Lakers Head Coach Phil Jackson
Q. Could you talk about the play of Derek Fisher tonight, how big it was in the closing of this win.
PHIL JACKSON: Well, Derek had made a number of plays in the fourth quarter, contested shots and taking things to the basket, and he just got out there ahead of the field. We have this direct line principle, no one steps up, you keep going, and he saw the opening and went and made a very bold play. It was one in four. It was imperative that it goes in for us to win.
Q. When you removed Andrew later in the fourth quarter, was that a lineup decision or was that because of his injury?
PHIL JACKSON: No, that was a lineup decision at that time. He had gotten ‑‑ tweaked his knee a little bit in that third quarter and come out, and I wanted to shorten his time. But that particular moment I thought it would be best to have Lamar in. Lamar played well tonight.
Q. Can you talk about the first time‑out and how that really seemed to slow the Celtics' momentum.
PHIL JACKSON: Well, we were playing so poorly, it was just a necessity to call time‑out to slow things down and get us back in defense and stop the offensive rebounding and Garnett running out and getting lay‑ups and our misses. We seemed to gather some strength and change the course of the game right there, and that made a really good effort in that last six minutes of the first quarter.
Q. Pretty good defensive effort out there, Ray Allen 0 for 13. How surprising is that and how happy are you with your defense?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, defensively it was a good game, and this is a team, Boston Celtics that has so many guys that can contribute, Perkins ‑‑ Garnett tonight stepped it up and got his game going, and obviously Pierce was in foul trouble. He only played 33 minutes, 34 minutes. And the job that Fish did on Allen was terrific tonight.
Q. When you guys made that turnaround in the first quarter, Luke Walton came in, gave you some defensive energy and also hit a jumper at the end of the shot clock. Talk about that decision and what he gave you guys tonight.
PHIL JACKSON: Well, he's just a knowledgeable player inside of our offense, and there are times when we have to get the ball moving and get some things done out there where the Celtics put a lot of pressure on the ball and put guys in the drive a lot of times, so we need to have some guys out there that can play‑make, also, on the floor, have recognition of what the offense represents. Luke is an old hand at that.
Q. There was that time‑out when Kevin and Kobe I believe it was both knocked the ball out of bounds. It was a close call. There was a time‑out right afterward. Did you go and request a review of that, and do you think they would have reviewed it if you had not requested it?
PHIL JACKSON: I don't know. You know, that's a hard thing to say. I think Crawford made a good decision. Danny recognized the fact that he hadn't had a good vision, that it was contested. There were a number of guys that called it off the bench, also. It was a key play for us in the game.
Q. That wasn't by your request, he was going to do it on his own?
PHIL JACKSON: You know, I can't say that my requesting it gave him the impetus to do that, but it was the thing that was ‑‑ it was the right action to do. It was under two minutes and that's what they can do.
Q. Can you just talk about the aspect, Derek Fisher talks about people often have written him off and what have you, but he always seems to step up in these big games.
PHIL JACKSON: Yeah, he's a really terrific leader, we know that, as a basketball player in our locker room. But his leadership on the court is just a solid presence out there, just trying to get the things operating in our offense, and a lot of times he's got to direct things from an off‑ball position. Tonight they found a little wrinkle out there, even Kobe that they could run and get some activities and get some scoring in the fourth quarter, and when he's got an opportunity to hit a key shot, it seems like he's always there and ready.
Q. How much of Kobe's shooting woes is a result of what the Celtics are doing versus just him not having a stretch ‑‑ I think by my calculation he's under 44 percent for the series.
PHIL JACKSON: Yeah, that really ‑‑ they're getting up underneath him on his shot, so he's got a hard time getting a clear lift on his shot. It keeps him from turning his body, so he can't get the right turn a lot of times on it, and they've done a good job. He made a couple key baskets for us. Got 29 points, 29 shots to get it. So I know they're going to be happy with that. He's got to get better productivity out of it, and he knows that.
Q. How crucial was Lamar Odom's play off the bench tonight?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, he got going. He had a kiss shot that went in off the backboard. That was kind of a gift from God to him for all that stuff he's been through in the series.
He just had one of those nights where he kept playing and things happened and created things for himself, got an offensive rebound that was big at the end of the game, made a baseline drive that was another big basket for us in a critical situation.
Q. You mentioned Fish's defense on Ray, did you do anything schematically different or did he just play it better tonight? Did he get more freedom to fight through screens and whatnot?
PHIL JACKSON: Well, we didn't really want to have Ray to have option to go either way, and he walked Fish into position the last couple plays, and they didn't have either option to go at. We talked a little bit after the last game that when he's got both options, sometimes it's very difficult to stop him because he's got two big pickers that are sitting baseline or at the top of the key, wherever he's popping at off those screens. A couple guys stepped up and helped Fish; Pau got it, I think Ron helped block a shot with Derek. The guys were conscious of it and made good help.
Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant
Q. Can you talk about what Derek Fisher said after the third quarter. He seemed to really do sort of a Vince Lombardi speech there in a group. And how are you able to carry this thing over to the next game after such an emotional win?
KOBE BRYANT: Well, I mean, Derek, he's our vocal leader. He's the guy that pulls everybody together and is always giving positive reinforcement. I'm the opposite. We play off each other extremely well. That's what he does. That's what he's been doing extremely well. He has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time.
Q. And carry it over into the next game?
KOBE BRYANT: We don't worry about carrying things over. We just start from scratch, start anew. As we got rid of the last game and focused on Game 3, we have to do the same thing for Game 4.
Q. Talk about how happy you were for your friend Fish hitting those shots in those plays and about how big tonight's win was.
KOBE BRYANT: I'm always excited for him when he does it. He's been criticized quite a bit for his age, which is a huge thrill for him and for all of us to see him come through in these moments. But truthfully, he's done it over and over and over again, so it's almost his responsibility to our team to do these things.
Q. Have you ever thought about how different your career might have been without Derek as a teammate, not just for what he's done on the floor in big moments but off the floor, your relationship through the years?
KOBE BRYANT: Yeah. I went through years where I didn't have him. I had point guards who were nowhere near his caliber in leadership and shot‑making ability and toughness. I mean, it changes things drastically for me personally. I don't have as much responsibility as I had when he wasn't here.
You know, like I said, he's our vocal leader. He's the heart and soul of this team, simple as that.
Q. Even away from the floor, has he been the one teammate who could probably talk to you in a different way than anyone else that you might listen to?
KOBE BRYANT: Yeah, he's really the only one I listen to. Everybody else is a bunch of young kids. Derek, he and I came in the league together. We spent long nights together as rookies, battling each other, playing full court one‑on‑one games. You know, we've been through it. So he can come to me and say, Kobe, you're effing up. We owe that to each other.
Q. One of the mantras of the squad, "experience is divine," but the bounce‑back resiliency of the team tonight, in LA, up five down the stretch, couldn't hold onto the lead. Tonight you bend but do not break. How do you transmit that philosophy to the rest of the squad?
KOBE BRYANT: Lamar made big plays down the stretch. Ron made a big play down the stretch, getting the deflection off of Paul Pierce. It was the little things we didn't do at the end of Game 2 was the reason we won tonight, obviously on top of Derek's big shots. But those are plays that Boston made at the end of Game 2.
Q. Are the Celtics defending you any differently in this series than they have before? And is there any extra level of satisfaction at being up 2‑0 even though you're not shooting the ball exceptionally well?
KOBE BRYANT: I wouldn't say they're defending me any differently. I think we're a better team, so that enables me to continue to be aggressive and put pressure on defenses. I made shots tonight in stretches, missed some in stretches, a lot of them were tough shots with three seconds on the clock. We've got to do a better job with that. But I think we're just a better team.
Q. Being up 2‑0 without shooting the ball well, is there a level of satisfaction that goes with that?
KOBE BRYANT: I wouldn't say necessarily a level of satisfaction. I think it goes to the point where we've been saying all year long, that you win championships with your defense and rebounding. So I think that's something that we continue to talk about, we continue to stress. Shots come and go, you make some, you miss some, but you've got to stay after them on the defensive end, you have to rebound those misses.
Q. You relish that fourth quarter closing role, but how big ‑‑ aside from you making shots, is Lamar offensive rebound, Ron Artest getting a deflection on the sideline. How big are those things?
KOBE BRYANT: Those little things get it done. They weren't going to let me beat them down the stretch. It was important for everybody to make plays, and our guys made plays. Lamar made a big play, Pau made big shots, Derek obviously made big shots, and that's what we have to do.
Q. Do you agree the 32‑8 run going into that second quarter might be one of the all‑time great runs in Finals history on the road? They jumped off to that quick start, you took the crowd out of it and just stepped on the pedal.
KOBE BRYANT: I don't know. I don't know in terms of where that ranks in history. But for us it felt good. We kept our poise. They came out to a quick start and we didn't get rattled and just stuck to our guns.
Lakers Forward Ron Artest
Q: How would you describe the atmosphere here at TD Garden being that this is your first Finals in Boston?
Artest: I don’t know because when you’re in the game you don’t really see what’s going on as far as the fans. I know at one point it got loud. When you are playing sometimes you don’t really hear or see anything of what’s outside the court. I would probably have to watch the game again to see. It’s hard to get caught up in that moment because you’re caught up on the court. The game was intense.
Q: What brought you guys back when your lead was down to two points?
Artest: Boston is a great team and we understand that. They are here and they don’t back down and we don’t back down either. They are a great team and we just have to make sure we come on next game and play together again.
Q: Talk about the big deflection you had at the end of the fourth quarter.
Artest: I’m just playing basketball. I only took four shots tonight, but I thought we trusted each other as a team which is more important and I thought that we executed better. I thought that even though I was in early foul trouble, we still executed and I continued to play and that lead to the last deflection you are talking about. I just stayed in the game defensively and stayed Ron Artest and then had a Ron Artest play at the end.
Q: Do you agree that the most impressive thing you did during this game was go on a big and you took the crowd right out of the game?
Artest: We were on a run, but you have to continue to make sure we play together. I thought during Game 2 we made so many defensive mistakes. I got beside myself in Game 2. Today you saw me take a slight step back so I could gather myself. I was ready for the fourth quarter, but I wanted to make sure I gathered myself during the first few quarters and remember to put team first and I could think about myself later.
Lakers' Guard Derek Fisher
Q. Talk about the big shots that you hit down the stretch and what the Celtics did, what they gave you and what they didn't give you.
DEREK FISHER: Just, you know, looking to continue to be aggressive even though I hadn't been able to knock down many shots early. But we saw some things we could accomplish by playing a little two‑man game between Kobe and myself. When Kobe sets a screen, his man is going to be very reluctant to help off of him, so it allows somebody else to get into the interior of their defense, and a couple times I made a pass or two, and a few other times I was able to knock down shots.
Q. Can you just talk about the importance of getting this win, especially considering that you guys couldn't win here two years ago and just the way you left in Game 6. Was there any thought to just walking back here for the final game considering what happened last time you were here?
DEREK FISHER: Well, I think our thoughts are really just still on how disappointed we are, or were, losing that second game on our home court, and I think that had more of our attention and focus than what happened in '08.
At the same time, you know, we didn't doubt our ability to win here, although we hadn't done it in the playoffs. There have been some ‑‑ we had some good opportunities in the regular season to come in and play against this team. We understand when you want to be the best, you have to win wherever, whenever. This was a good win for us tonight, but we want to continue to build on this and make the necessary adjustments to give ourselves another chance on Thursday.
Q. It looked like you guys were kind of stumbling in the end and it looked like you were out of sync for the offense. What made you decide to take charge and take over the game?
DEREK FISHER: You know, I think we just saw a good opportunity to get on the interior of their defense through another route. You know, we did a lot through Kobe in the third quarter which really got us in trouble. In the first half we were much better with our execution, ball movement, and it makes it hard for their defense when we're moving the ball and we're moving players.
In that third quarter we weren't getting into our offense fast enough, which left Kobe having to do some things at the end of the clock, which is not good.
We saw some actions that allowed us to get into their defense early and just trust that if something wasn't there, that I'd make the appropriate pass to the open guy and then we could still run our offense from there. Like I said, when Kobe is setting a screen, his guy is not going to necessarily leave him, and left me some good opportunities.
Q. With this big win how do you take the momentum into the next game and what do you do to keep going?
DEREK FISHER: Realizing that there are a lot of things that we can do much better. You know, obviously we feel good about this game, but Ray Allen is not going to miss all of his shots on Thursday night. That's not going to happen. So there are other things that ‑‑ we have to get more assists than 13. We're going to have to play a much better game than we played tonight in order to have a chance to win on Thursday, which we knew after winning Game 1, that we couldn't play the same game, because this is a really good team.
Thursday night they're going to come back with a renewed sense of hunger and intensity and aggressiveness, and we're going to have to be ready to battle all of those things.
Q. After Ray's performance in Game 2, what were some of the things you guys wanted to do defensively and were able to do defensively to contribute to the 0 for 13?
DEREK FISHER: You know, understand spots on the floor, where he's trying to get to to get his shots off. We wanted to pick our spots to get a little bit more pressure, get Kobe a little bit closer to Rajon to take away some of the sharp passing angles where he can get the ball to Ray really fast right in his shooting pocket. And from there it's just trusting that if you keep making him work, he won't necessarily hit 8 out of 11 threes every night.
