Postgame Quotes: Round 2, Game 2 vs Lakers

Thunder Quotes

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers

5/16/2012

 

OKLAHOMA CITY HEAD COACH SCOTT BROOKS:

 

Opening statement:

“I thought we played great defense throughout the game. We knew going in to this game that they (Lakers) were going to play much harder and play better basketball. They did a good job of really forcing their style of play, but we can play multiple ways. I thought our guys did a good job of really grinding it out. We had some key steals at the end. I thought Perk (Kendrick Perkins) was really good. Going in to today, not really sure he was going to play tonight. But like I said yesterday, the guy just gives everything he has to his team. You can never discount the heart of a champion and he has the heart of a champion. I’m proud of him to come back and play. He is banged up. He will never tell you that. He understands that in NBA basketball, you have to put yourself out there and help your team win, and he did that tonight.”

 

With four minutes left, Kevin took over defensive duties on Kobe. Is that something you asked him to do or did he do that on his own? How do you think he did?

“Kevin (Durant) has really improved as a two-way player and I think that is what over the last three years has taken our team to a different level and it takes his game to a different level. Because when he plays the defense, I mean he is guarding the best player in basketball. That guy (Kobe Bryant), he does amazing things – night in, night out, year in, year out. I coached him in the All Star game. The guy has such a competitive spirit that you have to deal with every possession. We have Thabo (Sefolosha), we have James (Harden) and we have Kevin (Durant), and it takes a team to stop him. But Kevin has length, he has foot quickness, and he has the ability to do a good job contesting and challenging shots. I thought he did that tonight. And we did that time and time in the last three or four years, but tonight it wasn’t the game plan going in to it. But there was a point in the game when I thought Kobe was really starting to feel it and I thought Kevin’s length could bother him.”

 

What were the magical words that you told the team when you were down seven and they went on the 9-0 run to close out the game?

“I wish it was my magical words, but all I told them was ‘Guys we are down seven, you don’t have to play perfect basketball but we are going to be pretty close. You have to be solid, you have to really get focused on the defensive end and we have to challenge one guy – really challenge the shot and getting rebounds.’ Then we got some steals. We got some breaks. But we earned those breaks by playing good defense. I mean, they (Lakers) are a good team. This is what the series is going to be about: a one- or two-possession game going forward.”

 

THUNDER FORWARD KEVIN DURANT:

 

Talk about your team’s fight down the stretch?

“Always fighting until the end, we were down by seven and playing tough.  Both teams were grinding it out.  Coach called a timeout and told us that we can do it and we made plays.  James was big getting to the rim first and made a huge play to get us the ball back and I was able to get a steal and a layup.  Just kept fighting. This team is tough on defense and on offense.  We kept pressing and kept our composure.”

 

Talk about switching on Kobe with about 4 minutes left and what was going through your mind:

“Late in the 4th, it was just time. Coach told me to switch out on him and I just tried to use my length a little bit and play hard.  He makes those tough shots and he missed some tonight.  But he is good in the 4th that no matter who is guarding him he is going to try and take a shot.  It’s all about playing hard. 

 

THUNDER GUARD RUSSELL WESTBROOK:

 

Talk about your team’s defense:

“Keeping bodies on them and just did a great job of just touching them and contesting all of their shots and made them tough.  We did a great job of rebounding and getting out on the breaks.”

 

 

How important was it to win both games at home:

“Very important, every game is different in the playoffs and tonight was definitely a different game, and like you said it was a grind out game and fortunately we came out with the win.”

 

THUNDER FORWARD SERGE IBAKA:

 

What kind of mental toughness did it take when you guys were down 7 with 2 ½ minutes to go in the last quarter?

“Just defending Metta (World Peace). Kevin (Durant) did a great job last minute and so did Thabo (Sefolosha) on Kobe (Bryant).”

 

On defensive effort of Serge and Kendrick Perkin on Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol:

“It was hard, especially when me and Perk were in foul trouble. We just kept fighting and fighting. Also, the guards did a great job to come help us.”

 

On the game’s physicality in the last quarter:

“They’re (Lakers) a great team. They can’t give everything easy. They were trying to prepare hard. But a good thing we did was we were just focused on working and fighting our way, and we did it.”

 

On controlling the Lakers style of game play:

“After the first game, we tried to play hard. That’s why. This is the playoffs. Nothing’s easy.”

 

THUNDER CENTER NICK COLLISON:

 

This game compared to the previous game:

“The Lakers played better. They did a good job of controlling the tempo and not letting us run. It was a difficult, physical game. I’m proud of our guys and proud of how our team played. It was a big win for us.”

 

Would it have been a demoralizing loss?

