The Pelican Blog

Postgame report: From the Pelicans locker room
By: Pelicans.com

Pelicans Coach Monty Williams
On impact of tonight’s victory
“It was obviously a quality win against a team that’s won 58 games. Our guys, they continued to fight and stay in there. Coaches always talk about hanging in there and character and tonight was ‘Example A’ for that. Our practices are always really good, shoot-arounds are great, and then you’re seeing the carryover from a team that’s just going to play until they take us off the floor. The contributions were phenomenal. Tyreke (Evans): 41 (points), nine (rebounds) and eight (assists) and he wasn’t going to play today. That’s the amazing part.”

On keys to holding Oklahoma City to only 89 points
“They missed a lot of shots. I thought our schemes were sound. We wanted to get the ball out of Kevin’s (Durant) hands as much as we could, so they went away from pick and rolls and started driving the ball more, and then you’re at the mercy of his missing a shot. But I thought Darius (Miller) was sound. Darius was able to not foul him on jump shots. And then our bigs, Jeff (Withey) got a block at the rim and he got it back and made it but I thought it exemplified our attitude tonight. We weren’t just going to give up layups and dunks the way we did when we were at their place a few days ago.”

Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans
On the key to tonight’s upset victory
“We just worked hard. We’ve been short-handed all year. I wasn’t supposed to play tonight. My knee was bothering me, but I knew we needed a win bad. Coach talked about finishing the season strong. That’s what we wanted to do tonight. It was a team effort.”

On the impact of this win going into the offseason
“It’s big. We always compete. That’s what we try to do every night and every time we play. Next year, it’s going to go better for us. We just need to stay healthy and go through the system and hope everything goes right.”

On his career performance
“It was tough. I knew I had to take over with Austin [Rivers] out. The ball was in my hands a lot. Coach did a good job running pick-and-rolls and I just made the right reads. Serge Ibaka had me thinking a little bit going in there, because he was trying to block every shot. But I was making the right reads when he came. I was able to find the guys and the guys made their shots.”

Pelicans guard Darius Miller
On tonight’s victory and the Pelicans’ effort through the season’s end
“Great win. We needed the win. We’ve been struggling a little bit here lately, especially with the injuries. But we continue to fight and it worked out for us. We just want to continue to fight. Coach is really big on that. We’re really big on that as a team, so we wanted to come out with a lot of effort. We’ve been trying to do that all year no matter what’s going on. We’ve had a lot of injuries and stuff like that, but we continue to fight, we continue to work hard every single day.”

On defending against Kevin Durant
“There is no way you stop a player like that. I just wanted to be physical, play with high intensity, and see what happens. I just wanted to make him uncomfortable, that’s all.”

On Tyreke Evans performance
“He was incredible, incredible. They couldn’t stop him at all. When he plays like that, I feel like we are unstoppable. He’s a great player, everybody knows that. I’m happy, I’m sure everybody is happy, with the way he played tonight.”