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June 24, 2021

Paul George

LA Clippers

Game 3: Postgame

Los Angeles Clippers 106, Phoenix Suns 92

Q. Ty was talking about how it started on the flight home -- when did you feel you were past such a heartbreaking loss in Game 2?

PAUL GEORGE: After the flight. After the flight. You know, we were on the plane. We talked about it. We hashed it out. And immediately we got ready for Game 3. Simple as that. We had to move on. I thought we did a great job of moving on. I moved on. I know I have to be better. I have to be better.

So everything was just put in going into Game 3. All my energy was directed towards a better game in Game 3.

Q. Is it unusual for Coach to call after a late night flight home?

PAUL GEORGE: I think it's special, just the relationship I have with T, and the relationship T-Lue has with every individual on this team in general. It just says a lot about him.

Q. I wondered about your relationship with Reggie, you've been friends going back to his rookie year, how has that bond build over the years and how is that translating on the court?

PAUL GEORGE: The bond has always been great. Reggie is a real tight brother. He lived with me. He's been around my kids. My daughters love him. They adore him. And so he's family. My parents love him. You know, he knows so many people down the list in my family alone that he can call if he ever needed anything, and it's vice versa with his family.

So it's a real brotherhood. That's my guy. And it's translated on the court. I trust him. He's becoming one of the best closers in this game and it's special to be able to share the court with Reg.

Q. With his background, he's moved around so much, do you think maybe it's because he was an army brat and that's why you got so close that you've become his sort of NBA family?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, I mean, you know, we just hit it off from day one. You know, he's just a cool dude. He was chill. You know, and he's just a great person, great human being. I just felt his energy and I thought that was everything. He was just a great human being.

Q. Just wanted to ask you a little bit more about Kawhi. I know that he came down at halftime again to talk to you guys. What help is that to have someone who sees the game the way he does watch from the side and be with you at halftime of these home games, and how much are you two talking just texting or talking kind of through the series?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, we talk after every game. The two games in Phoenix, I reached out to him. He'll text me after the game plan. We'll talk. We'll go over what we see and what we saw that night. And so he's very much a part of this team without being able to play right now.

But you know, it's just great to have his mind and his presence part of this game, part of this team. It's great to see him in the locker room. And more so we're just happy that -- we just care about his well-being. That's what's most important.

Whether he can play, whether he can't play, we're just happy for his overall health and his well being. It was just great to see him in the locker room sharing his thoughts once again. A lot of the stuff he said, I went out and was trying to put it into a plan.

Q. Is there anything specific that he's good at noting just either because he's used to being the center of attention the way you are? Is there anything that sort of he can give you that other people can't?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, I mean, well, he's just giving me his perspective on the attention that I'm having on the court. A lot of it was the guys are doing this, they are doing that, when you drive, they are -- he was just telling me rotations, what to look for, what's open, what's available. You know, it gave me a good game plan going into the second half for what to look for.

Q. He said if anything you're more confident being in this position again -- did tonight feel different, having gone through Game 7 and clinched a Game 6 the last round, but tonight it looked like you played to keep your season along.

PAUL GEORGE: No, it didn't feel different. It's just another approach. We knew we had to take care of home court. And you know, it's a scrappy team. We have to match their physicality; I thought we did that. We have to match their scrappiness; I thought we did that. That's really the key. We can't allow this team to play harder than us, and I thought that was just the way we approached tonight.

Q. Seemed like Zu came out with that kind of energy to start the game, especially with the way Game 2 ended. How did you all support getting him ready to play tonight and what do you think the effect that he had on the floor was on the game?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, I thought he was big in the middle. He rebounded the ball for us at a high level. I thought his presence was great on guards, drives. He just made it tough to finish around the rim. You know, that's what we need from big Zu. I thought he was great. I thought he was special and I thought he was a big reason why we won tonight.

Q. Is there a readjustment given that he didn't play so much the first two series?

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, every series is different. Every series is different. You know, it's chess at this point, you know what I mean. Zu is called on to be a big part of this series. Again, we're going to need nights like how we had tonight, you know, if we want a shot at advancing to the next round.

