Lakers – Thunder Quotes

After L.A. used overtime to beat a plucky Oklahoma City squad on Tuesday night, Thunder head coach Scott Brooks was impressed with the physical play that L.A. began showing last season.

“They turned up the heat, he said. “They are a physical team. They don’t get enough credit for being a physical ball club but they are physical at a lot of positions. Derek is as strong and as tough as a point guard gets and Artest, Byum, Kobe and even Lamar.”

You can read about the game by linking to our running diary, and check out the rest of the quotes below:

LAKERS HEAD COACH PHIL JACKSON:
On tonight’s win:
“They hit some tough shots. Many things happened that kept the complexity of that game tight. They brought in (Etan) Thomas and he did a better job of high-siding and making it difficult to get the passes in. We didn’t go back in again until overtime. We just didn’t get back in the post very often and we needed to.”

On Kobe Bryant’s performance:
“I liked him sometimes and sometimes I didn’t like him. I think he was a little dehydrated when he ran off at the end and let (Thabo) Sefalosha have a wide open three. He made plays that he makes in ballgames. He got to the free-throw line and made some free-throws. He was able to control the game at the end.”

LAKERS CENTER ANDREW BYNUM:
On winning in overtime:
“We were able to get a couple of stops at the end of the game. After the first quarter we slowed down and didn’t stop them. They did a much better job defensively (after the first quarter). Etan (Thomas) did a great job tonight. We had a lot of turnovers tonight, especially down the stretch.”

On Kobe Bryant’s performance while playing sick:
“It doesn’t surprise me. That’s what he does. He does it all the time.”

LAKERS FORWARD LAMAR ODOM:
On air balling a free throw:
“I shot the first one a little too long and I told myself do everything I can not to shoot the second one long. It was a lack of concentration. There was no excuse for that. It has to at least touch the rim.”

On his clutch three-pointer in overtime:
“They were playing off of me in the corner to not allow Kobe to catch the ball in the post. That’s what got me open.”

On how they were able to come with a win:
“Persistence and just staying after it. We weren’t worrying about calls and things that didn’t go our way. We just make the game our way as the game went along.”

OKLAHOMA CITY’S HEAD COACH SCOTT BROOKS:
Opening statement:
“Well that was a heck of a ball game. Our guys really showed a lot of enthusiasm during the game and we fought back early when we were down and competed. You have to give the Lakers a lot of credit, they made a lot of great plays when they needed to and obviously we all know what Kobe is about, he makes great plays, winning basketball plays constantly.

On message to the team:
“I said we had a good effort. That’s four games in a row of good effort. I’m proud of the way our guys played. I’m not into close games, I understand we played against the defending champs but we are a good enough team because we battle, we fight and we are a team I am proud of. It’s fun to coach when we play with this type of heart and desire.”

On offense becoming stagnant in the last five minutes:
“They turned up the heat. They are a physical team. They don’t get enough credit for being a physical ball club but they are physical at a lot of positions. Derek is as strong and as tough as a point guard gets and Artest, Byum, Kobe and even Lamar. They turned it up and really put a lot of pressure on us. In the last six or seven minutes we really have to buckle down. We still have to figure that part of our game out.”

FORWARD KEVIN DURANT:
“They just made more shots than we did. It was poor offense. We just missed our shots. (Etan Thomas) came in and gave us a boost. He played some defense, blocked shots, rebounded and he just played a great game.”

FORWARD JEFF GREEN:
“We made plays when it counted. We continued to get great shots; they just didn’t fall at times. We’ll continue to get better. We fought. We were scrappy. We didn’t put our heads down and let the Lakers run us over. We just kept battling. We talked and communicated which led to us having the final possession.”

GUARD JAMES HARDEN:
“The last two games didn’t go our way but we still looked good out there. We’re still competing and getting after it on the defensive end which is a good thing. (Sefolosha) is a great defender. That’s why he’s starting and why he’s one of the best ‘2’ guards in the league.”