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June 25, 2021

Dario Saric

Phoenix Suns

Practice Day

Q. Curious, this series versus other matchups in the regular season against the Clippers, just the physicality level of it. Do you feel like it has gone up here in the playoffs?

DARIO SARIC: Yeah, obviously. In the playoffs the physicality goes up. It’s kind of upgrading, lets say. It’s a different game. You can play more tough, more physically than say during the regular season. You know every possession matters, every ball somebody shoots, even offensive rebound matters, like everything matters twice as much in my opinion. That’s why we are here because we are doing those things all the time. We have the opportunity to play physically on both sides of the court. That’s what we want. I think our last game, we were kind of so-so on that part. I think we can do that better for our next game.

Q. Dario, with the way the offense played last night and stagnated, what did you see you guys were struggling with specifically because it's been awhile since you guys were out of a groove?

DARIO SARIC: I think we were somewhat stagnant offensively. I think we should play our style of basketball, like our brand of basketball. Play fast and be dangerous on every position on the court and have five guys able to score in every moment of the offense. You know, I think we were more static, especially on their switches. I think we didn't attack immediately. We gave them chances to set up the shifts again in a defense and I think that was a crucial thing. I think we need to play fast the next game, that's for sure.

Q. How do you describe what the Chris Paul teammate experience has been like, and what are the main things you guys have learned from him?

DARIO SARIC: Of course, when you have a high-caliber player like Chri Pauls, he gives you some safety offensively, safety defensively, the experience he has with how he reads the game, it's unbelievable. That helps us a lot. I think it's great for him to be back with the team and I think next game he will lead us to another win. It's just amazing to have his presence on the court because he understand the game, he been in the league for 15 years. Obviously he knows what he's doing on the court.

Q. You just made the reference to playing faster, feel like that’s something that you guys need to do in Game 4. What are some things you feel like you need to improve or just do to get Game 4?

DARIO SARIC: I think we need to be more like what I said, we need to be more tough, especially defensive. I think we did a pretty solid job offensively on offensive rebounding. But I think defensively we can do it better. I think we need to be on the edge on the point every defensive play, stick to the game plan and play faster. I think if we play faster, I think for them it's kind of hard to follow us, and I think that's the recipe for next game. And sometimes there's luck. Obviously all teams who are playing this stage in the playoffs, they need to be obviously a little bit lucky. But we need to do everything before that, set the pace and the luck will come by itself, you know what I mean.

Q. Speaking of Croatia, I know you're familiar with Zubac and what he's capable of over years, but we didn't really see the kind of performance from him, especially throughout this postseason, where he hasn't been able to play as much. What did you see from him that was different than the first two games of the series and how do you expect to kind of combat that going forward?

DARIO SARIC: Well, you know, I think coaches have their own game plan. Obviously, he didn't play a lot against the Utah Jazz. They were playing five smalls. I think sometimes as a coach, game plan-wise, some guys play and some guys are playing a little bit more; every series, every stage of the competition is different.

I think yesterday he was like really good. He was aggressive. I think he was a little bit of a headache with his offensive rebounds. He was a nightmare, especially when a big kind of stayed on the small guard during driving. I think the guards didn't kind of help or kind of boxed out Zubac the last game. And I think the next game, we need to be better post out, and guard him better offensively, too.

Q. You mentioned toughness, and I think that you showed a great deal of toughness earlier in the playoffs. You weren't playing well and then you stepped up and your play has greatly improved. What was the key to turning things around?

DARIO SARIC: I don't know, it's kind of hard question, sometimes what I say, game plan, like I didn't play against Lakers for so much the last three games. I didn't play a role. Coach kind of give me opportunity, gave me chance to play against Denver and what I show, you know, I can do a pretty good job. Right now, you know, I'm trying to play hard all the time. I think all my teammates trying to play hard all the time. Sometimes, you know, it's just a game. Sometimes they were faster for half a second on every ball than us, on every 50/50 ball. Sometimes that's basketball. And I think all of these guys want to win, all these guys want to play hard in every second. Sometimes we lose that poise maybe yesterday, a little bit some points, they were a little bit more aggressive. We know they will come and they will be aggressive. But sometimes the game goes in different way and sometimes you can't control it and sometimes you can. But obviously all guys, all five guys on the court, they want to compete, they want to be tough. That's the recipe for next game, and I think we will be on the point. I think we will give 100 percent to try to beat them on their game on Saturday.

Q. How important for you as a team to approach Game 4, the most important game of that series, and what do you need to do on both ends, especially on defense, to be more aggressive and more physical?

DARIO SARIC: I think we need to be kind of wild at some point, just go hard. Obviously we watch the video today from our last game at home, and the video from yesterday film, and you know, it looks like we weren't on the point. We were kind of giving them some space for them to operate. And I think for next game, I think we need to be kind of close to them, breathing on the neck, let's say, like dog and try to play hard and try to play fast because I think they were struggling against us when we play fast. You know, try to make every shot, try to play team basketball. And that's the way how we're supposed to play. It's not like some magic trick. You know, sometimes you just need to go on the court, give 100 percent, play 100 percent. And you know, we will come, we will come. I think that's what we should do, and prepare for Saturday because it's a very important game for us, for them, and we want to win that game. Obviously we want to beat them. I think we have a quality for that, and I think we will present that kind of game on the court on Saturday.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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