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June 25, 2021

Mikal Bridges

Phoenix Suns

Practice Day

Q. What was it like having Chris back and what did you see from him? He's always hard on himself. What do you anticipate from him the next game?

MIKAL BRIDGES: It was good to have him back. We missed one of our leaders. He does so much on the court. It's good for him to be back, get a feel for it. Come out and do what he do tomorrow.

Q. Coach said earlier that he has noticed Dario has had a lot more confidence lately. He didn't have it earlier in the playoffs and he seems to have found it. Then Coach credited you guys; he said a lot of it had to do with his teammates encouraging him. Have you seen it the same way and if so, was there something that might have triggered that confidence for him?

MIKAL BRIDGES: I just think that we encourage everybody. But I just think credit Dario a little bit. He's confident just in himself and he's been working. He's gained it himself. We always encourage him, but I think it's him just going out there and playing the way he's been playing and just being the force he is.

Q. Being in the same city and arena and spot you were back on May 27th, the last time you lost a playoff game, how much does it help to have a familiar setting and being in this situation before, winning the series, when it comes to bouncing back from a loss like last night?

MIKAL BRIDGES: It helps, obviously, learning and knowing how to deal with losses. We are the type of team, we just know, even if it's regular season or playoffs, win or lose, got to always come back and bounce back. We're just going to bring it tomorrow and just play our way.

Q. A broader question for you. Do you have any pregame routines you do to get yourself locked in, and if so, how did you develop that?

MIKAL BRIDGES: No, nothing crazy. Doing recovery stuff before, stretches and stuff. No particular crazy scheme.

Q. How do you mentally get yourself ready for a game then?

MIKAL BRIDGES: Just prepare throughout the whole day, watch film and then be ready for play. Just doing it ever since I was a kid and, I don't know, I'm just ready to play.

Q. This whole season, what has Chris been like as a teammate and what do you think are the main things that you've learned from him?

MIKAL BRIDGES: He's been a great teammate. Great leader. Like I always say, I feel he's a better person than he is a basketball player, just how he is off the court. And yeah, I just learned a lot from him. All the little things, how to be a leader. Things on the court as well, defensively, offensively. So it's great to have him and happy he's here.

Q. When you look at this Clippers offense and how perimeter-based they tend to be, obviously you're a key part of how Phoenix is defending throughout the season, especially in this series. What do you feel like is your biggest challenge defensively as an individual defending the personnel of the Clippers right now?

MIKAL BRIDGES: They are just five out, so just being solid. You know you have teammates with you. Just being solid. Just doing what I do every day, every game, in every season, every regular-season game, playoffs, which is guard whoever, try to be solid, know their tendencies and make it tough on them.

Q. You've always been great in bouncing back after a loss. What made you so good in doing that? Is there any secret there?

MIKAL BRIDGES: No, just our culture, just how we are every day. Never too high, never too low. When we lose, we don't put our heads down. We just know what we have to do to be better. Playoffs is good because you play the same team, so you can fix it and come the next day with whatever game plan you have. It's just our culture. We just come in and we lock in and on to the next one.

Q. What do you need to do after Game 4 to bounce back from the loss in Game 3?

MIKAL BRIDGES: Come out and play our way, play Suns way. Limit the fouls. Play our ball. Play our way. Share the ball. Defend for each other. We've just got to play physical but also be smart. Show hands -- you don't want to get in foul trouble and get them in the bonus early.

Q. I know you've talked about this on and off over the years, but just revisiting what happened on draft night, I was working on TV that night and we were all talking up your amazing connection to Philadelphia and your mom and everything. Now that you've had the distance from it and you're in the Conference Finals with this team, how does that reshape your perspective on that trade and event now that you've found your basketball home?

MIKAL BRIDGES: Yeah, everything happens for a reason. You just wouldn't know when you're at that point what was happening and what they were looking for for the future. Three years later down the line, I'm in this position right now. I'm just blessed and just happy I'm here and got to be in the position I'm in right now. Just try to keep winning.

Q. How does your mom feel about it?

MIKAL BRIDGES: She's happy, too. She's here. She's cheering me on. So she's for sure happy.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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