Mike Fisher

(On getting his first NBA playoff win…)
“It was great. We tied this series. We were better today. We just have three left. I think we can fight for it.”
(On if this is a winnable series for the Mavericks…)
“For sure. Any series we go in we believe we can win. If you don’t believe it, you’re not supposed to be here. You have to believe it every time.”
(On playing through frustration and physicality…)
“It’s something you get used to but I’ve still got to do a way better job of doing that. It’s something you’ve got to get used to and I already experienced that here. It’s going to be every game like this and you’ve just got to get used to it, be OK with it.”
(On watching the fourth quarter from the bench…)
“I was frustrated for like 15 seconds and then I was focused. I supported my teammates. They did a great, great job. Being on a bench is hard for me when I have my team playing. But we won the game. Maybe if I don’t take that foul, we don’t win the game. So it’s OK.”
(On returning in the fourth and closing out the game…)
“I think we were way more locked in. We can’t give up leads like that. It was a great feeling. We won the second game, so we’re tied. It was an amazing feeling to win a playoff game.”
(On only having one turnover tonight…)
“That was the only thing I looked up. One turnover — it was great, that’s what I was looking for. It’s 10 possessions more than the last game, so that’s one of the reasons we won.”

(On his first playoff win...)
“Feels good definitely. That was our goal today. Obviously we wanted to get a win on the road, it’s the same thing, but to get a win at this game we knew after the first game that we were right there and we can compete with probably one of the favorites to win it all. We came into this game ready. We jumped into the
game right away and obviously there were a lot of runs and a lot of things happening and a lot of emotions throughout the game but I felt like we did a pretty good job keeping our composure throughout the game and playing our basketball and at the end we came up with the win.

(On playing without Luka Dončić when he was in foul trouble...)
“A lot of guys stepped up. Boban [Marjanović] played great, Trey [Burke] was really good today, Tim {Hardaway Jr.] and a lot of guys stepped up and gave us a lot of energy. Doe Doe [Dorian Finney-Smith] hit some big shots and whenever Luka wasn’t on the court there were a lot of guys that could step up and play
well and give us something so. Offense is one thing but I feel like we made a step forward defensively in terms of our poise throughout the game and those might be even more important than the rest of the stuff.
For us as a young team and I feel like we’re heading in the right direction and this was just a win to show us that we’re capable of doing these things.”

(On the challenges of going from four months off to playing every game...)
“For me the four months off kind of helped me because I had some stuff going on during the season as probably 90 percent of the players do. But then coming back again, you know, something happened in the first game to my knee and I felt it and obviously yesterday I wasn’t feeling very good. I had trouble moving around and stuff and for me to be able to play in this game was a surprise to me and it was kind of, it was a big surprise obviously. I’ve got to thank our medical staff and my physical therapist Manuel for bringing, I don’t how many, hours yesterday to treat and to work to get it to pull and this and that. Then I was able to play today so I’m happy about that”

(On playing the Clippers in the playoffs vs. regular season...)
“I think playoffs are different. Obviously, the intensity is much higher. I would say the difference in the regular season they came out more aggressive than us and even also in the first game they kind of came out real aggressive, but we knew they weren’t going to be able to keep up that physicality, that aggressiveness
throughout the whole game. So we stayed calm and now it’s the second game and we came out maybe more ready than they did at the beginning. At end we knew they were going to get back in the game somehow and we stayed calm. The intensity is high in the playoffs and every game is life-or-death and we’re going to give it our all and see where we end up and then we can live with the results whatever it is.”

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Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher


(On the team’s fast start and his performance off the bench...)
“It is a team sport. It is the playoffs right now and everybody has to give their best effort. Everybody It is the playoffs right now and everybody has to give their best effort. Everybody who is in the game, my teammates, can play. It is a team sport, it is not about just one player, it is about the whole team. Everybody did a great job, I must be honest, I am so proud of my teammates.”

(On the performance by the Mavericks’ bench...)
“We brought our full energy from the beginning to the end. They played well but I think we played better in this game. Next game we need to play super hard and give the same energy, the same spirit, and we need to believe in ourselves.”

(On trying to contain Paul George and Kawhi Leonard...)
“Paul George is an amazing player, and Kawhi [Leonard], they are amazing at the end of the game. You don’t want to see them with the ball because they are so good, and they can score in a lot of ways. It is good to get them in foul trouble, but I think our guys did a good defensive job on them tonight. Sometimes they score because they are so good. Sometimes we try to defend them as a team, and I like how everything
worked tonight.”

