Los Angeles Clippers head coach Ty Lue said he isn't concerned about the team's 3-2 series deficit after a 105-100 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 on Wednesday night, which pushed his team one game from playoff elimination.
"I think we're fine," Lue told reporters. "We'll see in two days, but [from what] everybody talked about in the locker room, we're good."
Game 5 continued a trend of neither team being able to defend its home-court advantage. Dallas won the first two games in Los Angeles, and the Clippers returned the favor in Games 3 and 4 to level the series heading back to L.A.
While it appeared Lue's group had righted the ship after a rough start, Luka Doncic pushed the Mavericks back ahead in the series with another standout performance, tallying 42 points, 14 assists, eight rebounds and a steal in 43 minutes.
There wasn't any panic in the L.A. locker room despite potentially being 48 minutes from a disappointing first-round exit.
"We're confident," Paul George said when asked about Game 6. "We're confident we can extend the series and bring this back home. We got to go to Dallas, and it is going to be another hard, tough environment. It is the job that we got in front of us."
Kawhi Leonard added: "We [are] definitely disappointed in the loss. But we have confidence in ourselves to go out and get another win. We are just focused on the next one and see what we can do better."
The Clippers did a lot of things right in Game 5. They held the Mavs to 41.6 percent shooting, held a slight edge in the rebounding battle (47-45) and blocked 10 shots, but their inability to slow down Doncic combined with their own poor shooting night (41.3 percent) made their comeback bid fall just short.
While the back-and-forth nature of the series gives L.A. a realistic shot to win the final two games to advance, getting an offense that's been stuck in neutral at several points throughout the series, including the third quarter of Game 5, going more consistently is a must.
The onus falls on George and Leonard to pick up the slack during those offensive lulls after they combined to make just 14 of their 34 shot attempts (41.2 percent) in Wednesday's loss.
Game 6 is set for Friday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.