May 20, 2023
Los Angeles Lakers
Game 3: Postgame
Denver Nuggets 119, Los Angeles Lakers 108
Q. Austin, first of all on tonight's game, that stretch in the third quarter when Jokic was out and they kept hitting the threes, seems like Denver has been doing that consistently all three games. How do you guys handle that defensively and where do you think the difference was?
AUSTIN REAVES: They are a really good team. They have got a group of guys that can shoot the three behind Jokic. Even though he's not on the court doesn't change the fact that they can shoot the ball.
So we've just got to be more locked in, ready to scramble with Jamal Murray, playing the way that he was playing in the first half, you had to give him a lot of attention, but tip your hat.
Q. All three games, it was a possession-or-two game the fourth quarter. Is there something that you felt like has been consistent in all three that was a difference-maker for Denver?
AUSTIN REAVES: I don't know. I mean, obviously there's something there that, you know, swings in their favor. But to pinpoint it, if I knew that answer, you know, I feel like we would voice that and change it. Like I said, really good team. Tip your hat. But, you know, we'll get ready for Monday.
Q. This team has basically been playing from behind since the first game this season. What have you seen from this group that offers any optimism that it has one more comeback in it, and is that something that you can think about in moments like this down 3-0?
AUSTIN REAVES: Obviously right now you're, I mean, pissed off with how the outcome has come the last three games.
But like you said, our backs have been against the wall. I've spoke about probably the last two months, maybe more than that since the trade deadline, swinging, throwing punches to fight to get to this opportunity.
You know, we'll go watch film tomorrow, and we can either come out Monday and go home or we can fight for another day, and with the group of guys that we've got, I know what that answer will be.
Q. Is there anything you can take from tonight that's a sense of optimism for you guys, be it an adjustment or the way something played out that you can look toward for Game 4?
AUSTIN REAVES: Right now, I can't really give you anything. Like I said, frustrated over the loss. Haven't really thought about it that much.
But we'll go back, like I said, watch film tomorrow and try to be better on Monday.
Q. How do you feel the team's level of energy and your personal level of energy is at? Like you said, it's been two months of throwing punches and trying to claw your way back into the fight here.
AUSTIN REAVES: Energy level is high. We get to play basketball for a living and this is what every guy in the locker room, what every guy in the league chooses to do, and it's something that you have a very high passion for.
So any day that you wake up and you go to a job you love, as I'm sure you all know, you don't need any extra push or motivation because you're doing what you love. So that's enough right there. Every day I walk in the gym and everybody's happy to be there. You know, seeing one another, hanging out, getting work in.
Just being around is really fun. That ain't going to change. I mean, we'll go in tomorrow and I'm sure everybody is not going to be in a good mood but we are still excited to be doing this every day.
Q. A lot of pick-and-roll and Murray and Jokic. Do they have one of the harder ones to defend so far in your experience?
AUSTIN REAVES: Yeah, I mean, this is a very good group at it because they are both so dynamic, with the way Jamal Murray has been shooting the ball. And then just the ability of Jokic as I spoke about the last three games, his ability to get the best out of everybody on the team. You know, he's going to put you in positions to be successful.
You know when you have two guys like that, it's very hard to guard.
Thank you. Appreciate y'all.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports