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June 8, 2004

Shaquille O'Neal


Q. Do you think Campbell is able to keep up with you because he used to play with you?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Not really. He's a big body but I still can get my way. You know, tonight I just missed a couple cheapies that I don't usually miss. It was a well-played game. I still think, I know we can play a whole lot better, and a another great shot by Kobe to get us back in it.

Q. How do you guys don't lose confidence? It seems that doesn't matter, you're down by six, under a minute to play, even your going to the foul line and making the shot; mentally, can you talk about this team?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Because we've been through a lot together and we've been in situations like this before. We know that a minute left, anything could happen. I got fouled and I think the free throw, I told the guys that we needed to stop and we've got to stop it and Kobe came down and hit a great shot.

Q. You've praised Luke Walton great all season. Talk about his performance tonight?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: He's a great guy, rookie. It amazes me how he can give me the ball and guys that have been playing with me four, five, six years can't give me the ball. (Laughter). Great guy. He got it about six, seven times to me. He's going to be a great player, a great player.

Q. You guys still had trouble with the screen-and-roll, you guys still have trouble with the screen-and-roll tonight, what can you guys do as far as the adjustments where they are not giving you that kind of trouble?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: They are a very, very unselfish team. If we show them they step back and jump up again, this isn't something that we haven't seen before. In the first series against Houston, that's all they did was run screen-and-roll. We just have to adjust. We just have to play better and we just have to play our game. It seems that, you know we played kind of uptight first three, four quarters, but once we got the opportunity to get another five minutes, then we looked more like ourselves. So hopefully this can carry us over into Game 3.

Q. They got your attention the other night tonight, what do you look for in Game 3 and how pivotal is Game 3?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Game 3 is going to be a very important game at their place. They play very well. It's going to be loud in that arena. But, I still like our chances. You know, we just have to go play our game. This is nothing to do with us, we've won on the road many, many times and we know how to get it done. We just have to play our game, and if we do that, we should be fine. If we don't do that, then it will probably be a long night.

Q. After Game 1, you said Game 2 was a must, is there a sigh of relief now?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Not really a sigh of relief because, you know, we still didn't play our caliber of basketball. We had another horrible third quarter, gave them too many turnovers. We gave them too many offensive rebounds. So, I know we can play a whole lot better.

Q. How hurt is Karl Malone? He looked like he was really struggling out there. And it looked like you got tired in the second half.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I haven't talked to him. I was tired because I took 200 sleeping pills yesterday. (Laughter). (Frowning) what kind of question is that? (Laughter). You know, I'm more beat up than tired. I never really get tired. I just get kind of beat up from getting banged.

Q. Compared to the first game, at the end of the first quarter, the coach sat you down and gave you some rest, a couple minutes into the second quarter, he didn't do that this time; that's what I meant.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Okay. So, I'm human then. (Laughter). At least you know I'm not smoking crack. (Laughter). But I was a little bit beat up, banged up tonight because you know I'm injured with four guys up there. Yeah, I was tired. Hell, yeah, I'm tired. Tired of you. (Laughter).

End of FastScripts...

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