You know, we obviously didn't expect him to go 0 for 13, but it's a tough gig for him to be honest, to run around offensively the way he has to and then have to guard Kobe on the other end. I mean, that takes anybody's legs out. It takes my legs out chasing him.
So you know, they're going to be nights maybe when his legs aren't there because he's having to work so hard on both ends, but we won't see 0 for 13 on Thursday night, that's for sure.
Q. What does it mean to you to have made such a contribution, such a difference in this game tonight, this season, in a game that you guys really, really needed?
DEREK FISHER: You know, it's tough to put into words. I got a little bit emotional in my postgame interview right after the game just because, you know, I love what I do, and I love helping my team win. You know, even when things maybe aren't going the way I'd like them to go for reasons I can control and some I can't, I still pretty much keep my mouth shut and just keep doing my job and remain faithful that things will come around when they need to.
And so to come through tonight again for this team, 14 years in, after so many great moments, it's always quite surreal and quite humbling to experience it again and do it again. But it's like being a kid, man; you just never get tired of that candy. Tonight it feels very good, and like I said, I'm happy, but my thoughts are going to Thursday already.
Q. Different because it was the 14th year?
DEREK FISHER: Yeah, I mean, you know, I think as you grow in this game and you put in the work that's required to still be around 14 years later, you know, you start to recognize that being in this moment on this stage it's not a given, it's not something that happens every season. You know, to have this opportunity just as a person, I don't think you ever want to look back in life and have any regrets about anything.
Five or ten years from now when I'm long gone, I would have hated to feel like I didn't just do everything I could have to help my team and live with the consequences. Things have worked out well, and we have two more wins to get to really put a nice cap on it.
Q. Can you talk about your coast‑to‑coast lay‑up?
DEREK FISHER: Well, you know, obviously at that time the clock is, I guess, our enemy and our friend. So really because the Celtics got so many guys up the court, initially I was really just trying to advance the ball and get it past half court before the eight‑second count. I saw KG coming up, and the angle that he took, I knew I could get around him without stepping on the left sideline. And once I broke through him, I saw that they didn't have anybody back at the basket. So I just took the direct line. Had they got there and cut me off, I probably would have pulled it out. But I felt that I could get to the basket and get a good shot off before they could get to me.
To see Pau's reaction and my teammates' reactions, that's why those moments feel so good to me. Hitting the floor didn't feel that good to be honest, but Pau's reaction and Lamar and Kobe and what the guys were saying to me, that's why those things feel so good.
Q. What were you talking about with your teammates after that tough loss in the second game to try to keep everybody together and in a positive state coming into this game? What were you saying?
DEREK FISHER: Well, you know, I have people that I'm close to that give me things to read throughout the season, and in particular in the playoffs and the postseason. I was reading a book that talked about companies and business and things that they try to do to keep everybody focused on what the goal is. And I've recently been reading a lot about trust, and so that's basically what we talked about was trusting each other, trusting the triangle offense, trusting our coaches, trusting that if you get into foul trouble that the guy next to you or behind you can come in and get the job done and that there's nothing to fear; just go out there and give everything you have and trust that that'll be enough. It was enough tonight, and I'm hopeful and trusting it'll be enough on Thursday.
Lakers' Forward Lamar Odom
Q: What was your objective going in to tonight’s game?
Odom: Big victory for us. That was the goal, to come in here and get the game, play sound defense and limit their transition threes. It was a defensive effort.
Q: Talk about your game tonight.
Odom: I just had to stay out of foul trouble. I was able to stay aggressive throughout the game. Even those last two plays, the Paul Pierce foul and the offensive rebound, I almost got and the ball going out of bounds, I was playing a little too passive and trying not to foul. Stay aggressive and let the game come to me and the plays are going to be there for me to make.
Q: Today you were in complete control of your game.
Odom: Any time you pick up quick fouls it’s a tough game, but that’s the way the game goes. It’s about the Lakers and not Lamar and I was just able to stay out of foul trouble.
Q: Talk about Derek Fisher’s contribution to the game tonight.
Odom: He was huge. The plays were there for him to make especially coming off of Kobe. He was able to get to the rim. The one time they pressured him and let him take a direct drive to the basket and he got theand one it was huge off the glass, it was pretty too off the left hand.
Q: Did you notice how emotional Derek Fisher was after the game? Why was that?
Odom: That’s what it’s about when you are laying it on the line. Being emotional and here in Boston is big for us. That’s what playing basketball at this level is all about.
Q: What are you thinking about the first two games in the series?
Odom: They are over. You always hear me talk about Playoffs basketball and the last game is exactly that, the last game. You have a game ahead of you to worry about. You just put those games away behind you.
