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May 19, 2011

Rick Carlisle


Oklahoma City Thunder – 106
Dallas Mavericks - 100

Q. Did you guys have any sort of problems getting Dirk the ball tonight? Did he get enough touches?
RICK CARLISLE: Yeah. I thought he got enough touches. Look, the problem tonight, other than the beginning of the game where we got off to a really terrific start, after that period they got us -- they attacked us. They got us back on our heels, and I don't know. I don't remember a game in three years we've won when we give up 56 percent field goal shooting. The defensive end is what we've got to solve and do better at.
You know, scoring 100 points in a playoff game should be enough to win, but not if you're giving up 106 or 112. It's just too much. You've got to give them credit. They played an attacking, desperate-type game. They kept coming. They did not get discouraged. Their bench was dominant when they played.
We have got to do a better job at the defensive end, and again, I don't know the loose ball count. They got 13 out of 20 the last game, and I'm sure they got us tonight for a lot more than we got. So those are areas where I know we can improve.

Q. Can you talk about the decision of playing DeShawn Stevenson in the fourth quarter instead of using Peja or J.J.?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, Stevenson is doing the best job on Durant of just staying in his stance and just making it tough on him, so that was the reason.
I love the way he's battling. I love the way J-Kidd is battling out there in some situations. We're doing some switching and getting some tough match-ups, and that's the way you've got to play. We've got to all battle for the entire game.

Q. On the defensive end, I mean, Game 1 you got away with it, but did you think the layoff had anything to do with it, or where did this thing go? Do you have any ideas or any clues on where this thing went south?
RICK CARLISLE: I'm not going to make any excuse about a layoff that was like light years ago now by NBA standards. That ended three and a half days ago. We're not going to make that excuse. I mean, hey, sometimes you get your butt kicked. You've got to take it like a man, and hey, we've got to respond.

Q. Late first, early second they scored on ten straight trips, really seemed to turn the game around.
RICK CARLISLE: I would agree with that, yes. I thought it turned the game around in a big way. And our substitution patterns, rotation, we're going to have to look at a little bit. You know, our zone was okay in the first game, and tonight it really struggled. Look, credit them for attacking it well.
But you know, my sense is that when we look at the film, what we're going to find is the reason that they hit some really difficult shots -- I mean, Harden hit some great shots. Durant is going to make some of those shots. Westbrook got going. The reason those guys were able to get going was because early in the game we kind of allowed them to get going, and that's an area where we could improve. And again, I would give them credit for how they played. They played well.

Q. You're a team that finishes strong, something that's a pride for you, did it consistently in the last series. Why were they able to outplay you in the fourth quarter using the lineup with Durant?
RICK CARLISLE: They just played well, and we got in a situation where we got down ten, which was tough, and we really were at a point where with three minutes, we had to kind of pitch a shut-out to give ourselves a chance. Then we went on a 4-0 run, then we had a tough turnover on a play, and then it was really tough after that.
You know, a seven-game series is long. I mean, a lot of things go on, a lot of emotions going on. You know, when you win, you feel jubilant, and when you lose, I mean, it's really tough.

Q. Game 1 your bench really played well. Tonight it's totally reversed, and they took away Jason Terry and J.J. from you. What did they do against those guys?
RICK CARLISLE: They were just more aggressive. They were more aggressive defensively, and they attacked harder offensively. They took it personally, and they responded well. And now we're going to have to respond.

Q. This is your first home loss in the Playoffs. Does that change y'all's mentality at all going to Oklahoma City?
RICK CARLISLE: Does it change our mentality? Well, look, we're a team that was a good road team during the regular season. We've won some road games in the Playoffs. But we know that doesn't guarantee anything. We've got to play and do it between the lines. I mean, and right now, we've got to rebound better. We've got to win the 50/50 ball battle, which I think we're behind in. Again, I don't know the count from tonight. But, look, our guys have a belief in each other. This is tough. This is disappointing. But these kinds of adversities come when the stakes are this high.
We've got to circle the wagons tomorrow, look at this, adjust where we need to adjust, and we're going to have to play better.

Q. Could you talk about James Harden and Eric Maynor specifically, and did their level of play tonight surprise you at all?
RICK CARLISLE: No, I don't -- look, everybody on that team has gotten a lot of experience the last two years, and these guys have played in a lot of important games, regular season and playoff. And they're a competitive group of guys, you know. You've got to respect the way they came at us. I'm disappointed with how we played, but you know, they deserve credit.

Q. Talk about your decision to sit Dirk in the third quarter, and did that set you up the way you intended heading into the fourth quarter?
RICK CARLISLE: Well, Dirk played 40 minutes and three seconds, so we can't play him the whole game. We have a rotation that we've altered a little bit in the Playoffs, but he's not going to be effective unless he gets a couple, two or three-minute blows per half. We have a lot of trust and belief in those other guys that fill in in those situations. We've played a lot of good basketball with him sitting down. In fact, at times we've gotten leads or extended leads.
You know, that's the reasoning, and going forward, we're a team. I mean, we're the kind of group that's really got to function together, regardless of who's in there, and you know, going forward we're just going to have to tighten things up.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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