What the Los Angeles Lakers had to say about 132-125 loss to the Pelicans (3/4/14)

Lakers Head Coach Mike D’Antoni
On game

“We had an emotional hangover in the start. You get so high on a good game that guys are excited and at the end of the game you come here and you think you’re ready and you’re not. It took us at least two quarters to get in to anyone. The first ten minutes looked like a layup drill for the other team. Once you get that started and they [Pelicans] are starving for a win, now you gave them confidence. It has to be a learning experience and they need to understand that anyone in the league can do it one or two times. You have to bring the intensity and concentration every night. I thought we didn’t do that for a long time. At the end we got back in the game, but we made silly fouls. Everything had to go right and it didn’t because we tried too hard at that point. We did a lot of good things, but there were a lot of things we need to fix defensively. We just need to get in to people. I know we can do it, but we just didn’t do it today.”

On their offense at the expense of the defense

“It should not be that way. One does not have anything to do with the other. The foul line is where they beat us. They had 10-plus foul shots, most of which are silly fouls. If we get up on people and continue pushing, it is our fault. We can defend a lot better than that.”

On Robert Sacre in tonight’s game

“I think he is one of the few guys that every night defensively plays well, and we need that. We are going to score no matter who we put out there. I think he is our best defensive player. He shuts down the paint and when we came back with him on the floor there is a reason for that. We have to find guys that every night will bring it defensively and he is one of the few guys that do that.”

Lakers Forward/ Center Pau Gasol
On if the team had an “emotional hangover” after their win in Portland last night

“We might have come out a little flat. I think especially on the defensive end. They were penetrating our defense way too easily and getting to the paint. They got way too many easy looks, which allowed them to get comfortable and confident. That was on us, and we got ourselves into a hole early. We got close, but in future games we need to stay in it for 48 minutes.”

On how the team has to balance the pace of the game when the score is so high

“Hopefully you put yourself in a position where you get stops constantly, and you don’t have to struggle and scramble at the end with desperation. We just have to be locked in at both ends of the floor, and don’t get caught up shooting too many jumpers. The up-tempo [style] we play is good, but then we really have to be disciplined on the defensive end so they don’t score so easily.”

Lakers Forward Kent Bazemore
On what was the difference in the game tonight compared to last night

“The exact opposite of last night. We jumped out on Portland, and gave ourselves enough room to withstand their biggest punch. New Orleans did the same thing. The next step we have to take as a team is handling those emotional victories such as last night. I’m not saying that’s the reason why we came out flat, but if you look at it, that’s probably the biggest outlier. It’s just learning pains as a young team, and hopefully we can get the ball back on the right track.”

On what the team did differently in the second half

“I was kind of down and outing myself earlier in the game. Mentally, I wasn’t there, and I had to look in the mirror at half time and say you don’t have anything to do tomorrow, you don’t have a game tomorrow so just empty the tank. We all came in here and had a little self-checking, came out in the second half and fought back.”