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May 19, 2011

Kevin Durant


Oklahoma City Thunder – 106
Dallas Mavericks - 100

Q. Can you talk about the lineup that coach used in the fourth quarter, yourself and the four players off the bench and how he basically rode it all the way down the line?
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, we had a good start to the fourth quarter, and we got a good lead. We were playing great defense, and the type of -- you can't mess that chemistry up, and that's where Coach made a good decision by doing that. Eric Maynor and James Harden, Daequan Cook, they were unbelievable for us tonight, and Nick Collison as well just kept battling. I just tried to play off those guys. They really won the game for us. That's a big effort, so we're going to need that for the rest of the series.

Q. As starters, how much do you guys rely on your bench, especially on a night like this, and then they obviously carry the thing through?
KEVIN DURANT: Well, we know if we want to go as far as we want to go, we're going to need our bench. That's a big part of this league. Dallas has a great bench, so we want to kind of offset theirs and kind of give them a battle with Barea and Terry and those guys coming off the bench, they're pretty good. So we know our bench has to be as good or even better. Tonight was a perfect case of that. They came out and played hard, defense first and scored a lot of points.

Q. The numbers are overwhelming; if you lose the first two, then you really have trouble winning the series. What do you feel now? Is it a sense of relief? How do you feel leaving Dallas with a split?
KEVIN DURANT: I think we did our job. Of course we want to win every game, but coming in here to split is something -- in the Playoffs, that's what you want to do. But going back home doesn't guarantee us two wins, so we've got to come out with a mindset to try to take these games and go from there. We've got to take it a possession at a time, a game at a time. It should be fun back at our place.

Q. Is there something you guys can say or do to help Russell kind of work through some of the way that he's struggled a little bit, or do you just kind of let him work through it himself?
KEVIN DURANT: I don't think he struggled tonight. He just -- we went with a different lineup in the fourth. But he didn't struggle. When he was on the floor he played pretty well, I think.

Q. You think it was Eric Maynor playing well and not --
KEVIN DURANT: I think it was just the way the game was going. Eric had our whole group going and had the five guys on the floor all in sync and playing as one. We had a good lead, and with three or four minutes to go, you can't take those guys out.
Russell understands that. He's a perfect teammate. He was over there cheering everybody on, and from your leader that's what you'd like to see if he was on the bench.

Q. You scored 40 and lost and then scored 24 and won tonight. How important is it to have that point distribution?
KEVIN DURANT: That shows how crazy this game of basketball is. You know, you can score 40 points but lose but come out and kind of have it evenly matched and we win the game. It shows that guys don't have to have great games to win. It can be a team effort, and that's the type of group we are, everybody chipping in and helping us win around this time is what it takes. No matter who gets the most points, rebounds, minutes, it's about whatever it takes, and that what we did tonight.

Q. In the second half your transition defense improved over the first half. It seemed they had a lot of leak-outs and run-outs in that first half. Is that something you guys discussed to make a concerted effort to get back on D or was it just a lack of hustle in the first half?
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, we could have picked up our energy a little bit more. I think with a good team like this, you give them easy points like that, the basket starts to get wider and wider, and they start to make those threes and that's when they go on run. So we tried to stop that in the second half, and I think we did a better job.
Tyson Chandler is so good running the floor so we had to account for him, and they went to the three-point line very well. Jason Kidd can find everybody. So I think they did a great job of getting back on defense, but on offense we finished plays and didn't give them a chance to have those run-outs. We've got to do a better job next game, though.

Q. It appeared that Coach Brooks was pretty animated at halftime, maybe as much as we've ever seen him. Would that be fair to say, and then talk about James Harden and the game he had.
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, Scotty was very upset. We were up two, but he was very upset. He wanted us to do much better, especially myself, Russell and Perk. He got on us and everybody else kind of followed and we came out there with a better effort. That's what we needed. James Harden was great for us tonight. He knows he has to be good off that bench for us to win, and he did it tonight, came through and made some big plays.

Q. Would you talk a little bit about emotions and maturity and the final sequences last five minutes of the game versus maybe emotions getting a little out of hand in the first half with the technicals, things that took place?
KEVIN DURANT: Talking about myself? (Laughter).
No, I know myself. We couldn't make any bad plays as far as like getting technicals or just throwing the ball away, whatever, but we knew we had to make a solid play every time. Eric Maynor was great. James Harden was great, and we ran our plays all the way through. On the defensive end, we made them shoot tough shots, and that's what it's all about.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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