GAME 3 - Clippers Over Mavs - Luka And QUOTEBOARD

Mike Fisher

(On the play where he injured his ankle and his current pain level…)
“I don’t know how it happened but it’s not that bad. I had luck; it’s my left ankle, it’s not my right. It’s a little sprain. We’ll know more tomorrow.”

(On trying to play after the injury and the decision to come out of the game…)
“I just wanted to get in. I know we still had a chance to win. I wanted to help my teammates. I could run a little bit but I couldn’t push off of my left leg. It was better to go out and let somebody [else] play.”

(On whether he can play on Sunday…)
“I don’t know the answer to that. We’ll see tomorrow. I have an MRI tomorrow and then we’ll see. I think we’ll know more tomorrow.”

(On whether he wanted to come back in as the Mavs cut the deficit to eight…)
“I want to go back in every time. We always have a chance — we have great players. They fought to come back to eight. I want to be with my team on the floor and watch the game to the end. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a win. But we fought.”

(On if he thought he could finish the game...)
“I don’t think so. I could run but I couldn’t push off my left leg. We have great players, so it’s better to go with someone who can go 100 percent.”

(On the play of Kawhi Leonard…)
“He’s always in the zone. He’s a top-three player in the league. It’s really tough to stop him. He’s an amazing player, amazing defender. It’s really hard to stop him. I think Maxi [Kleber] is doing an amazing job, DoeDoe [Dorian Finney-Smith], too. It’s just hard. He’s an amazing player.”

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Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher


(On Luka Dončić’s left ankle injury…)
“I’m unsure of the exact severity of Luka’s left ankle. One of the good things is it’s the good ankle, it’s not the one that he’s sprained a few times in the last couple years. We’ll know more tomorrow. He did come back and try it, obviously, and wasn’t moving great. We’ll see where he is come tomorrow and Sunday morning.”

(On the second quarter…)
“The second quarter we fouled them too much. They had 13 free throws in that quarter, they had zero in the first quarter. Defending without fouling is really important in this series and in any playoff series. When they’re marching to the line, putting points on the board and getting their defense set, it makes the game much more difficult. We tied the first quarter, we won the second half. Our undoing was the second quarter. It’s a 48-minute game, so you’ve got to put 48 really good minutes together. I thought a significant positive
was the way we responded early. They came out with the different lineup, more force, more physicality — and we did well during that quarter. But the second quarter really hit us hard.”

(On Luka Dončić re-entering the game after injuring his ankle…)
“He went and got retaped, and our trainer told me that he wants to give it a go. The answer’s going to be ‘yes, yeah, okay let’s go.’ That’s what we did. It’s hard to say how this is going to be. The game is early Sunday, which doesn’t help with things, but we’ll see. We’ve got every advanced treatment modality that you can have, as every team here does. We’ll see how this responds in the next 36 hours.”

(On taking Luka Dončić out in the fourth quarter…)
“He was not moving well and there was a gesture that this was not working out. To my knowledge, there was no further progression of the injury or anything like that. He just couldn’t play his game. The right thing was to get him out at that point. He (made the gesture). He just said I can’t move. He didn’t say anything, you could just tell.”

(On looking at other solutions to defend Kawhi Leonard…)
“We’ll look at everything. It’s a seven-game series, we’re three games in. You play a team like the Clippers, you’ve got to be ready to throw the kitchen sink at them. You’re referring to double teams and other matchups, we’ll look at all that stuff and study it. We’ve got to do a better job keeping him from getting layups. The
difficult two-point shots fading away — he’s a great player, he’s going to make his share of those. The layups are the ones that really get us, so we’ll look at that. We’ll look at everything.”

(On whether Luka Dončić was healthy enough to return in the fourth without further injuring his ankle…)
“That’s certainly the hope and it’s the assumption. He didn’t further injure it, he just wasn’t able to move the way you’ve got to move in a playoff series against a top-seeded team. Getting him out was the right thing. We’ve got to see if we can help him get significantly better by Sunday. If it’s not Sunday, then possibly Tuesday. We’ll know more in the next day or day-and-a-half.”

Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher


(On the second quarter struggles...)
“Yes, the second quarter was the quarter that hurt us. The moment of the game that hurt us. They shot I think 13 free throws in that quarter. They kind of got that lead and were able to maintain that lead for the most part of the game. That was the part that, they made some big threes, some difficult ones, some contested
ones, and that’s why they’re so good. They’re a good team. Tonight they were able to get the win”

(On Luka Dončić suffering an ankle injury...)
“Obviously Luka being out wasn’t good for us. You know when he tried to come back then his ankle wasn’t right. We need him for the next game, next games, and hopefully the medical staff can get him right so hw can be back with us next game.”

(On Rick Carlisle’s coaching approach in playoffs vs. regular season...)
“Probably, as we all do, we’re more emotionally invested. We know this is the playoffs, this is it, but he’s a consistent coach. You know he’s consistent with what he does, how he works, and we know what to expect. So it’s been good.”

(On his own performance tonight...)
“Just played my game. Made some shots. Still wasn’t enough to get the win, but that’s what matters. I was in a pretty good rhythm during the game”

(On how this game stacks up to the others in the series...)
“I don’t know. You know they’re a good team. They’re a solid team. Obviously, they have Kawhi (Leonard), Paul George and a lot of players that are tough, that play tough and solid players all around. They’re going to be there. They played well, the played really good in the second quarter, and even at the end of the game we still had some options to get back in the game. We felt like, at least I felt like, we could still pull this off. If we made two (or) three crazy shots anything could happen in the game. We gave ourselves a chance by fighting until the end and at the end we fell short. But tomorrow is a new day and we’ll look at the film. Hopefully we can bounce back in the fourth game.”

Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher


(On what the concern level is for the team if Luka Dončić is not available…)
“What do you mean? Can we still make a run? It’s only 2-1 [in the series]. Last time I checked it’s the first one to four wins. So we’ll figure out what Luka’s doing tomorrow but right now let’s go back home, watch film, and see what the doctors and our PT staff says on Luka.'

(On Kawhi Leonard’s play…)
“Kawhi is going to do what Kawhi does out there on the floor but we have to give their supporting cast a pat on the back. They did a great job of knocking down their shots, open or contested, and taking advantage of their matchups and just being aggressive out there on the floor. So the difference between last game and
this game is when the bench came out and when the other players got involved they made the most of it and they took advantage of the opportunity.”

(On if Luka Dončić’s absence in the fourth quarter was a rallying cry for the team…)
“Yeah, our guy is down, and we just wanted to make a point of emphasis of leaving it all out there on the floor and we ended up winning that quarter. So I think the difference in the game was the second quarter—[we] allowed them to score 45 points. The score was 23-23 [after the first quarter], and you can’t let that
happen in the playoffs. So we’ve got to see what went wrong in that quarter tomorrow and correct it.”

(On the key to bouncing back in Game 4 on Sunday...)
“I think what we did in the second half towards the end of the game – being aggressive, and build on how we finished. Like I said, everything’s going to be about what we do tomorrow. We’ve just got to make sure everybody takes care of their bodies and gets ready for a battle on Sunday.”

(On the level of concern after losing Luka Dončić to an injury...)
“I was locked into the game. I saw him go down and hopefully he is good and able to bounce back next game but, like I said, I was locked into the game and trying to get the win and hoping he can come back .”

(On how tough it is to guard Kawhi Leonard when he is in that zone like tonight...)
“It is just tough. We were playing good defense and he was making shots over us. When we played even better defense and felt like we got to the front of him, he got to the foul line. It was tough. We have to make adjustments, come back next game, stick our game plan and try to be even better. Tonight, it was just going
in, we have to take something away. Tonight we didn’t take anything away from him. He got everything he wanted, and they put him at the foul line.”

(On what happens if Luka Dončić is not available...)
“Just get ready to play the next game.”

(On how to slow down Kawhi Leonard...)
“We will have to look at the film tomorrow and figure out where to make adjustments as a team. It is not just one guy, the whole team has to do our job. Sometimes tonight we played good defense and he made shots over us and he went through. Like I said, they put him at the free throw line a lot, we have to take something away.”