Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Mark Daigneault discuss late-game foul on Mavs’ PJ Washington

Luka Doncic prevailed in a playoff battle between the finalists for the NBA MVP award. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander still impressed in the Western Conference semifinal series, scoring 36 points in Oklahoma City’s Game 6 loss.

Shortly after their six-game elimination, Gilgeous-Alexander and head coach Mark Daigenault took to the podium to discuss Saturday’s result. Here’s what the Thunder had to say about Game 6:

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

On his foul late in the game that sent PJ Washington to the crucial free throw line…

Gilgeous-Alexander: “We talk about everything, the little things that go into winning games. To be disciplined. Stinks. Obviously, if he had regained the momentum, he wouldn’t have fouled him and simply let him make or miss the shot. In basketball you win some and you lose some. You make mistakes.”

Have you seen the replay?

Gilgeous-Alexander: “I can’t look at it. They looked at him and assumed he had fouled them. They looked at it and still didn’t turn it over…

“I don’t want to look at it. I missed it, of course, because they reviewed it and I missed it. So there is no need to look at it.”

How does it feel to know that the season ended in free throws?

Gilgeous-Alexander: “Stinks. You wish you could take the moment back, but that’s not how life works. You can not. You just have to learn from it and I will definitely learn from it.”

Does this series give you more motivation?

Gilgeous-Alexander: “Absolutely. I’ve always found the most motivation when I lose. You learn the most when you lose. So yeah, for sure. We lost four out of six games, I don’t know if we’ve done that all season. I didn’t feel good, but I’m definitely motivated. We will surely learn from the experience.”

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Thunder coach Mark Daigenault

Regarding the result of the loss of this series against Dallas…

Daigenault: “First of all, congratulations to Dallas. I think coach (Jason) Kidd and his staff did a great job. (His) players did a great job. With all the respect in the world for how they competed in the series. I thought they were the best team throughout the series. Tonight I thought it could have been anything. Obviously we were there and outplayed them for much of the 48 (minutes). (We) made a lot of progress. Obviously, they were a point better. Again, congratulations to Dallas. (With) all due respect to them.”

On the late-game foul on Mavericks forward PJ Washington Jr.’s 3-point attempt with seconds left in the game…

Daigenault: “I don’t have a replay as good as what was on TV. He got the ball, but obviously he also got the arm. I thought we could have gotten the ball first, and right in that situation, even without giving myself a timeout, I thought any chance we could take points off the board and reverse that decision would be worth the risk. That’s why I went looking for him.”

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On the Thunder’s double-big lineup approach late in the game…

Daigenault: “I try to help specifically in glass, although not only in glass. They were finding big ones on some of the dunks. (We were) just trying to get more cumulative size on the ground. At the end of the game, defenses tighten up anyway. So (on the) offensive (end), I knew we’d be able to get some decent looks regardless of the lineup. So (it was) just kind of a defense and physicality decision.”

On the Thunder forcing the Mavericks’ role players to take big shots…

Daigenault: “I think that’s why they’re here. They have a good team. They have players who put a lot of pressure on you. Obviously we respect those players, but we thought that in the series, forcing (Luka) Dončić and (Kyrie) Irving to get into the crowd, and forcing other guys to make plays was the best way. I thought we ran it defensively. We played a series that was worthy of winning, but I thought in games 2 through 4, offensively, that’s where we struggled. I think the team did a very good job. You have to grow within these series, because the other teams test you and vice versa. I thought our guys did a really good job within the series of making adjustments to the way we needed to attack, and obviously they made progress on that end of the floor in Games 5 and 6. But it just wasn’t enough.”

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