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May 22, 2008

Kevin Garnett

Paul Pierce


Q. The Big Three played great offensively, but what was it defensively that you guys weren't doing normally tonight?
PAUL PIERCE: I thought we were a step slower than we were in Game 1. I think they did a great job at getting the ball from strong side to weak side because we're a strong-side defense. So it was tough once they reversed the ball and made us rotate those guys. We were a step late and those guys knocked down shots.
Offensive rebounds really killed us late. We gave up some crucial offensive rebounds. I thought the difference in the game was just those little things. I thought Stuckey really gave us problems tonight. I think he was the X factor tonight in this game.

Q. Now that you guys are sort of now confronted with having to get one on the road, talk about going out and doing that.
KEVIN GARNETT: That's what it is, there's going to come a time where we've got to get one, and we've finally come upfront, you know, with that dilemma. We've got to find some way to win one on the road, and that's what it is.

Q. Paul, can you talk about the challenge of going on the road.
PAUL PIERCE: Definitely going to be a challenge for us being that we haven't won a road game, but I don't think it's really bothering us like psychologically. Like I said, I thought the last three road games that we played, we really played well but really came up on the short end of the stick. I can see this team growing defensively, especially on the road. I think we're going to put out a better effort. We have no choice now to get it done on the road, as well as take care of home. If we're going to win this series, we've got to protect the home for the rest of the series and try to get one on the road.

Q. Kevin, kind of the same question that Paul was asked earlier about the defense: Not just what was going on, but it's got to be bothersome for you especially, all you guys, they were getting big shots, scoring on the big possessions down the stretch and not able to get stops.
KEVIN GARNETT: Like Paul said, I thought we were a step slow in the rotations. I thought responsibility-wise we slipped a couple of times. Late in the fourth I thought McDyess, Rip got some big offensive rebounds. When it came down to hitting shots, they made their shots, we made ours, but at that point it was like running uphill in sand. Never could turn that corner.
I thought Ray had an excellent night. I think confidence-wise this is what he probably needed. I know Paul and myself kept encouraging him, so it was good to see him have a nice game tonight. I thought he was aggressive.
But when we needed stops, man, we just couldn't get that one stop to get over the hump.

Q. Can you guys talk about bench production tonight, or I guess lack thereof.
PAUL PIERCE: We don't really look at the game that way. I mean, if you look, starters played a lot of minutes tonight. You had a couple guys that played over 15 minutes. It's just everybody playing their role when they're in the game. They're going to have their good days and they're going to have their bad days, but by no means was that the difference in the game.
This is a team sport, and that's not the one thing we look at when we go back and look at the game. I mean, of course we'd like to play better, but that's the way the game goes. I don't think their bench played that well outside of Stuckey, so that's all right. We're going to have guys that are going to step up at different times throughout the series, but it's not a big concern for right now for us.

Q. Kevin, you're looking at that box score real close. Besides the score what's the biggest part of that piece of paper bothering you?
KEVIN GARNETT: That we shot 48 percent, obviously they shot 49 percent, we lost the game. I'm checking out turnovers and assists, small things, like Paul said, that added up. We had 12 turnovers. I think Doc told us that we had five assists at halftime, and that shows that the ball wasn't moving. So little small things that I'm just making notes mentally.
I'm looking at Chauncey shot 12 free throws. Nobody on our team had double-digit free throws. Little small things like that add up in a game like this, and this was a huge game, so that's what I'm looking at here.

Q. It's a big effect on you, you can't take your eyes off of it.
KEVIN GARNETT: This is my first time looking at the score sheet, so I try to at least let some of it be imprinted in my mind or whatever. I'm checking out turnovers and stuff, just small things, man. Like I said, offensive rebounding, we out-rebounded them, but when it came to stopping the defensive rebound, I think they made the bigger plays coming down the latter part of the game.

Q. Did you guys feel like you lost a little control of the series now, because before you just could win at home, no matter what happened on the road? Now you have to win on the road, where you've had your troubles? Do you feel like you've lost a little control of this series?
PAUL PIERCE: I don't feel that way at all. I'm confident about the first two games. If we can continue to play the offense the way it's been, it's been phenomenal the last couple games. We shot 48 and 50 percent in Game 1. If we can kind of continue that trend, step up a little bit on defense, I think we'll be fine. But like I said, definitely we have to do it on the road.

Q. Can you just talk about why their backcourt is so challenging in general as a team.
PAUL PIERCE: Well, I think they've over the last five years had the most underrated backcourt in all of basketball. You look at Chauncey and Rip Hamilton, I mean, combined I think they only played in like six All-Star games, which is kind of mind boggling, being that they've had so much success as a team.
But definitely they're the key to what they try to do out here. Chauncey sets the tone. Rip, he gets it going offensively, he's tough to stop. So that's got to be a focus of ours, especially going into Game 3, is to try to slow them down a little bit, because we weren't able to do that tonight.

End of FastScripts

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