Celtics Coach Doc
Q. At 84‑80 after the second review by the refs, just inside of a minute, the shot you got was a Ray Allen three from the corner. What did you want there?
DOC RIVERS: Either a three or a two. We didn't need a three but it was open. If he didn't have a shot it was going to go right back down to the post to Kevin. We liked the motion, we liked the movement.
Listen, he was open. I don't mind that shot at all.
Q. From his eight threes the other night to going 0 for 13 tonight, have you ever seen that kind of swing in a player?
DOC RIVERS: No, it's a hell of a swing, I'll tell you that. You know, it's basketball. That's why you can't worry about it. He'll be back in the gym tomorrow and getting ready for the next game. I thought he was pressing early on some of them, and honestly, I thought all of his shots looked flat tonight. I didn't think he had any legs. I don't know if the knee and the thigh had anything to do with it, but I just thought he was short on most of his jump shots. Of the 13, I think eight of them were great looks, and all of them were short, all of them were flat. It happens to the best of us.
Q. The first replay review when you called the time‑out, from your perspective what happened? And do you feel like if you hadn't called time‑out that the replay would have happened?
DOC RIVERS: Well, they were going to replay it anyway. That's why I called the time‑out. I thought that was a tough overrule because I watched it there five times, and I wasn't sure, and I thought that if it was inclusive that you couldn't overturn it. But clearly I was wrong.
Going by the percentages of the replays, we should replay a lot of them because every one of them were turned the other way. Maybe we need to use the replay more in a lot of our calls.
Q. When you're not hitting those threes from outside how does the change the spacing and everything else from the inside?
DOC RIVERS: I thought the first half they jumped on us. I thought we came out great. I thought Pau picked up the fouls and we subbed and we were flat off the bench, and they got a 17‑point lead, which means that we were taking the ball out of bounds. It was a replay of Game 1 in some ways. The pace of the game was exactly the way they wanted. You can't run without misses, and they pounded us on the glass tonight. They shot a high percentage early in the first half, and it disrupted our tempo.
I thought we did a much better job in the second half in stretches, but you know, I thought some of the fouls hurt us tonight. You know, Paul, every game so far we've had one of our top players in foul trouble. Maybe I should start complaining about fouls. Maybe I can get a turnaround like it was turned around tonight. That was amazing.
Q. How much do you think that Coach Jackson's comments before the last game did have an effect?
DOC RIVERS: I don't know. I'll just let you ‑‑ I don't know.
Q. Talk about KG's performance tonight coming home getting a little home cooking.
DOC RIVERS: KG was great. Didn't get it enough. We talked about 20 shots before the game. He shot 16, should have had 25 as far as I was concerned. I thought there were a lot of times we still should have gotten the ball to him. I didn't think we had a lot of great ball movement tonight. I thought, again, it was a half‑court game because of the way they were playing.
But you know, one of the things I told our team, Game 2, Ray had it. We did a great job of getting it to Ray. Game 3, Kevin had it. I didn't think we did as good of a job getting it to Kevin.
Q. You've had a lot of performances like this from guys on your own team. What about Derek Fisher tonight?
DOC RIVERS: Won the game for them. Derek Fisher was the difference in the game. You know, I thought we lost our composure a little bit down the stretch. A four‑point game, 47 seconds left, I'm not sure exact time. All you need is a stop. We let Derek Fisher dribble the ball all the way up the court, unattended, get a three‑point play. If you get a stop there, we had two timeouts left, three timeouts at the time, we had plenty of time. But that's where we got the mental toughness part for us. We've got to hang in there. It's not going to be an easy game, none of them are going to be, and that's what we have to do.
Q. Is this sort of a true indicator of how you see him as a player?
DOC RIVERS: Yeah, he's just a gutty, gritty player and he gutted the game out for them. I thought Kobe was struggling a little bit and Fisher, he basically took the game over. I don't know what he had in the fourth quarter, I want to say 13, 14 in the second half, but most of them were down the stretch.
Q. Can you just talk about the defense of Ron Artest on Paul Pierce. And also Paul seemed to reach in a few times for those fouls.
DOC RIVERS: Yeah, he did, and I don't know if it was Artest's defense or the foul calls on Paul. You know, Paul never got a rhythm. Every time he came on the floor, another whistle blows and he had to sit down. He was completely taken out of the game by the foul calls. I'll give Artest credit when he deserves it, but today it was more that Paul Pierce had to sit on the bench. He'd play five minutes, have to go back down, four minutes, have to sit. I mean, he wasn't allowed to play. They didn't allow him to play tonight.
