Lindsey Hunter

Michael Beasley

Jared Dudley

P.J. Tucker

Mike DAntoni

Steve Nash

Kobe Bryant

Dwight Howard

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Suns Head Coach Lindsey Hunter

(On the game) “When you put yourself behind the way we did in the first half and they are fighting uphill, it is tough. You can’t fight back and be even with them. You have to fight back and kind of take a big lead and we could never quite pull away. ”

“I think we are slowly making progress. Defensively, we still get stagnant at times and we get lost, but I think the third quarter was probably one of the best quarters we have had defensively this season. When you see signs of things that we have been working on, it is encouraging. But, we still have to keep working until that is done every single time, not just one quarter. So we will go home over the break and watch film and evaluate. And like we said, if some things need to be tweaked and changed, we will do that.”

(On Kobe Bryant) “I think Kobe is smart. He is one of the greatest ever and I think he knows what mode he is in. And I think he realizes when he needs to be aggressive and when he doesn’t. You just always have to be aware of him and we never take it for granted when he is on the floor. We are going to know where he is and we are going to close out to him just as if he was going for 30. But, obviously he knew how he wanted to play the game tonight and they beat us.”

(On Metta World Peace’s defense) “He is great. When he can get his body into people, he is still one of the best. He really wreaked some havoc for us tonight and came up with some key steals at some key times in the game.”


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Suns Forward Michael Beasley

(On the team being able to contain Kobe Bryant) “I wouldn’t go that far to say we held him down. He’s a great player, but we definitely did what we wanted to do as far as our assignments; we just didn’t finish.”

(On tonight's loss) “It’s real frustrating. We have to look forward to the next game and try not to make the same mistakes. I think our defense really hurt us tonight, except for the third quarter. In the third quarter I felt like we played great defense. We held them to nine points or something like that. Other than that, the first half and the fourth quarter they got whatever they wanted and our defense just wasn’t where they were supposed to be. We just have to work hard and look forward.”

(On the team’s play under head coach Lindsey Hunter) “We’ve come around a lot, especially on the defensive side. That’s what we wanted to do; play defense with passion, play hard, and let our defense turn into offense. It’s definitely turning around and we’re heading in the right direction.”


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Suns Forward Jared Dudley

(On tonight's loss) “We get so close, and play so well in the third quarter and figure it out. Then we went away from it in the fourth quarter for some reason. Kobe [Bryant] has four points and eight or nine turnovers and they win the game, and we didn’t even have a chance to win the game. The third quarter was encouraging and I thought the best we’ve played in a long time. We did everything right in that quarter, but overall they executed their game plan. Kobe [Bryant] wanted to be a facilitator and he was a facilitator. Antawn Jamison was the “X factor,” he got a lot of offensive rebounds and easy buckets, and when you do that to role players it gets them going.”

(On the fourth quarter) “I thought we just got away from what we were doing. Before, we were getting defensive stops, we were running, we were sharing the ball and getting quality shots. We just didn’t get that. We started not running on the break, we started doing half court sets and taking bad contested shots, and when that happens, that’s how they end up propelling themselves and getting the lead.”


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Suns Forward P.J. Tucker

(On the fourth quarter) “That’s just the story of our team this year, just not being able to come up with the victory in the end. We had some help side miscommunications, they made some tough shots, and Steve [Nash] made a couple tough ones. But, like I said it’s just the story of our team this season. Just not being able to close the game out and being able to be in a position to win the game. It’s just something we have to keep trying to get better at.”

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Lakers Head Coach Mike DAntoni

(On the game and the team’s energy) “When you come off the road it’s one of those things. The energy went out. It was out of the building, but because of us. Our energy went away and that’s why it’s a tough game anyway and we were up 12 points and we messed with the game and we don’t just take the easy stuff and we try to pinpoint everything. We’re just still struggling on just playing, just play and whoever gets it gets it. It’s not a chess match out there and you can’t mess with the game, you got to play the game and we messed with it today. We got lucky and get to the next game, but it’s lucky.”

(On Kobe Bryant’s struggles) “I guess every seventeen years he’s allowed that. I wouldn’t be too tough on him. It was just one of those nights. He was trying too hard to get everybody else involved. You got to walk the fine line and he’s way over the other line and he’s got to get back in the middle where he facilitates and he’s aggressive. He’s got to flow that way, and then once you get out of rhythm then at the end of the game you have no chance to get back in rhythm. So it’s just one of those games. Just chalk it off and write it off and get to the next one.”

(Dwight Howard and Steve Nash playing together) “It was good. Obviously when you get 19 [points] and 18 [rebounds] and a big presence underneath the rim it’s good and it should be that way all the time. I think that if he were to get with Steve [Nash] and they can get that going a little bit, get some easy buckets. I thought Steve controlled the game pretty well down toward the end so it was some better stuff, not great yet, but a lot better.

(On the team struggling to string together good games) “We just for whatever reason struggle playing the game and just getting the chemistry right and getting guys comfortable and just taking what’s there and there’s so much going on, ‘you got to do this, you got to do that’ we’re way overthinking the game. We just need to play harder, play better and just move the ball and it’s pretty simple stuff but you’re right. The string, we probably got up to five [well played games in a row] and then we fell off and then we go into a tailspin and then we get it up to three and then we fall off again and we got to quit that.”

(On moving forward) “We won 8 out of the last 11, I don’t know just keep on going, we just got to keep going, and we’ll be ready Thursday. We know the Clippers and how good they are, but again just every once in a while we have these nights where we can’t figure out who to make happy and it’s just tough, tough to go.”


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Lakers Guard Steve Nash

(On what decided the end result) “I thought we got a good contribution from the bench. In the third quarter got out of a rhythm offensively. We were not only not getting good shots but giving up fast-break points, we kind of lost control of the game. The bench came in and did a good job and in the fourth quarter we just got back to a little more movement, broke the defense down, got some good shots, also got some offensive rebounds and I thought that was key.”

(On Dwight’s performance tonight) “I thought Dwight was great. I don’t always feel like the numbers tell a story with Dwight. I think he is capable of huge numbers. I think the numbers tonight, and I don’t even know if the numbers tonight were huge for him he’s so capable, but his impact is huge regardless of the numbers. He could have had 12 and 10 today and he would have had a big impact just because he put a lot into the game. Defensively he was a huge presence. Offensively I thought he put energy into the game.”


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Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant

(On tonight being a frustrating night) “I thought it was great actually. I think obviously going 1 for 8 isn’t necessarily a recipe for success but I think that the important thing is that we just moved the ball. Just moving, it’s not about us individually it’s just about what we can do to help the team.”

(On making a conscious effort not to shoot) “I’ve been doing that since January, just trying to make the right play to keep everybody involved. They took away my post-ups they wanted to see if the other guys could beat us or maybe if I’d get frustrated and start forcing things a little bit. It just took the double teams and we just have to try to make the right play.”


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Lakers Center Dwight Howard

(On how they pulled out in the fourth quarter) “Play defense, get rebounds. We did a good job of that at the end of the game, and that’s how we got the win.”

(On his shot blocking and rebounding) “I just try to do a good job of protecting the basket. Try to force them to take tough shots and that’s what we did, and I was able to get rebounds.”

(On their recent performances) “Our defense is getting a lot better, we’re sharing the ball, we just got to continue to do that.”


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