LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS MEDIA CONFERENCE
June 16, 2021
Los Angeles, California, USA
Postgame Press Conference
Los Angeles Clippers 119, Utah Jazz 111
Q. You guys have done an excellent job not letting Rudy dominate games defensively. I don't think he had a blocked shot tonight. You scored in the paint throughout. How have you been able to do that and discover those angles and in many cases, take it to him or dunk on him like Terance did tonight?
REGGIE JACKSON: What Terance did, that's special. That kid's special, second year, hasn't played necessarily all throughout the playoffs consistently but when he comes in he's ready and when his number is called he comes out energized, ready for any assignments, whatever he has to do offensively, defensively and making sure he knows players for every sports.
What he does is big. What he did honestly is big in terms of keeping Rudy out of blocked shots. We want to attack him but I think when we are small, we're playing small ball, we're making sure we try to stretch his way to the basket, keep him away, get shots early and string them out later. So we are just trying to have a great balance of knowing when to attack and whether he's trying to finish at the rim and knowing when we need to kick out.
But he's one of the better defenders in this league. He's a three-time best player for a reason I think and we're just doing a great job of keeping him off-guard and keeping their defense off guard.
Q. Talk about the emotions of the last 24 hours finding out about Kawhi's injury in a pivotal game without your best player. What was the vibe of the team like heading into the game?
REGGIE JACKSON: It's tough, missing Big Dog, missing Kawhi, you know, the leader of this team, the guy who comes out we know what he's going to give us each and every night, the way he competes, his demeanor, it's tough. For the whole entire week, you see injuries like this going on in a shortened season, it's been a tough one, for the staff, for everybody.
To find out the news, just wanted to reach out to him and let him know that we were going to come out and compete. We didn't know what the result was going to be but wanted to make sure our approach was still up to par with everything we've been doing. Come out and be a confident team. We've been playing down all season and feel like it's prepared us for this moment. We don't want our journey to end here. We want to give him a chance to rest, to figure out what's going on further and hopefully be back with us.
We didn't want to let down, let off the gas just because he's gone and give ourselves an excuse. I like the way this team has competed all year, the way we're playing right now, our best player and leader, we're going to hold it down until he gets back.
Q. You made some difficult shots tonight, is there a shot you don't think you can make out there?
REGGIE JACKSON: No. I'm working on hard shots for a reason. I work on tough shots in the summer for a reason. I know being only 6'2 1/2, 6'3, going to end up in some difficult situations with shot clocks. You know, normally point guards get the ball to try to make a play at the end. I just felt comfortable. I felt comfortable taking shots with conviction, whether they go in or not, they can only miss or make.
Like I said try to be prepared for the moment and fortunate enough to have some go in. But this was a team effort and I'm impressed with the way Paul, and Marcus got us going early, the way guys battled when their numbers were called, defensive matchups, Nic. Like I said, Terance already, Luke playing big minutes. Everybody got in, Ivica Zubac -- using his first name, but I'm just proud of the way the guys competed and fortunate enough to get a win in here that we haven't had in a long time.
Q. You know the man better than anybody, Paul. He takes from a lot of people from whatever reason. What did you see in Paul in the last 24 hours since you found out about Kawhi that led you to believe he would have a game like this and you saw him come up with his biggest game in a moment when you guys absolutely needed it with Kawhi out?
REGGIE JACKSON: He's incredible. Paul is special. He's here in the NBA for a reason and what he's done for us throughout the year. You're going to have the naysayers and critics but that's what you love about this game. You just have to try to put it behind you. Go out here, give it all you got but just the way that he handled himself, he seemed calm.
It was tough news to receive but he seemed calm. It didn't seem like it hurt too much. He was ready to put the team on his back to carry extra weight and he showed up and proved why he's one of the best players in this league and why he's been incredible for us when we had him for the entire season. I was just proud of his approach, playing through the ups and downs, playing aggressive, shots were going in early for him, but even when they started not to fall or we were making mistakes, a few turnovers, he just kept playing with conviction. Just go out there and have fun and left it all on the floor and he was incredible.
He's special. He gave us everything we needed and then some to get this win tonight and I know he'll be ready for next game, as well. I'm proud of that man. I'm proud to call him my brother and just compete with him.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports