June 22, 2021
Game 2: Postgame
Phoenix Suns 104, Los Angeles Clippers 103
Q. Just in terms of in your case, missing free throws tonight, just keeping ahead of everything because you have more work to do going forward?
PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, I mean, I'm not going to put too much on that. Obviously it was an opportunity that was missed. Pat made an unbelievable play that put me in position to extend the lead. I'm always confident at the free throw line. I've always been very successful in clutch moments at the free throw line.
Tonight I was just unsuccessful extending the lead. So I'm not going to put too much on that. Fact of the matter is, we still were in position to win a ballgame late in the game.
Q. Since Kawhi got hurt, your minutes have been pretty consistently up over 40 every game and you haven't had more than a day off in between games. How much of that are you feeling, not from an excuse standpoint but from a realistic standpoint? How much of that are you dealing with right now?
PAUL GEORGE: I have no feelings towards that. I have no feelings towards that, you know what I mean. It's playoff basketball. It's whatever it takes. If I have to do more, I'll do it. It's whatever it takes to win, and I have no feelings towards whatever minutes I'm playing on the court.
Q. Did you feel like you had to find your legs a little bit, your rhythm?
PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, I can find it. Every game is different. I did have to find it but I thought I got stronger as the game went on and I was able to find it in the fourth quarter I thought.
Q. I know you guys have confidence in yourself but how does your level of belief change after two series going down 0-2, and then winning them?
PAUL GEORGE: Well, with this team, if anything, we're more confident. Every series we've been down 0-2, we've handed over two wins to the other team.
But you know, if I know this team correctly, the fight we have going into Game 3 and the fight that we have to believe that we are going to change the series; that's who we've been and that's who we are. So I'm very confident in our group, and you know, fact of the matter is, they did what they were supposed to. They won their two games on their floor. We've got to go home and protect our house.
Q. There's some feeling that Chris Paul might be back for Game 3. How would that change the equation for you guys?
PAUL GEORGE: I mean, we've got our game plan. We'll game plan for when CP is back. You know, I think Cameron Payne has -- I'm not going to say he's as good or he's on the same level as CP in a way, but I think without CP here, Cameron Payne has done an unbelievable job of filling in for CP. And so we're going to have to game plan around CP. It's going to be that much tougher. We've seen a high level Suns team. We have to trust who we are, trust our guns on our team and continue to play with confidence throughout this series.
Q. Pat-Bev said you guys were calling T-Lue Bill Belichick because of the adjustments you were making. What has to be turned around for you guys to get back into it?
PAUL GEORGE: It's not much. Just doing things better, again that question wouldn't be asked if we won. We lost the game off free throws. We lost the game on one point. We lost the game on a tip. With all that, we held the team, a good offensive team, to 104. So I mean, we'd be nitpicking to say this or that. We're playing really good. We're playing great. It's limiting mistakes, and that's just what it comes down to, game plan mistakes that we continue to just limit.
Q. Pat Beverley admitted this is a tough loss with the way everything went down in the last few seconds, but he said how resilient you guys are. How do you turn a loss, from a win that was in your hands, to rebound now?
PAUL GEORGE: Again, it's just been us. When we lost two at home to start our playoff postseason. You know, we could have been down then. Game 3 we were down on the road. We just found a way and this makes it no different. We've got to find a way to fight our way back into the series.
That's just what it comes down to. It's no secret. It's no science to it. We just have to find a way, play ourselves back into this series, tie it up, no difference. We know we've got to win here at some point. And again, we've just got to trust that.
Q. What did you guys tell each other in the locker room when you guys got back there?
PAUL GEORGE: We were down about it. Pat told no lies. This one does hurt because we knew we had to steal one. This was a great chance to do it.
But, you know, we've got to look forward. There's a reason why it's a series, the long series we're expecting and just got to get ready for the next one.
Q. Reggie is outwardly positive with us. Is he like that internally with you guys?
PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, Reg was one of the main ones to uplift everyone in the locker room. He's been an unbelievable teammate to everybody, and so he's just a positive guy, and you know, he just sees the big picture. And so you need guys like Reg in the locker room to just keep everybody cool-headed and ready to go for the next one.
Q. Ty talked about how players, led by you and Kawhi, took ownership when facing deficits early in the playoffs and sparking some of these comebacks. Can you talk about the positivity in the locker room, are there any lessons you can apply now and what are some examples from Dallas and Utah when you were down 0-2?
PAUL GEORGE: Well, in those situations, we got closer. We got more connected and we got closer. That's honestly what happened. We trusted one another. We believed in one another. And I thought in both of those situations, we got closer. You know, we've been great with our backs against the wall to rely on one another to pull ourselves out of it.
And so the biggest takeaways from those two series and the reason why we're where we are at right now is because I thought we really just pulled together and rallied together. And so, again, that's what we're facing right now. You know, we're going to have an outstanding crowd once more at STAPLES and we've got a lot to look forward to.
Q. Is that getting close through film sessions?
PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, film sessions. Talking about the game. Replaying moments. Getting game plan decisions ironed out and kind of dictating what we want to do on the court.
Q. You were kind of in the middle of it and saw what happened with Beverley and Booker at the end of the game --
PAUL GEORGE: I don't know what happened.
Q. Is the series getting to that point, you're two games into the Conference Finals; with emotions high between these two teams, do you anticipate it to be that way through the end?
PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, absolutely. It's a physical matchup. And so you're going to get that. Both sides are physical. You know, it's a lot of fire on both teams, and so you're going to get that. That's playoff basketball, though. We look past that.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports