June 22, 2021
Game 2: Postgame
Phoenix Suns 104, Los Angeles Clippers 103
Q. You guys have been in some tough situations. How does the locker room rank right now mentally?
TYRONN LUE: I just thought we played well. Had a chance to win the game. They got the tip-in, and then now we got to go home to take care of business. They won two games on their home floor. We understand that. We've been in this position before, even though we hate it, but like I said, our guys fought and competed. And they made a big play at the end.
Q. I assume you started the game with the intention for Bev to smother Booker, what did you make of his playoff night?
TYRONN LUE: He was great. He was unbelievable. I thought he did a good job with contest on Booker -- we just had no answer for Cameron Payne. He got downhill all night. His speed and quickness really hurt us in that game. But, like I said, we have made some adjustments defensively. I thought they worked. I thought we did a great job.
Offense, I just thought we hurt ourselves early on, not moving the ball, not making the extra pass, over-dribbled a lot, got down late in the shot clock a lot of times. So defensively, I thought we were great. Offensively, we were a little better second half but first half is really what hurt us.
Q. What did you see on the Ayton play and what were you hoping to guard against?
TYRONN LUE: They just made a good play.
Q. How is Paul taking this?
TYRONN LUE: He's alright. It's part of the game. It happens. It's not his fault. Without him we wouldn't be in the game anyway. Made some big plays down the down the stretch and like I said, they made a big play at the end to win the game.
Q. You guys have come back from 2-0 before; does that affect your confidence?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, we let one get away. That's how we felt. But the confidence of this team hasn't wavered. Guys have said, all right, we got to go home now and they are in good spirits. Like I said, we fought hard, we played, you know, good enough to win this game and unfortunately it happens and we've just got to move on, get ready for Game 3.
Q. You had Luke Kennard in there in the fourth quarter, did a great job finding shots. What's your assessment?
TYRONN LUE: I thought Luke did a great job. Three-pointers on the floor. They stand next to him on the court. I just think Marcus was moving around, he gave it a shot, he just wasn't himself. Luke came in and did a good shot for us. He did great on his shows with Booker. I thought he got some key stops, made some big shots, though. He was good for us.
Q. Since Kawhi got hurt, you haven't really had a choice but to play Paul a lot and ride Paul a lot. Are you seeing any signs of wear and tear from that? How concerned are you about the minutes?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, he looked pretty tired tonight. You know, whenever he's taking a lot of jumpshots and not really attacking, you can see he's a little tired. But he want to win and he said, "Coach, whatever you need, I'm ready to do it."
We needed him tonight, every bit of him. Like I said, we get a day off tomorrow, come back Thursday, or Wednesday, whatever day, and be ready to play.
Q. They had 54 points in the paint, first game 60 and Ayton has done most of his damage in the paint there. Are you okay with sacrificing this kind of thing if it comes at the expense of Booker?
TYRONN LUE: No, we don't want to give up anything, but their penetration, I think with Cameron Payne's speed is really hurting us. Booker is going to the basket and he draws a lot of attention. Ayton is there for a lot of put-backs. I thought Zu did a good job, especially overall his verticality, his presence at the rim especially the first half. But the second half we have to be a little bit better.
Q. Did starting Zu have the impact you hoped it would defensively?
TYRONN LUE: Him and Pat Beverley starting I thought he did a great job defensively. Like I said, Bev did a great job of pestering Devin, and Zu did a great job on his verticalities, on having a big body and shoving a big presence inside.
Q. Nic, the 16 minutes tonight, is that fatigue or matchup-based?
TYRONN LUE: A little bit of both. He came in, and just decided to go with Zu. T-Mann was playing well and that's just how it ended.
Q. Was the offensive stagnation something Phoenix was doing?
TYRONN LUE: It was us. Give them credit, too. But we just didn't make the extra pass tonight. I thought we tried to dribble between three or four people instead of just making the right play. That's going to happen. We've just got to go watch the film, clean that up, but we've got to get better with our offensive execution.
Q. Any chance you guys get Kawhi back?
TYRONN LUE: I'm not sure.
Q. It would help.
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, for sure.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports