What did you think about the way Dennis competed after getting his tooth knocked out?
“I thought it was one of the best competitive things I’ve seen in a long time. With our man power situation tonight we needed to step in there an take on a huge defensive assignment and he did a great job on Lou Williams who was almost impossible to guard.
“The last play of the game where he got switched onto Harris, blocked the shot, got the rebound and made two free throws that’s winning stuff right there.”
Does that kind of play show Dennis’ potential as a defender?
“Defense is about a lot more than just a spectacular play on the ball when you’re switched late in the game. It’s a mindset. It’s a toughness. It’s a disposition.
“As time goes on and this team gets more invested in each other and winning everybody is taking on our identity as defense first team and Dennis is a great example of that. He’s one of the leaders of the team too.”
How did DeAndre Jordan perform tonight?
“Spectacular, just spectacular. Down the stretch he was involved in a lot of the big plays. He made some big free throws, he had a big still, he got a huge rebound, and he’s an inspirational leader on our team.
“Everybody knew that this was going to be an emotional game for him and everyone was there for him. His numbers are just otherworldly. It’s amazing stuff. The six offensive boards that’s just putting your heart into the game. That’s just all effort and guts and going and getting it. My hat’s off to him.”
Dennis Smith Jr.
What happened on that play where you lost a tooth?
“I got elbowed in the mouth. I saw the tooth fly out as soon as it happened. It was just a freak accident, I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose.
“These things happen I just had to come back in and there’s a game we’ve got to win so that’s all that matters.”
This might be a dumb question but how is the tooth back?
“Magic. For real my dad has got the string so that’s it.”
Did Beverly say anything to you after it?
“Yeah he was just checking to see if I was good and said his bad and all that. It is what it is man just playing ball and it happens.”
How important was it to get a win for DeAndre against his old team?
“Oh it was major. There was a lot of pressure for him to stay there and of course there were some Clippers fans who had their opinions about him coming here so we definitely want to come out and get a win for him.
“We competed really hard on both ends and it’s a major win for us.”
How big were those put back dunks by DFS and DeAndre down the stretch?
“Effort, it’s all about effort. Doe Doe has got a little picture in his locker of a pit bull in his locker because that’s what he’s supposed to be. (laughs) He’s really like my little dog Apollo a cavalier King Charles, that’s more fitting for him.”
What goes through your head as you’re holding your tooth in your hand and they say you’ve got to come back in the game for this jump ball?
“I can’t say it or I’m gonna get fined (laughter). I can’t say that on camera. It is what it is man, I’m still as pretty as a girl (laughter).”
With the tooth did they take care of everything?
“Yeah I’ve got an appointment tomorrow. I’m foolin’ y’all right now. I knew there was gonna be cameras and whenever there’s cameras it goes on social media. When it’s on social media there’s ladies there.
“Whenever ladies are lookin’ I’ve got to be lookin’ nice. I had to fool y’all right now.”