Q. Was it something that Perk was doing that limited his minutes or did you just like Baby ‑‑
DOC RIVERS: No. Baby was playing well. No conspiracy. Baby was playing well.
Q. You were talking about before the game feeling fortunate to win the last game because two of your big three were not making shots, and again tonight two of your big three weren't making shots.
DOC RIVERS: Yeah. Paul had good looks in the first half. I think he was 1 for 8 or 1 for 7, and then I thought in the third quarter he was getting it going and then bam, there's the whistle and he has to sit again. You felt bad for him. That was their best play.
Q. How do you feel about your team's defense on Kobe in the series so far? And is there any frustration that he's not shooting the ball especially well and you guys are still down 2‑1?
DOC RIVERS: Well, we're down 2‑1 because we're not shooting the ball particularly well, either. Kobe does so many other things, though. Tonight he struggled from the field, but he did make a lot of plays. I think people fail to realize the reason a lot of the other guys are open is because Kobe Bryant is on the floor. That's why it's so important even when Paul or Ray are not scoring, we need them on the floor, because it opens the floor for other people, and when you take them off the floor because of fouls, then it changes it.
Q. What do you do to go forward in Game 4? What adjustments do you make?
DOC RIVERS: We don't make many. Bench has to be ready to play, to start when they come in. I loved our start. I thought we played great. We were getting stops, we were running, we had a great tempo. We've got to continue to find the open guy and trust offensively. But the team that's won the glass so far in this series has won the game, and we have to do a better job on the glass.
Q. How big a loss is this for you at home?
DOC RIVERS: It's a big loss until the next game. No one thought this was going to be an easy series. We didn't. And so it's not. So we'll bounce back.
Celtics Forward Paul
Q: It was a tough shooting night. Was it the fouls that got your out of rhythm or was it just misses?
Pierce: With me, I thought I missed shots in the first half that were some good looks – I’ll take those looks all night long, the one’s I got. But it wasn’t about my shots. It’s about going out there and trying to win a game as a team, executing … we broke down on little plays. That’s the difference between winning and losing in a championship or playoffs … and I just thought we broke down on little plays down the stretch. We gave Fisher some open looks … that really cost us at the end.
Q: You guys were really never able to get over the hump. You got close a few times; was that when the breakdowns occurred?
Pierce: Yeah. It seemed like when we got to two, three points with the ball, we’d come down, turn it over, offensive fouls – something – it just seemed like something … bad [would] happen when we had the ball to go tie the game or to go up. It just seemed like we turned the ball pretty much over every time. They capitalized when they came down with free throws, big shots, to go back up three or four. When you have these types of games – when it’s tight – down the stretch you’ve got to execute [and] the littlest plays can be the difference between winning and losing.
Q: How frustrating is this [loss] seeing as Bryant and Gasol didn’t have great shooting nights?
Pierce: Yeah. This is the type of game we like to play. We look up – the Lakers are a high-powered offensive team [that are] used to scoring in the 100s – and we’ve got the game in the 80s … it’s our type of game. Usually we win these types of games, especially when you shut down the stars. But the other guys stepped up. You’ve got to take your hat off to [Derek] Fisher: he’s been there and done things like that numerous times in championship runs. They got the job down.
Q: How do you feel about going into Game 4 now that you guys are still right there.
Pierce: I feel confident with my ball club. We came here [to the locker room after the game] and talked about it a few minutes before the coaches came in. We’re a team that’s going to stick together, not get down [or] point fingers at one another. So we’ll bounce back for Game 4.
Q: What did you talk about?
Pierce: Just what we need to do to be better for next game.
Q: How tough was it to get into a flow during tonight’s game?
Pierce: We’ve got to do a better job of not fouling. Every game it seems like one of our key players is in foul trouble. I think maybe it’s the excitement of the championship; maybe it’s understanding that the referees are calling it tight [or] knowing when they’re calling it tight or let you play a little bit. But we’ve got to do a better job of understanding that but … no excuses. The game is being called differently, but the players adjust – the players are good enough to adjust. And we’ve got to do a better job of that and play better basketball with our main players out there.
Q: Do you think you’ll be able to get you, KG, and Allen going in the same game?
Pierce: I’m not really thinking about that. Right now, I just want to go out there and help my team win. Regardless of whether or not we all play well, we know we can win a series … We just need to put out the effort and have a couple of guys step up night in and night out, because at the end of the day, we’re a defensive team.
Celtics Guard Rajon
Q. Talk about the defense that they came at you with tonight, the Lakers. And talk about Fisher's play and KG's play, too.
