June 28, 2021
Game 5: Postgame
LA Clippers 116, Phoenix Suns 102
Q. Down 3-1 on the road, and yet you guys come back and win in this fashion. What does it take to do that?
TYRONN LUE: Just the group of guys we've got. It's been all season long. We've been down guys, guys have been out. Different guys are stepping up, stepping in and playing well. We've been doing it all year long. I know I keep saying the same word, "resilient," but this group is.
The performance we got tonight -- Marcus felt a lot better tonight. You see his performance. PG, of course itâ€™s been PG all playoffs. Reggie Jackson. I thought Pat Beverley really did a good job defensively and started that early surge where we got out in transition and got some early ball movement.
When we trust and play the right way, we're a good team no matter who is on the floor. I thought we did a great job of doing that tonight. We didn't shoot the ball particularly well. But just the group of guys we got. I love those guys. They compete every single night no matter who is on the floor, 1 through 17.
The work is not done, but we came into a hostile environment and got a gritty win without three starters. We have to do it again two more times.
Q. What did you see from PG tonight? This was his postseason career high when you needed it most.
TYRONN LUE: Just taking his time. Just being poised, letting the game come to him. He knows he is going to get his shot opportunities. I thought getting off to a good start early with Marcus really helped us out. We played through Marcus a little bit. We played through Reggie. PG was able to relax a little bit and kind of let the game come to him, and then down the stretch he took over the game.
Q. What did you say to him at the end?
TYRONN LUE: I can't say the whole thing [laughs]. But just, Way to play; two more to go. That's who he is. PG has been great for us all year. I just don't understand why it's magnified so much when he doesn't play well, when he has a bad game. A lot of people play bad. I'm just happy he came back and played a great game. We needed every bit of it.
Q. [Question about Paul George's ability to bounce back.]
TYRONN LUE: That's what great players do. You always bounce back. If you have a rough game, you always come back and play well. Our team needed it.
We needed that boost from Marcus in the first half to get us going. I thought he did a great job with that. We fed off Marcus' momentum in the first half and kept it going.
Every time they made a run, we responded. They went up one with CP's pull-up. I think we went on an 8-1, 8-0 run. Every time they got close, we responded well.
Q. When you win a game like this, does this start to get fun when you feel that pressure shift?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, it is fun. Just talking to our team about not winning three games but winning each quarter. Start there. The journey is too long to think about three games. Six days, three games. Just thinking about winning each quarter.
I thought our guys really came out with that mindset, and we won three out of four quarters. Having that mindset when you're behind 3-1, just winning each quarter, it takes a lot of thinking out of the game -- a lot of pressure as you all call it [laughs] -- and you can just play free from that point on. I thought our guys did a great job of that.
Q. Can you talk about why you wanted DeMarcus and his resilience?
TYRONN LUE: I just think his toughness. He's a great player. He went through some injuries, which is unfortunate. But guys forget, he was a max player before he went through all those injuries. Just having the post presence on the floor. He's a great passer when he catches it down low. He's tough to handle down there. Him having 15 points off the bench was a huge spark for us to allow PG and Reggie to get some rest and Marcus to get some rest. Kind of play through Cousins and he was great.
Q. What made you want him on this team?
TYRONN LUE: I just told you. He used to be a max player [laughs]. He's a great player. He just went through unfortunate injuries.
Q. Do you remember when he first came in, did you have a conversation with him?
TYRONN LUE: Yeah, just talked to him about what we needed. We knew Zu was the starter. We didn't know what Serge's situation was going to be. We just told him like right now we don't know what the situation is going to be, but just be ready to play if your name is called. He worked every day, five-on-five with the young guys, played, kept himself ready and when Serge was out or he was down, Cuz stepped in and played great for us.
I just told him, I never know; I can't tell you if we're going to play small or big. Just be ready. And before the game starts, the night before, I'll try to let you know whether we're going to play you or not. And he's been great.
Q. You talked about poise in this game. Early in the third quarter, you called a timeout and you got Nicolas Batum in there. Seemed like it was a vets kind of game. What did you see from what was going on early in the second half to make you shift to go and ride Nic heavier in the second half?
TYRONN LUE: I just wanted to try to get Ayton out of the paint a little bit more. I wanted to see who he was going to guard, with Marcus and Nico in there at the four and the five. So it worked out in our advantage. I just think being able to spread him out.
T-Mann's shot wasn't really falling tonight, but he's been great for us all playoffs. So we wanted to just shift it a little bit and who he would guard and how he would play us. It was great for us because now we were able to move him around a little bit more and we were able to get open shots, which we didn't knock down tonight but I think we will in Game 6.
Q. How do you describe the confidence Reggie has?
TYRONN LUE: Reggie, man, he's been phenomenal for us all season long. He loves these moments. He was talking trash all day today -- at shootaround, before the game, after the game. Just keeping the guys spirits up. Our guys are in a good place already, but him being so free -- he loves these type of moments to be able to play on a big stage. Backs are against the wall and he performs every single time.
He's had a great year. I'm just happy for him to finally get his opportunity. Playing well even throughout the postseason and finally showing guys who he is as a player. So it was good to see.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports