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June 13, 2006

Shaquille O'Neal


Q. Take us through the fourth quarter, and also, talk about the big free throws that you hit late in the game.
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Well, you know, we got into sort of a hole. We still made a lot of silly mistakes. But, you know, we never gave up. We just kept playing, showed a lot of heart, a lot of intensity. D-Wade played big. I hit a couple free throws. Gary hit a big shot and we were able to win this game tonight.

Q. You were down 13-4 and a half to go, did you feel like the season was slipping away and what did you say to get the comeback going?
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Well Pat just said to stop making silly mistakes and just hang in there and tighten that defense up a little bit, and that's what we did.
We had a nine, 10-point lead in the second, third quarter and we just basically made a lot, a lot of silly plays and they just got right back into the game.
The last six, seven minutes, we played pretty good basketball. So hopefully we can gain momentum and just try to win a game on Thursday.

Q. What was going on with 1:48 left? You're down five, everybody knows foul shots have been an issue; what's going through your mind at that point?

Q. Was there anything else other than that? You talked a little bit in the post game about how you changed your routine, technique a little bit?
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I just went back to the way I used to shoot when I was a youngster, when I was a good player. (Laughter).

Q. What impressed you most about what Dwyane did tonight and what did you say or he say to you during that run?
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: Just, you know, played good ball, kept everybody involved, took the higher percentage shots. Basically, you know, took over the game the last five, six minutes. That's what a great player of his caliber does.

Q. What did you guys say to each other in that time? Did you offer him any encouragement? Did he say anything to you?
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: No. He's the type of player that, you know, you just let him go and let him do his thing.

Q. Can you talk about, you bought some video apparently of free throws with --
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: No. I just went back to the way I used to shoot it when I was in high school. I got in trouble, say, about '94, '95, just by listening to people. And I was just trying to, you know, do things different. There's a whole saying that if you do things different, then it won't be good.
So I just went back to the way I used to shoot it when I was little and a youngster. Believe it or not, I used to have a pretty good percentage when I was a good player.

Q. Were you frustrated after the last game? Can you just talk about your feelings and what you brought into this game based on that performance?
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: I didn't talk and I got fined. I didn't deserve to talk. So I took the fine. You know, it was just one of those -- you know, one of those games that, you know, took it on myself. So came home, you know, did some thinking and played with the children and, you know, was really, really wanting to play well this game.
And now just go through the same routine tomorrow and try to have another good one on Thursday.

Q. How do you guys take advantage of this momentum now that you've won this game in dramatic fashion?
SHAQUILLE O'NEAL: We've just got to play a little bit smarter and, you know, just actually take care of the basketball. I felt we had way too many turnovers. I know I had seven turnovers myself. A couple of them was three-second calls. We've just got to keep taking care of the ball and keep playing smart.

End of FastScripts...

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