RAJON RONDO: They played great team defense. They got back in transition tonight. We started off with a quick run, but after that they seemed to do pretty good job of getting back in transition. Fisher played extremely well tonight. I think he was the key to their win tonight and KG finally got it going. That's a good sign. We've got to look towards Game 4.
Q. The way of Rondo in Game 2, you're in full effect. Tonight kind of slowed down numbers, were not as prolific. What did the Lakers do tonight that they did not do in Game 2 to slow you down personally?
RAJON RONDO: I don't know. I mean, I wasn't as aggressive, I guess, tonight. But I was trying to get my teammates the ball. You've got to pick and choose when I want to be aggressive, and try to take over the game by scoring, but tonight I tried to get our teammates involved. We still stood a chance for the game. I'm not going to play great or have a triple‑double every night. KG stepped up tonight, and we're going to try to continue to get him the ball.
Q. Doc was just in here, and he said it's one of those nights for Ray, you have a great night like the other night and it turned out like this tonight. Talk about when you don't have him hitting those threes.
RAJON RONDO: It's tough. Ray is one of our go‑to guys, so we're never going to lose confidence and stop going to him even if he's 0 to are 20. He usually comes through in the clutch, but tonight was one of those nights. He didn't have it. Other guys had to step up. Tony did a great job defensively again. So we just have to come from other areas.
Q. What is the momentum for your team now, now that you guys have lost this game? The momentum has shifted to the Lakers. What do you have to do to pick it up and regain it?
RAJON RONDO: I think we've got to do a better job of closing quarters and closing the game. I think we made ‑‑ all five guys out there made a mistake when the score was 84‑80 and Fisher made a great play. We didn't get back in transition. That play, I think, simply won the game. He had a couple other big plays where he came off the screen with Kobe and hit a couple big shots, but that big play sealed the deal.
Q. Were you guys intent on letting someone else beat you besides Kobe because Kobe typically closes out the game in that fashion but you guys left Fisher open. Was that what you guys decided to do?
RAJON RONDO: No, that wasn't a decision, no. It just happened. He made plays. Our pick‑and‑roll coverage wasn't what it was supposed to be, and he capitalized on it.
Q. What did you think about Derek Fisher's performance at the end of the game?
RAJON RONDO: He played big. Can't say enough. He definitely ‑‑ like I said, I think he pretty much won the game. Kobe and the other guys, kept them in it throughout the game, but when we made our run, he seemed to have answers every time.
Q. It just seems every game between the Celtics and Lakers, Lakers and Celtics is unique and singular. How do you project Game 4 to be because it's hard to really get a beat on each one?
RAJON RONDO: I don't know how to answer that question. You know, I think as a team we're just going to come out and play with a lot of energy, have a great focus. I think we lost our composure tonight in a couple possessions and that hurt us. You can't really write the story until the next game. You've just got to see for yourself.
Celtics Forward Kevin Garnett
Q. Talk about the start that you got off to and the team and what happened from there.
KEVIN GARNETT: Well, I was able to get into a nice rhythm. Didn't really think about too much tonight. Really wasn't overly excited. I thought for the most part I stayed composed. Really just was numb, to be honest. Took what they gave me, stayed aggressive, took my shots, and that was it, nothing more than that, less than that.
Q. What happened to the team after that, though?
KEVIN GARNETT: I think we went through a drought, obviously, and playing a team like this, you can't dig yourself a hole. I think it was 17, 16, I'm not even sure, but that's too big of a deficit to dig yourself and then try to come out of it was very difficult. But for the most part we did. Thought we had our chances to win, just couldn't close it out.
Q. Can you talk about that play at the time‑out when they had the replay review, because Doc said he felt like it was inconclusive. But what did you feel like happened when you were out there?
KEVIN GARNETT: What play are you speaking of?
Q. With about a minute and a half left they had the review after you guys ‑‑ you guys called time‑out and they had a review and awarded the ball to the Lakers.
KEVIN GARNETT: Are you talking about when he tipped it out on me?
KEVIN GARNETT: I just thought he tipped it out of my hand. Sal said it was off of me. It is what it is. Because of league fines and all the other ‑‑ you know, gag order, I choose not to comment on that.
Q. The fast start tonight, was that something that Doc had talked to you about prior to the game, trying to set tempo early on?
