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May 17, 2011

Kevin Durant


Dallas Mavericks – 121
Oklahoma City Thunder - 112

Q. Kevin, so much of this game's deciding factor was getting to the line, not getting to the line. How hard is it when both teams shoot so many free throws to get any momentum?
KEVIN DURANT: It is hard but both teams are very aggressive on the offensive end. Those guys did a great job of putting pressure on us. You know, of course you get on the free-throw line, it stops play. You might be on a run, it'll stop your run. But that's part of the game. You've got to play through it. We've got to come with a better effort next game. I think we were down 14, but we fought back and made it a game. We've just got to keep pushing and stay positive and get ready for Game 2.

Q. Your coach said that your offense was plenty good enough, it was the defense, especially maybe on guys like Terry and Barea. Talk about the defensive effort and how you guys have to improve there.
KEVIN DURANT: We have to do a better job of helping each other out. The pick-and-roll was something they did well tonight. Barea got into the lane a few times tonight. We just have to correct that. And with Dirk, we've just got to -- can't put a jump shooter on the line 24 times. We've got to play a little smarter than that, and that starts with me, Russell, everybody. We've got to help each other out, man. That's a big thing.

Q. Specifically what makes Dirk so difficult to guard?
KEVIN DURANT: He's a seven-foot jump shooter. He shoots one-legged fadeaways.

Q. It's that simple?

Q. You weren't the first guy to attempt to stop him, but you seemed to get real frustrated with it. Tell us how the helpless feeling was or what it was feeling like when you were on him?
KEVIN DURANT: I was trying to play physical, trying to knock the ball out of his hands a few times. I got two fouls and I guess I've got to play a little smarter. He's a strong guy, he's a tough guy to guard, but I think you can make it with that, just playing hard, and that's what I tried to do. It's just he got to the free-throw line.

Q. Coach had talked earlier about Russell's performance and everything, but my question to you is about your other teammates stepping up and helping you out.
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, you know, I could bet my whole house that Russell Westbrook won't go 3 for 15 again. You can quote me on that. I think James Harden is going to give us a bigger push next game, guys like Daequan going to come out and help us out, as well. I have a lot of faith in my teammates, I believe in them, and no matter if they miss ten shots in a row I'm still going to pass them the ball, still going to have trust in them. We've got to lean on each other. One guy can't win the series; two guys can't win the series; we've got to stick together.

Q. Is there any consolation in the fact that Dirk does have a night like he did and you guys don't get blown out in the end?
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah. We were still in the game, like I said. We were down big in the fourth but we still made it a game, two-possession game with about four minutes left. They made more plays than we did. But like I said, we've just got to keep pushing, play a little harder and just correct some mistakes, and that's what film is for tomorrow. It's a series. You know, you don't win a series just on one game, so it's a long series, we've got to keep pushing.

Q. Their bench scored 53 points. Can you talk about making sure to limit what those guys do if Dirk is going to score 30 plus?
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, that's one thing we have to correct. They do a great job of spacing the floor with the shooters that they have. But we've got to do a better job on the pick-and-roll, help each other out a little bit more, but that's what film is for. I think tomorrow once we watch what we did we'll come back better the next game. It's going to be a tough challenge for us, but it's something that we can handle.

Q. Your two fouls on Dirk in the third looked like they were just hand checks. Did you feel like you earned your fouls on Dirk, and how do you make adjustments to either earn those fouls or not foul him?
KEVIN DURANT: It's frustrating. After playing a physical series with Memphis, that's kind of what we were used to, so I think we were a little bit too physical with them and something we've got to make adjustments on. We've got to be smarter. But you know, it's a learning experience, especially this first game, just feeling him out to see how he's going to play. Hopefully make better adjustments next game and go from there.

Q. After that seven-game series with Memphis on Sunday, was there any fatigue at all for you guys?
KEVIN DURANT: What you think?

Q. I'm asking you.
KEVIN DURANT: No, I don't think so.

Q. Is there any value in sizing up Dallas? You hadn't played them since early January, you played the seven-game series against Memphis. Was there some adjustments just to get used to a different opponent and one you haven't seen for a while?
KEVIN DURANT: No, we're professionals. Our coaching staff gets us prepared every day. We have one of the best coaching staffs in the league. Got to make that adjustment. It's always quick turnarounds in this league. We knew that, once we knew we were playing a Game 7 against Memphis, so we can't make excuses.

Q. What kind of impact does it have on guys like Serge, yourself, Thabo, when they pick up foul after foul after foul on Dirk Nowitzki and he doesn't miss a shot?
KEVIN DURANT: It's frustrating, but we have to keep our composure. We've got to continue to play our game. Like I said, we have to make adjustments, but we can't get discouraged. He's a good player, he's going to make shots, he's going to make off-balance shots with a hand in his face, but we can't get discouraged, we've got to keep sticking with our concepts and go from there. And I think that next game it'll be a little different.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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