best and just trust your work you've put in all season long from a personal standpoint of making shots and from a team standpoint of defensive coverages to moving the basketball to attacking and doing everything we've done all year offensively. Just to trust, and I think just the mental capacity of staying in the right space no matter how things are going for you.

Q. What will be your final message to the team before they take the court or did you already give that to them this morning?

TYRONN LUE: Yeah, this morning. No message. Game 7. Everyone knows what's on the line, and now it's time to play.

Q. I think last game there were three players that made up the majority of all your points. What do you want to see from the Reggies, the Marcuses, the guys around Kawhi and Paul who you know want to be the main scorers today? What do you have to do to engage the other guys to make it a little more balanced?

TYRONN LUE: Well, you've got to do whatever it takes. Reggie I thought was great in Game 6, having 25 points, being aggressive, scoring the ball early on in the first quarter. I think he had 14 points. But just making some shots.

We've been talking about it all series. We were 3 for 20 on catch-and-shoot threes, and we got some great looks that we didn't make. Just step up, like I said, trust your work, trust what you've been doing all season long and make our shots, and I think tonight will be the night that we finally shoot the ball the way we're capable of shooting it.

Q. On the mental toughness, what can you say about Paul and his play this series? He's found so many ways to contribute late in games.

TYRONN LUE: He's been great, like I said, attacking the basket, getting downhill, getting guys in foul trouble, and then rebounding the heck out of the basketball all series. With those big guys on the floor, we're really talking about we're playing small, we need Kawhi and PG to rebound the ball, and he's really done that. And then when Kawhi went to the bench to start that fourth quarter, PG had some great points early on in that fourth quarter. He's been great.

Like I said, just controlling the game, when they're double teaming, when they're helping, making the right passes, which we haven't shot the ball particularly well, and then also just attacking the basket, getting downhill, getting into the paint, attacking their bigs and getting to the rim..

Q. You kind of just touched on this, but they busted out a zone on you guys last game. Were you fine with the open looks you got out of that or is there something you might want to try differently? Is it just a matter of shots falling?

TYRONN LUE: Making some shots. That's the biggest thing. We had a lot of great looks and we've looked at them the other day on the plane and just shaking our head because those are shots we've been making all season. So I love the offense, they're going to play zone, they'll get open shots, but we also want to keep attacking the paint, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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