KEVIN GARNETT: I haven't had the type of games that I would like, haven't had the type of rhythm that I would like. Tonight was just a rhythm night for me. Like I said, it flowed. I went with it. Doc pulled me to the side after Game 1 and told me to stay aggressive. Different series, different players are going to be big nights, certain guys are going to have better flow. Ray Game 2 had a great flow, I had a decent flow tonight. But at the end of the day it's about the wins. I don't care how I'm playing. I played crap in Game 2 I thought, but I got some key rebounds in that game and we won. Tonight I had a nice offensive flow and we lost. I'll take Game 2 and how I played there and wins all day over a steady flow and a decent offensive game.
Q. Everyone in the basketball world tonight giddy to see you play like the Big Ticket. But Game 2 to Game 3 what did the Lakers do so differently in Game 2 to what they did in Game 3 to regain the edge?
KEVIN GARNETT: Well, I thought that the drought, the fact that we didn't score for six minutes, seven minutes, whatever it was, that does a number on you. You know, as a team we didn't play offensively well. I thought defensively we dug in there, we hung in there, we came back, we made our run. I think we even tied it up, went up a couple points, if not one, so some small breakdowns at the end of the game, and against a team like this you can't do that. You've got to finish the game out, and you've got to finish it out solid.
Q. Are you disappointed that The Garden hasn't been as difficult of a place for people to play, for opponents to come in and play, as it has in past years?
KEVIN GARNETT: The place is rocking, you know. I can't even hear half the calls in here because it's so loud. I'm going to leave that one alone because that flows into officials and everything else, and I'm not going to touch that.
Q. Are you disappointed that for the third straight series a team has come in and won a game on your home court?
KEVIN GARNETT: Yeah, very much so. We've got to do a better job of defending home court.
Q. Take us late in the ballgame when Fisher went coast to coast, got that hoop, and how big that was.
KEVIN GARNETT: That was a big hoop. I think we were down four at that point and still had a chance with 50 some seconds, whatever it was, and just miscommunication, and he saw a lane and he went. I wasn't sure if Rondo or someone was going to come, but I found myself isolated. I didn't know if they were going to call a time‑out or whatever, but it was a weird play. He ended up getting a three‑point play, and that's the game pretty much.
Q. How frustrating is it to come back from down 17 and not be able to get over that hump?
KEVIN GARNETT: It's very frustrating, very frustrating when you don't play well offensively but defensively, you know, you sort of buckled down and get the stops and things that you want and you get back into the game only to come up short.
Yeah, that's real disappointing.
Celtics Center Glen Davis
Q: What was your assessment of tonight’s game?
Davis: We didn’t close out. I think at the beginning of the game, the first team established the tempo. I think the bench came out and [we] really didn’t apply the pressure and that’s how we lost the lead. I think a lot of things in the first half we didn’t do right. I think we’ve got to be ready to play when we [our bench] go in there. I blame it on myself: not establishing the tempo, not bringing enough energy, turning the ball, shooting bad shots. If I helped a little bit more in the first half, I think we would have done a better job.
We had to dig our way back from [their] 17-point lead. We did a great job of fighting back, but then … calls didn’t go our way. Referees aren’t perfect, they’re human, they’re going to make mistakes. Hopefully they’ll see that some calls weren’t the right calls. But … they did their best; I tip my hat to them. It’s tough in an environment like this to make the right call [with] a thousand people screaming at you, so it is what it is. I tip my hat to those guys.
I think at the end we didn’t play our defense the way we should have. I think Derek Fisher won the game for them. He took over the game.  seconds left in the game, down by four, our defense … let a guy all the way down the court for a layup, naked. Together as a whole we’ve got to do better. You see we didn’t win the rebounding wars. You don’t win the rebounding war, you don’t win. We’ve got to do a better job of getting in there and getting more rebounds …
What we did today is fixable. We know the chemistry and what it takes to win, and we just have to go out there and do it. Now with our back against the wall – it’s 2-1 and we’re at home – I like the feeling [that] we’re at home, but at the same time we can’t get comfortable and play the game like it’s supposed to be played, for 48 minutes hard. So it’s back to the drawing board, see what’s wrong, watch some film and make things happen.
Q: Did it wear you down a bit when you got so close at the end but couldn’t get a rebound or committed an offensive foul?
Davis: It’s frustrating. Sometimes you can’t get over the hump. But as a team you have to stick together and stay focused on what you need to stay focused on. Especially during that time during the game, we have to stay together as one and make things happen for each other, not just one person. It’s tough. And also, Ray [Allen] – 0-13? Who would have ever thought that? So that won’t happen again. We only lost by a couple of points. [Allen] hits a couple of shots and we’re in the game; we’re winning the game, really. Today just wasn’t our day … in spite of [Allen] not hitting his shots and things like that, we’ve still got to win this game because it was a winnable game for us.