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Clippers defeat Mavs 118 – 110

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QUESTION: Why was Kristaps Porzingis assessed his first technical foul?

FITZGERALD: “He was assessed the first technical foul for throwing an air punch at the official in resentment of the call which per the NBA Respect for the Game Guidelines is an automatic technical foul.”

QUESTION: Why was Porzingis assessed the second technical foul?

FITZGERALD: “The second technical foul was for being an escalator to the altercation which was confirmed via replay.”

QUESTION: Is the situation — an automatic ejection in a competitive playoff game — given any consideration before calling the second technical foul?

FITZGERALD: “Like we said for the second (technical foul) we confirmed it through the use of instant replay that he was an escalator which is an automatic technical per the NBA standards. This being his second technical he was ejected from the game.”

QUESTION: Was the situation knowing that was going to be an ejection given any consideration?

FITZGERALD: “No, we applied the standards at replay.”


(On tonight’s game…)

“I thought there were many positives in this game. Our slow start was difficult, being down 10-0, but the fight back was great. We did great things to get a pretty good lead in the first half. It’s a back-and-forth game. We’ve got to take care of the ball better. We’ve got to rebound a little bit better. We’ve got to get theball in the hole more. Other than that, we did some good things. The thing that happened with [Kristaps Porzingis] is unfortunate. We have to learn from it, and we have to understand that this is part of the emotions of the playoffs. He was protecting his teammate on the second technical, which is the right thing to do in the playoffs. But the first one, where it was an air punch, that’s automatic. They called one on him and they called one on [Paul] George. We’ll avoid that in game two and we’ll go from there.”

(On getting the team to stay focused on the game…)

“We talked about it a lot coming into the series, that emotions run high and when they do run high, we’re going to have to diffuse and get things back to level together. We’re going to have to give each other energy and we’re going to have to give each other calm, when necessary. All things considered, we did a decent job with our emotions. There’s a lot going on. The referees have a zillion things going on. It’s an NBA game with thousands of events happening and everybody is trying to do the best that they can.”

(On the team’s defensive performance following Kristaps Porzingis’ ejection…)

“I haven’t gotten a full analysis of it, but I can guarantee you that we’re a better defensive team when he’s on the floor. We need him out there, we know it, he knows it. We’ll learn from what happened. We’re here to win the series, so we really disappointed with the game, the result, the outcome. It’s also a game of an accumulation of events that are in our control. We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball, we’ve got to rebound better. Those are possession stats and they make a big difference in the game.”

(On Luka Dončić’s response to a rough start to the game…)

“He’s a fighter. He’s always going to battle. He will never get discouraged. He’s got a very positive attitude on the floor with his teammates. He’s played in so many games in his young career that he’s seen everything.He’s seen slow starts, he’s seen situations where teams get off to great starts. You can’t  get too high or too low. I love that fact that we didn’t get too low when we were down 10-0 to start the  game. We fought back and actually were up at the end of the first quarter. That’s a really positive thing that we take from this game.I thought his performance was spectacular when you factor in everything  and how often he’s getting hit fouled, held and everything else.”

(On the physicality of the game…)

“It was as I expected. Very, very physical to start the game, and really physical throughout. There were a lot of fouls called. There were a lot of fouls committed. This is the biggest difference between playoff basketball and regular season basketball. You’ve got multiple days of preparation. You’ve got film study. By nature,teams will be much more familiar with one another. Therefore, it’s going to be more physical.”

(On staying in the game despite adversity…)

“The same thing happened in the Houston game. We got put on our heels early in that game, and I believe we came back and tied the score at the end of the first quarter. The games are long. There’s a lot  going on. If you’re up, you’ve got to keep playing. If you’re down, you’ve got to keep playing. You have to adjust. The adjustment for us was our disposition needed to be stronger when we got down early. We did that. We responded and had a lead at the end of the first quarter, which was a very positive thing for us.”

(On Luka Dončić’s turnovers…)

“He gets the ball in his hands a lot. I would be willing to bet that some of those were fouls that weren’t called, which happens in an NBA playoff games. His usage rate is so high, he’s going to have more touches than most players. We put a lot on him. I’m going to look at the film and we’re going to try to find ways to take a little bit off of his plate in terms of the number of touches and the number times he has to go into a crowd of guys and get knocked on the floor.”

(On the technical fouls assessed to Kristaps Porzingis…)

“A fist punch in the air is an automatic technical. KP got one, Paul George got one. It’s automatic. It’s in the rulebook. It’s not even a discussion. That’s just part of this that we have to realize. Now we know. We’ll move forward from and we’ll be better for it.”


(On if he deserved the second technical foul…)

“No, of course not. Of course not. I understand we got into it a little bit and I saw him getting into Luka’s face and I didn’t like it. That’s why I reacted. That’s a smart thing to do from their part and I just have to be smarter and control my emotions next time especially on the first one. I understand the second one, but the first one even though I felt like it was a clean block and they probably going to call that tech for throwing hand every time so I just have to be smart and not let my emotions get the better of me.”

(On getting an explanation of the second tech…)

“No, I was already out, but you know they probably called, but they looked at the replay they did what they’re supposed to. Of course it’s unfortunate and it could have went in a different direction maybe but it is what it is and I can’t go back and change it. It’s weird because I went through all kinds of scenarios that would happen in a game and how they were going to play us and things I shouldn’t do or how I should react but this was that one scenario that I didn’t think through. I might get a tech and don’t get the second tech so it was a weird situation and [I] guarantee it won’t happen to me again.”

 (On Luka Dončić’s performance overall tonight…)

“Luka was playing, Luka was just being Luka out there. He made history again, but I know for him and for us and, especially for him, it doesn’t really matter much if we don’t get the win. It was good to see him out there doing his thing, but we look forward to our next game and finishing the job.”


(On the altercation with Marcus Morris Sr. that led to Kristaps Porzingis’ second technical foul…)

 “I knew that [Kristaps Porzingis] had my back. He did it for me, he did it for his teammate. He had my back. It wasn’t just me, I think the whole team appreciated that. I don’t think it was fair to kick him out of the game especially in the playoffs. But they decide, so we had to play without him, which was tough.”

(On his first playoff game…)

“For me, everything was the same. Every game they’re going to be physical with me. I should never have 11 turnovers. That’s 11 more possessions I can have. The thing about this game is I’ve got to be way better than that for sure.”

(On comparing this game to other big performances…)

“Terrible. I would say 11 turnovers, I’ve never had that much. I just want to win. I’m really proud of this team, we fought until the end. We tried. I’m really proud.”

(On settling into the game after a rough start…)

“It was the first quarter. I never thought the game was over. We just started bad. They were more physical, they have more energy. But next time, that’s not going to happen. We’ve got to come out 100 percent and leave everything on the floor.”

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