Photos and Quotes | Lakers 117, Bulls 109 | 03.21.09
Los Angeles Lakers 117, Bulls 109 | 03.21.09
“We had a good opportunity and let it slip away. Our turnovers in the second half really were the difference. The Lakers second unit came in and really did a good job. They got after us and made some plays. The momentum got in their favor. We did a good job on Kobe. He had 28 points, but he took 25 shots. We made him work for that. Our turnovers got them in the open court and they made us pay for it. They were attacking the basket. It was disappointing the way we played in the second half, the way we handled the basketball. But we have to bounce back against Washington.”
On a lot of different Lakers line-ups:
“We had good control of the game in the first half and in the third quarter our turnovers started. They were trying to mix and match line-ups to get something going. Their second team bothered us. They did some damage and got the momentum back. That picked up the energy for them, we couldn't match that. Kobe took over a little bit at the end.”
On the Bulls going six minutes without a field goal in the fourth quarter:
“We were running real well in the first half and pushing the tempo. In the second half we got stagnant and were not moving the ball as much. We were dribbling a lot and not passing. They were trapping on top and we did not make them pay. You cannot give 23 turnovers to a good team and expect to win very often. We did a good job on the glass and shot the ball pretty well. The way we handled the ball and our aggression in the second half was the difference.”
Is this the toughest team you've faced?
“All the top teams—Cleveland, Boston, whoever is healthy and on a roll—can be very difficult for us. Kobe is a difference maker. He is going to get his shot, but we made him work for his points tonight. The Lakers are one of the top teams.”
On the game:
“Too many turnovers tonight. I made two crucial turnovers and it turned the game around. We were just turning the ball over and when you do that in this league, anyone will beat you. We had 23 turnovers as a team and I had four. It's just way too many to win.”
Is the loss frustrating?
“Definitely, we were leading all three quarters and came out in the fourth and didn't get it done. I didn't get tired, the game just slipped away from us.”
On the loss:
“It's definitely frustrating. We were playing well early in the game but we definitely didn't play well in the second half. Their second unit is not an average second unit. They got the job done when Kobe was over there resting. We didn't take care of the ball. We just didn't find any flow offensively.”
Is it tough with a seven man rotation?
“I wouldn't say that. They're just a great team, probably the best team in the league. When you turn the ball over like we did tonight, it's tough to beat any team in the league let alone a team as good as that one.”
What did you tell them at halftime?
“Chicago has played at a high level. They shot the ball exceptionally well. I told them we had to pick it up another notch. I told them if they cool off and we start playing with a little aggression then we'll be there.”
On the second unit:
“They got some turnovers. When you do that, you can get some runouts and make things happen. Just little things like getting loose balls, getting down on the floor. They helped each other out, guys played together, we got Sasha some shots. Jordan was very effective out there. It was good to see that tonight. The confidence is important. They recognize they have to help each other out, that's the first thing. The second thing is that they have to stay aggressive.”
On Jordan Farmar's game:
“He's an attack player. If he gets tentative and he starts passing off shooting opportunities then that tentativeness I don't like to see. He's really an attack player. He also needs to be aggressive defensively and those are things that helped us tonight.”
Are the Bulls a playoff team?
“If Luol Deng comes back and they get him back and get him healthy by the end of the season, they definitely could cause some problems. They have some scoring opportunities and some players who could do the job.”
On the second half:
“We had to pick it up a little bit. We started the game pretty well. There was a lot of energy and they matched that. They kind of overwhelmed us with their energy in the first half. We wanted to come out and do the same.”
On the success of the second unit:
“We talked about it on the plane on the way over here. It's going to be a long trip and we need our second unit playing the way they're capable of playing. You're going to have nights where it's a see-saw battle and our depth is one of our greatest features. To get that kind of boost, especially in the first game of the trip is big for us.”
On what caused the change in their play:
“What got us going is our defense. We got scoring because we got steals. We got the steals and we got control of the game. And we got momentum in the game. All of a sudden those shots become a lot easier to take and not knock down. But it started for us on the defensive end with active hands.”