After a heartbreaking defeat at home at the hands of a dominant Kawhi Leonard, who scored a career playoff high 45 points, the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers head back to L.A. for Game 7. Here’s what the Mavericks said after their 104-97 loss Friday night.
On the play of Kawhi Leonard
He’s been a big factor defensively throughout the series. He’s going to make it tougher on any individual player he’s on. He’s going to make it tougher in any two- or three-man situation that he’s involved with. The fact that he had the energy offensively to hit those shots down the stretch — the majority of which were very difficult — is something to behold. We’re going to have to do a better job. We’re going to have to look at our scheming of him. We’ve done everything in this series and we’ll have to be ready with the kitchen sink in Game 7.
He destroyed us. That’s what it is. He had a hell of a game. That’s what he does. He had a hell of a game.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
Kawhi did a phenomenal job. He stayed in attack mode and he made two big threes. Hats off to him on that. If he had missed both of those, the game could have gone either way. He’s a superstar for a reason, he’s been in these moments for so long, it’s nothing new to him. I wouldn’t say we let one get away, but I think who won today deserved it. We just have to move forward and pick everything back up tomorrow and get ready for game seven.
Kawhi Leonard (bonus quote)
I came in with a defensive mindset—was just trying to share the ball with my teammates. I was able to get in a rhythm, I started knocking down shots and at that point, I just started being aggressive. I definitely did not want to go home.
On the officiating
I don’t want to talk about the officiating. Everybody saw the game. That’s it. We lost and now we move on to the next game.
On the state of the team heading into Game 7
We are still motivated. There is still one game left. I don’t know why we shouldn’t believe in it. There is one more game, so we all believe.
They beat us by almost 30 points in game four and we bounced back and won game five. It obviously isn’t going to be easy, but that is where the fun is, and we are looking forward to the challenge. They are feeling good, and we feel like we can beat them. So, we will see who is right and who is wrong.
This is what we live for man. Being a basketball player, you live to get to these moments [and] to play in Game 7 in the playoffs on the road. I have never done it before and it’s only my first time, but just being able to watch those games, and seeing my Pops be in a couple of them throughout his career, it’s something big. It’s something exciting, something we dream of. We are gonna get our rest and get ready to go and be ready to go into a hostile environment.
On adjustments for Game 7
In most cases, both teams have seen pretty much everything. But I’m not sure that that’s going to be the case here. We’ve seen a little something different in each and every game. We’ll just have to wait and see. I just know that we’ll be excited for this opportunity. One of the things about the way today’s game is played, it’s turned every guy on the court into a playmaker. These guys have seen virtually every jump defense. They’ve seen every kind of matchup thing to try and manipulate into a difficult situation. NBA players have evolved and done a good job of reading situations. There are certainly different things that can happen with lineups and rotations, even strategic things. But we’ll find out on Sunday.
We just to have to read it a little bit better. They double you, so someone is open. We just have to read it better.
Tyronn Lue (bonus quote)
I think we just have to shoot the ball better, clean up a couple of our mistakes. We just have to shoot the ball. If we just shoot the ball, we’re in great shape. We’re in great shape anyway but we just have to have one of those great shooting nights that we’re used to and accustomed to and we’ll be fine.