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May 25, 2005

Shaquille O'Neal


Q. Usually you get scared when someone calls your house that late?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Yeah, you do, you do. But I just wanted to have him hear that before he went to bed. We usually go to bed pretty much around the same time. I was up, I was watching ESPN and he was taking a lot of heat, so I just wanted to call and I wanted my voice to be the last thing he heard before he went to sleep, just wanted to give him inspiration. He's been playing the best in the postseason. We played nine games and he let one slip away. I told him it happens to the best of them. I just wanted to tell him to take his time and let the game come to him.

Q. You looked real comfortable out there today. How did you feel?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I felt good. Zo is definitely playing well, playing hard, playing good defense, blocking shots. We had some slivers tonight, but we knew it wasn't going to be easy. We let the first one slip away, we didn't want to let this one slip away. Now we've just got to get up there and get number two, and we should be right back on track.

Q. You were very animated entering the fourth quarter after Stan broke the huddle. You had guys rally around you. What did you say to them?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I just told them "Keep it up, we're not going to let this one slip away. Just keep fighting, keep fighting." We had three great quarters, and third quarter we really didn't play well, and fourth quarter we kicked it up back and played good defense.

Q. Was there a time that Dwyane came up large? The fact that he did it so much in the fourth quarter, how big a deal was that?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: It's a great deal. He's a great player, he was doing great. We knew he was going to make some shots and was able to get the rebounds and was able to penetrate, and he's a very effective player. Some guys have to be ready to know when to shoot, me and Zo and Udonis, of course we've got to be ready. He played fabulously.

Q. Talk about playing with Zo.

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: It was great. He had my back a couple times. A couple times I couldn't get the rebound, so he was trying to -- Zo was there. He played with a lot of heart.

Q. Do you think we'll see more of that, Shaq and Zo?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Hopefully we'll see more of that rotation so we don't have to double as much and we're able to block more shots.

Q. Looking ahead to Game 3, what do you expect in Detroit?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Detroit is a very hard place to play. The fans are going to be very animated. We know what we have to do, just keep our composure and do what we're supposed to do. All we've got to do is go there and do it.

Q. Do you think the Wallace guys try to intimidate?

SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I'm only intimidated by one person... me.

End of FastScripts...

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