The Los Angeles Clippers had just landed in this city, mere hours after spending an entire plane ride digesting their second loss to the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals.
So as soon as he hopped into his car, Clippers coach Tyronn Lue already plotted in-game adjustments. Before he would watch game footage, Lue called players individually with a simple message.
“The game is over. It happens. It doesn’t mean anything,” Lue recalled saying. “They took care of their two games at home. Now we have to take care of our two games. We can’t look in the past. We have to look ahead.”
It’s perhaps a stretch to say that Lue’s phone conversations were the only reason why the Clippers finished with a 106-92 Game 3 win over Phoenix on Thursday at Staples Center. But it captured how the Clippers responded appropriately to a 0-2 series deficit for three consecutive playoff series.
“It’s special, the relationship I have with T and relationship that T-Lue has with everyone on this team in general,” George said. “It says a lot about him.”