The Los Angeles Clippers are down 3-1 against the Phoenix Suns and are on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference Finals. However, Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue still believes his team can pull off the improbable comeback. Lue doubled down on his postgame comments after Sunday’s practice, saying that a comeback was possible if the team focuses on taking it game by game.
“Just taking it one game at a time," Lue said. "You can't focus on winning three. You have to focus on winning one. It starts quarter by quarter, especially playing on the road right now in Game 5. That's got to be your mindset. You can't think about three games and four or five, six days from now. You have to think about tomorrow and just winning quarter by quarter. I think that's the mindset that I've got to make sure our team has going into the game tomorrow.”
The Clippers were the victims of a 3-1 series comeback last year in the bubble at the hands of the Denver Nuggets. Lue has also been on the other side of a 3-1 comeback, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to the NBA championship in 2016 after falling behind 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors. They will have to repeat a similar feat in order to prevent the Suns from making their first Finals appearance since 1993. After dropping Game 4 84-80 while shooting 32% from the field, Lue said the team’s pace will be one of the keys to helping them chip away at the Suns’ series lead.
“Yeah, we haven't been great," Lue said. "We talked about it after Game 1 and Game 2 of just getting to our sets quicker. I think it's taking us a little too long to get into our sets, and by the time we make one or two passes we're in a better situation. We've shown throughout the course of the season that we haven't played well late in the shot clock. We have to be better with our pace, get into our sets. That way we can make multiple passes and multiple drives, as well.”
Game 5 is set for Monday at 9 p.m. EST at the Phoenix Suns Arena.