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May 23, 2011

Rick Carlisle



Q. Could you just talk about the comeback from down 99-84 and how you guys closed that on a 17-2 run in regulation?
RICK CARLISLE: Yeah, I believe that -- it was all about getting stops, and every guy that was in there during that period made big plays, whether they were loose ball plays, big rebounds, big offensive plays, big extra-pass plays, you know.
And the one thing about this team all year is it's been a resourceful group. They keep believing, and we've been extremely opportunistic. Every Playoff series with the exception of one game in the Portland series, the LA series, and so I don't know how you quantify that, but the way they hung in tonight was fantastic.

Q. Can you talk about how you shut down Kevin and forced him to have the nine turnovers, because that was a big part of it. I guess the team had 26 or so.
RICK CARLISLE: Well, look, I mean, the guys that are getting the ball a lot are facing tremendous pressure. You know, Dirk in the last game had seven turnovers, and tonight Durant had his share of turnovers. Look, we're game planning like crazy for the guy. We're chasing him, we're double-teaming him out to half court a lot of the time. He's receiving a lot of attention. So look, we got our hands on some balls, and those deflections, they just showed how much we wanted to hang in and give ourselves a chance.

Q. When you're down 15 with five minutes left, you've got to get stops but you've also got to score. I think you only failed to score twice before the last second of the game. Can you talk about what you did offensively to sort of increase the urgency?
RICK CARLISLE: Let the guys play. I mean, I don't know if I called any plays during that period of time. You know, we've really worked at becoming a good flow team, which means you're just playing basketball off each other.
In a Playoff series as you get deeper into it, set plays get tougher because the teams lock into stuff. They know calls, everything else. You know, we have a group of guys that are veteran. You know, we've got some really high IQ guys that know each other's strengths, and really what happened the last five minutes was all about the defensive end because we didn't have our best offensive group out there, but we had a team that got stops and got the ball in the basket.
You know, previous to that we had tried to go small and tried to get an attacking group in there, and look, we had some success getting shots, but we couldn't get rebounds. And so we had to go away from it.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about being in a pretty commanding position of up 3-1?
RICK CARLISLE: Look, we worked really hard these two games to win. You know, none of that guarantees anything for Game 5. We know that. But all of us involved with this team have been through a lot of these wars. We understand the position that we're in. We respect it. We're very humble about it. We've got to get ourselves rested up and ready for Wednesday because that's an opportunity.
We need our building to be as loud as this building. It's as simple as that. This is a fantastic place to play a Playoff game because the level of enthusiasm, noise -- I mean, if these guys were getting beat and they were going to lose and the place is yelling "OKC, OKC," the fans are beyond belief. So look we're going to need that Wednesday and we're going to need to throw a big-time game at these guys, as well, because the last time we played them at our place we got our tails kicked.

Q. Two-point question: When you're down 15 with five minutes to go in the fourth quarter in a game like this on the road but you have Jason Kidd running the show, how is that different than a coach that doesn't have Jason Kidd running the show? And secondly, Shawn Marion was a real liability on defense for a part of the series. He made the biggest plays of the game against Durant. What's come over him over the last two games?
RICK CARLISLE: Look, Marion, it's become clear to Shawn exactly what we need from him, and we need just tenacity defensively. We need him to -- Durant needs to be wearing him like a suit.
Look, offensively, whatever comes, comes, but Durant is such a great player that he's just one of those guys that needs the constant attention. And Jason Kidd, you know, everybody asks questions about the age and all that other stuff, but the thing I would say to anybody is never underestimate greatness.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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