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September 15, 2005

Taj McWillaims-Franklin


Q. I think you had five rebounds in the overtime, I mean, what was going on in your mind when you went back into that overtime? Because there were stretches today when you weren't playing your best, and then there you are, you take over.

TAJ MCWILLIAMS-FRANKLIN: Well, Coach Thibault makes us practice a lot of hours, and at the end of practices, we have to play five minutes, no running clock, no fouls, no plays called, up and down. And in overtime, that's why we do it, so we can be prepared for overtime situations. But Coach Hawk, our post coach, always says, "Get to every rebound. You be the one to get to every rebound." And I wanted to make sure. You know, they are great leapers, I haven't jumped that high since -- hmm, I don't know if I've ever jumped that high. So I just wanted to make sure I got my hand on a few. I think Brunson got one, and I got the rest. I wasn't scoring, clearly. I missed a couple of good shots there in the regulation, so I wanted to do something else to help the team.

Q. 24 points --

TAJ MCWILLIAMS-FRANKLIN: Yeah, okay. (Laughing). I wasn't scoring a lot in the regulation.

Q. The other team failed to score in the overtime period and I was wondering if the momentum of the three-pointer helped to instill that?

TAJ MCWILLIAMS-FRANKLIN: I think that momentum took them out a little bit. I think they were tired, also. They played a great game yesterday, and it's a back-to-back. We play better on the second game of back-to-backs. Clearly we played better today. But I just think that for some reason, this is the second game in a row we come out in overtime and we're just more aggressive than we've ever been for the 40 minutes. And it's the same thing we did against Indiana in the Conference Finals. The overtime period, we just come out, we're hands, aggressive, on the ball, moving, rotating on defense. Because the air ball, two turnovers, missed shots, Brunson missed a layup. Maybe we only need to play in five-minute overtime increments so we get to 40 minutes to play better. But it's amazing. It's great to be out there.

Q. The series is now the best of three, are you getting a sense it may come down to the final possession?

TAJ MCWILLIAMS-FRANKLIN: I think so. I was seeing what the other media, Sacramento, is our team in a parallel universe. You're talking about two teams that are evenly matched. One will be playing in a hostile environment; one will be at home. Just like they did, they came in and stole one here. We've got to steal one there and we'll be back here in the fifth game. I really think it will come down, just like last night it came down to me passing the ball to Lindsay to send the game to overtime, just like tonight. It was a great game and it was fun to be out there and I hope it was fun for everybody to watch. But it was two great teams; they are the best in the West and we are the best in the East, and that's how it should be.

End of FastScripts...

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