“It’s not demoralizing. Playoffs are tough. We try to win each game. If you do, you try to win the next one. If you don’t, you still try to win the next one. That’s our mindset – we try to play for the next game. It’s good to get a win anytime during the playoffs. Now we’re going to try and win game three.”

 

On being down seven then making the comeback:

“We got stops and made plays on the other end. So, I think it’s a sign of us maturing a little bit. We’ve had stretches the last few years where we have given in during those situations but we were able to make plans tonight.”

 

How tough was the second half with the slower tempo?

“They defended us well. They didn’t’ give us anything easy. We struggled offensively. Defensively we got stops – they (Lakers) hit buckets but we’re happy with our defense. But, happy for the most part about keeping them off the board. But they’re a good team and they’re going to make it tough on us.”

 

How important was it to play to the Lakers style to get the win?

“Yeah we feel like we play an up-tempo game or a slow down, physical game. To be all the way in both ways is big. We’ll try to play better in game three.”

 

On the defense against Kobe Bryant:

“Like I said, I think we defended pretty well for the majority of the game. He had it going for a while because he’s a really good scorer obviously. But I thought we guarded him well. We have guys that are capable of defending the perimeter. Also, we have been executing our game plan so far this series.”

 

Lakers Quotes

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Lakers

5/16/2012

 

LAKERS HEAD COACH MIKE BROWN:

 

Opening Statement:

“Obviously a pretty good game. Both teams I thought brought it. I thought we did a great job throughout the game, just not the last two minutes. We came out the last two minutes and did not do a good job offensively and defensively, that was the difference in the ballgame. It is still a series, they did what they were supposed to do, they protected their home court, they got two wins, now we have to do the same but I feel like there is a lot of basketball left in our team.”

 

Thoughts about tonight’s defense:

“We were better, we made some adjustments. We talked about playing more physical and protecting one another and that is what our guys did and it gave us a chance to win on the road. Our guys fought, I have to give them credit for that.”

 

Talk about the mood in the locker room right now after the game:

“It is not good. I do not think anybody is happy in there. We felt like we let one slip away, and you give Oklahoma City credit they continued to fight.  They didn’t get down, KD (Kevin Durant) hit a couple big shots. Give those guys (the Thunder) credit but right now it is a tough loss, but we will regroup and be ready to go on Friday.”

 

Talk about Kevin Durant’s play in the final minutes:

“He is a great player and that is what great players do.  He had a great game, especially the last two minutes of the game.  Defensively and offensively I thought he was huge for them.  He had a big shot and big steal and a great presence down the stretch for them.”

 

Was the last play designed for Kobe?

“If you go back and watch, we set a flare screen for Kobe because Sefolosha gapped it last time, so we set a flare and Kobe was wide open on the back side but we told Metta [World Peace] where other guys will be just in case Kobe was not open and I think Metta saw Steve [Blake]. Steve was open and he passed it to him.”

Do you see the Thunder maturing?

“Yeah, they are a very good team.  They have been together for quite awhile now.  Scott Brooks has done a great job.  He’s been with the team for four years now.  Every year and every time they step on the floor they are going to get better.  They are very good team.”

 

LOS ANGELES LAKERS GUARD KOBE BRYANT:

 

On the play with 5 seconds left – shot taken by Steve Blake:

“I don’t know what Metta {World Peace} saw. Once I turned around, I just saw the ball in the air, and at that point I tried to get in a good position to get a rebound.”

 

On the Thunder getting a win in the end:

“It’s a tough loss but the biggest thing for us was that we found some things out defensively that we feel we can do that’s effective. They did a great job. It was a great comeback by them in the last two minutes. They got themselves a gritty win. Now it’s up to us to go back home and defend our home court.”

 

Challenge of Thunder’s defense:

“Those last few minutes they just made gambles. They jumped into the passing lane, that’s not something we’re accustomed to seeing. It was just flat out risk defensively; jumping in the passing lane to get the ball. Durant did it and got a steal. Westbrook did it and caused a turnover. It was unconventional but we’ll make our adjustments for game three.”

 

LAKERS CENTER ANDREW BYNUM:

 

On the final two minutes:

“Man that was crazy. We’re better than Santa Claus, we like giving out gifts. We give out games, contracts and rings. We had three turnovers. We were up seven and [the Thunder] went on a nine-oh run.”

 

On Kobe missing the last shot and having turnovers down the stretch:

“It was tough. We played a perfect game, but I think that all of us could have made more shots. It’s tough.”

 

LAKERS FORWARD METTA WORLD PEACE:

 

On Kobe having turnovers down the stretch:

“You know, it happens, nothing’s perfect. Obviously we don’t like to turn the ball over late. If one person turns the ball over, we all turn the ball over.”