Q. That epic shot, the halfcourt shot at the end of the third quarter, 1.1 second, people went to get a beer. I mean, they were done with that quarter but you weren't done with it. Take me through the whole process with the bounces, the dribble, the sideline and making that shot at game speed, as opposed to we saw you do it pregame where you were just stepping into it at halfcourt.

PAUL GEORGE: Yeah, it's the reason why I shoot it in my pregame. It's just more so for feel, if I get those shots in a game, I want to have some type of feel on the range of that shot. So I practice it every time when I do my pregame shooting. Tonight it helped. It came into effect. But I wanted to get as much space as I could before I touched the ball and the clock started, so I let it bounce, to try to get as much space up the floor as I could, and you know, I let it fly. Let it fly and you know, I was able to make the shot.

Q. At what point when the ball left your hand were you confident that that was going in the basket, and did you at any point call, "Glass"?

PAUL GEORGE: I didn't call "Glass." But I mean, I felt great about the shot. I felt it was strong but I felt that it had a chance to go in. I knew the angle that I shot it at that it was going to hit the backboard, and, yeah, didn't make many tonight but that was one that we needed and I thought it gave us great momentum.

Q. You blew a kiss right after you went to the huddle. Who were you blowing a kiss to?

PAUL GEORGE: My girl and my babies.

Q. You guys talked about how you've been playing every-other-day since June 7, no excuses, and this is your tenth game over 40 minutes in this postseason. What is your recovery postgame? Are you doing anything different?

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, it's a lot. I lift after games, you know what I mean, playing 40-plus and I still find time to lift. It's just, it's part of the process with massage, cold tub, hot tub, you know, BFR. It's a lot that goes into it. It's the reason why I kept you guys so long. It's a process. I'm well-aware of the process, regardless how long it takes, I've got to do it, and it's what keeps me going.

Q. What's BFR?

PAUL GEORGE: It's a lot to break down. It's basically some blood flow work that kind of tricks your body, tricks your muscles. But it's great for recovery.

Q. Coming into the series, Devin's scoring -- what do you think are the biggest changes in the last two games have been and what do you expect -- what have you seen?

PAUL GEORGE: That sounds like game plan talk. Next question.

Q. Has anybody emerged as a leader? What are your guys' group chats like?

PAUL GEORGE: Our leader, myself, Kawhi, Pat-Bev, Rondo, Marcus. I think what's so great about this team is we have so many vets that we can lean on. DeMarcus plays a role in leadership in the locker room. It's just great we've got so many guys that want this, so many guys that are lost in this moment that, you know, we just stay together. We know that we have a real possibility to do something special, and we're going to give everything we have. I think what the beauty is we're happy with the result, win, lose or draw, this team is going to be happy with themselves because so much of the season, we've invested so much into each other. We're going to live with the results, and I think that's the beauty of it.

Q. You've talked about Terance before. He started as more of an energy guy off the bench but it seemed he changed the defensive guard play. How has his development really helped you guys?

PAUL GEORGE: Well, that's it. He's taken big matchups, key matchups for us, and on the other end, he's very helpful. He can spread the floor. He can attack. He can finish around the basket. He just makes us that much more lethal, especially in our small ballgame because he's a big size. He's got size on him, and it just makes us be a lot more versatile defensively where we could switch and guard multiple positions. And so it's great. He can get out. He's athletic. He allows us to play faster where we can get the ball up to him. He can attack, use his body to make plays.

You know, he's been special. He's been special this whole postseason. You're just going to see more and more of it.

Q. For a young player still learning to use his body angle and stuff, how have you helped him be effective in the passing lane?

PAUL GEORGE: I mean, I can't take credit for that. He's such a great, instinctive player. A lot of what he does is just instincts and you can't teach that. I think that's one of the best skills that you can have is if a player has those instincts to just make plays, and T-Mann has it.

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