(On how the Mavericks were able to stay poised tonight and keep the lines of communications open to get
the win...)
“I think we need stay ready for the next game because this is not over yet. It is 1-1 and we still have more games to go. Of course, it is great that we got the win, but we need to keep our minds ready for the next game and keep that spirit up and try to win the other games.”

(on bouncing back and having great performances off the bench…)
“I think we just stuck to the script. We knew what we had to do on both ends of the court coming into the game and everybody came in with a level of focus and the level of being locked in that we needed from everybody—from one through 15. We’re going to need that. We know it’s going to be a tough series. We know that it’s only one game, but it’s something we can build off of.”

(On the mindset when Luka Dončić is sitting with foul trouble...)
“Stay together. Stay together. We know he’s our go-to guy. But things happen. So we knew we had to stay together. We knew we had to continue to huddle up at all the dead balls. That’s a tough team over there with more experience than we have, but we feel like we match up great with them. We feel like we have the pieces to win this series so tonight was a big night for us.”

Mike Fisher
Mike Fisher


(On holding off the Clippers and extending the lead with Luka Dončić on the bench…)
“The guys off the bench did a tremendous job. Trey Burke was great, Seth Curry was great. Boban [Marjanović] gave us great minutes tonight. It’s a group that’s had some time together during the year, during
some stretches, particularly when Luka was out. They know how to play together. The other thing was we were scoring but we were also scrappy defensively. I thought Delon Wright’s game tonight was really huge.
He didn’t put up big scoring numbers but he made a lot of influential plays defensively with deflections, making things happen offensively. Happy for him. He really didn’t get into it in the first game but his minutes tonight were really important to us.”

(On Luka Dončić’s foul trouble…)
“It’s tough. I left him in with four in the third quarter for six minutes. I had to get him out at that point and had to try to ride it out through the quarter. Then he gets the fifth foul early in the fourth and had to get him out again. He stayed ready. He was frustrated with the fouls. But when he came back in in the last four-and-a-half
minutes, he made a huge play going to the basket and defensively he was solid. On the floor, he’s developing into such a great leader. It’s not all about the triple-doubles, It’s also about how great players like him give their teammates confidence and how they direct traffic and keep people in the game.”

(On what tonight’s win says about the team…)
“This is how we’re going to have to win games. Our depth is going to be a big part of it. Trey Burke played an enormous role in this game with his aggression scoring the ball. He’s scrappy defensively, as was Wright. Going from 21 turnovers to nine against these guys is a very significant improvement. We did a better job
keeping them off the foul line in the second half. There’s a lot of basic execution things we did really well to win the game. Do we need the win? Absolutely. I’ll agree to that.”

(On Luka Dončić, Kristaps Porzingis and others getting their first playoff win…)
“I think it’s really important. Winning in the playoffs is difficult — you’ve got to deal with a lot of things coming at you. You’ve got to deal with great players coming at you 100 miles per hour, the whistle’s blowing. You’ve got to deal with situations where it’s tough because you’re getting decent looks but they’re not going in but
you’ve got to try to stay together. You’ve got to deal with offense-defense substitutions at the end of the game, which no players like. The whole notion of playoff basketball is just everybody combined working to give each other energy and to do one little thing at a time as you go through 48 minutes and thousands of
events — that’s what this is all about. Individual statistics really are out the window because it’s very binary. It’s about winning and losing. Tonight our guys showed a lot of poise throughout the game. The Clippers are super talented, very aggressive, very physical. We did a good job holding up under a lot of pressure and
that was great to see.”

(On the team’s defense and limiting Paul George…)
“He’s a priority for us. A lot of his misses came in the frantic moments of the fourth quarter where they were down and had to get points on the board, so I don’t make a lot of his shooting statistics. We took a step tonight in the right direction and it’s important to feel what winning feels like. But we’re also up against the
human nature curve, which is always tough after you win a playoff game. Even in a situation like this where there are no fans in the building, you get an exuberant feeling and you can’t let human nature get the best of you and soften you up for the next game. We’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s now a five-game series
and we’ll be ready for Friday.”

(On whether the team should be up 2-0 in the series…)
“You’ve got to live in the present and you’ve got to understand that these types of challenges in playoff series are going to happen and they’re going to happen to younger teams. You’ve got to experience what this is all about with the emotions and so forth. The great thing for us today is we stayed on a very even keel
emotionally as a group. Everyone gave each other energy and we talked through difficult situations and didn’t get strung out — that’s a big key. As far as where we could have been, it doesn’t matter. It’s where we are. It’s 1-1, it’s a five-game series. We’re looking forward to this opportunity. This is really great for our guys.”