Post-Game Quotes: Thunder vs Mavericks Game 2

Thunder Quotes

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks





Opening Statement:

“That was a physical, intense, hard fought playoff basketball game.  I’m proud of our guys and the way that they battled from the very start of the game.  Dirk is the most amazing player I’ve seen.  His ability to make shots and drive—you can’t say enough great things about him.  We just stayed with it.  We did a little bit better job in the second half guarding him.  I thought we hung together and we fought.  When we were up 16, I thought we missed either three of four wide open threes and then they got hot and they made some shots and came out the second half and it was just a fight.”


On the mental toughness in the last few possessions:

“That’s what Dallas does.  They challenge you.  Not only in their physical play because you have to chase, you have to fight through every screen and you have to always stay with it; but mentally they challenge you.  That’s a very well-coached, experienced team.  They know how to play basketball and they’ve done it for a lot of years at a high level. They’ve been through some tough times.  Mentally, they challenge you.  They seem to always make that extra pass.  They know all the offensive wrinkles that you have to create for yourself.  They’re a good team.  We just have to fight through everything they throw at us.”


On the defense at the end of the game:

“The last shot, I though Thabo did a good job of contesting.  They got the offensive rebound, and we did another good job of contesting.  We got lucky when Dirk had a wide open three that would have put them up four with about fifty seconds.  They ran a great play but Thabo did a good job of contesting.  Perk’s free throws were huge.  James’ and Kevin’s free throws were huge and they stepped up.”


On Russell Westbrook’s development:

“There’s no question that Russell has developed from the day we drafted him through his hard effort and commitment that he puts in to the team. We’re seeing it in front of our eyes.  He’s four years in this league and a two time all star at 23 years old.  He’s still going to challenge himself to get better.  He and the rest of the guys, they’re not mistake free.  They all make mistakes, but Russell’s mistakes are always with a pure heart.  He plays with his emotions, with a lot of passion and enthusiasm.  He’s improved a lot and I talk to him constantly and he knows that he has to keep getting better.   He’s not a finished product.”


On Russell being a mismatch for the Dallas Mavericks:
“Dallas is a good defensive team.  They throw a lot of different things at you.  They throw a man-to-man and they play their zone.  They kind of confuse you at all.  We don’t look at it like a mismatch that way, we look at it as our team versus their team.  We have to figure out a way to score more than they do.”




On tonight’s win:

“It was big. A lot of guys stepped up tonight, especially on the defensive end. We got defensive rebounds, getting lose balls and that is what the playoffs are about, toughness.”


Ob his approach to the game:

“ My job is to stay aggressive and to try to find a way to help my team win, get other guys involved and try to win.”




The key tonight:

I think we did a great of helping each other out. They have great scorers, but I think we played well on the defensive end to finish the game off…I missed some shots that of course I would love to make, but I have faith in myself and faith in my hard work and I am always going to stay positive. I will continue to work hard like I always do and hopefully I knock some down.”


On Derek Fisher:

“Derek did a great job of giving us that spark off the bench, knocking down shots, playing tremendous defense and playing hard. That is what we expect from him every single night.”


On physical play:

“We knew these guys were going to play physical, they are a physical team. The refs did a great job of letting us play. We just have to continue to take that punch from them and do a great job of sticking together. Games like these in the playoffs are going to get chipy.”




On tonight being another battle:

“It’s going to be a good series. Teams are going to go on runs. Obviously they have been here last year so they know what it takes. We’ve made it pretty far, so we know what it takes. It’s going to be a battle.”


On this being a battle back and forth:

“Well they are a great team. We knew they were going to make a run obviously…We turned the ball over and gave up some easy shots and they made their run. So we just controlled ourselves and stayed humble and did what we were supposed to do.”




On the game:

“It wasn’t pretty, but for us to get wins like that is big. Dallas is really good and they make you pay for mistakes; they definitely did tonight. We’re just happy to get a win. We’d like to play better. We’d like our offense to get better down the stretch. Those are things we’re just going to have to keep working at and keep trying to defense and make their scores tough.”



Mavericks Quotes

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Dallas Mavericks





Frustration level after not being able to close out the last two games:

“We just haven’t made enough plays. It’s tough. There’s no question about it. They’ve made one more play than we have in both games and that’s how playoff basketball is. As my good friend Ron Washington would say, ‘That’s how baseball goes sometimes.’ You have to give them credit for what they’re doing. We can’t dig ourselves into a 16-point hole in the first half – that’s something that’s tough. I loved the way we fought back – it was great. The guys hung in and kept their poise. They held serve and we have to go home and hold serve.”


On the Thunder’s final possession:

“I looked at the film and I guess it would be up for debate. I only saw one angle of it. It was a tough play. He (Jason Terry) was trying to make a play on the ball and Durant sold it. He did a good job of selling it. So he went to the free throw line – that’s a tough play. That’s all I can say.”


On how to slow down Russell Westbrook:

“He’s playing great. We start off the game double teaming him. He split us, broke us down, and got to the rim. It has been tough. He has been hitting shots. We have done a decent job about keeping him out of the paint but he’s stroking it. We are going to have to go back to the drawing board and cook something else up. Look, it’s two games – they do what they’re supposed to do and now we have to do what we have to do.”




What happened between you and Kendrick Perkins?

“Well it’s just two teams playing hard. I think they really came out early and we had to respond to it. That’s really it. I think the play was nothing. We talked a bunch of stuff and moved on, so it’s just two teams going at it.”


What is your frustration when you have had the lead with two minutes left and haven’t closed it out?

“It is tough. I mean all four games we have played here, two in the regular season and two in playoffs. We were really just a couple of bounces away from being up 2-0. So it’s tough and frustrating but we are going to keep coming. We aren’t going to lay down. We are going to make them earn it.”


Even though it’s two close losses, do you take anything away going back to Dallas?

“We have to close the games better in a home crowd that will carry us through.  Get a win on Thursday; the next game is the one we need to get. We have got to do better down stretch.”




Thoughts on the fourth-quarter struggles:

“Just look at the final score; it was one-possession game. It is going to be like this the whole series. We will go home and see what happens. Every game is going to be tough.”


What can you do better down the stretch?

“We just have to close out better.  We are putting ourselves in position, but we are just not sealing the deal.  Give them credit, they are getting the stops.  We just need to do better at closing out games.”


Is this starting to become a rivalry?

“It has become a rivalry, but what does that mean? It means nothing to me; I am just out there playing basketball.”


What was said when the deficit hit 16 early in the first half?

“Nothing, we just kept playing.  This is playoff basketball, no lead is safe.  Again, we did a good job at fighting back, but we are going back home and again we will see what happens.”




On the last two minutes of Game’s 1 and 2:

“[Laughs]. There’s some interesting things going on. It’s just tight, serious. It’s going down to the last possession. Unfortunately for us, we didn’t catch a break. We had the ball in our hands again and, unfortunately, we didn’t get a break.”