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May 23, 2011

Scott Brooks



SCOTT BROOKS: Well, it goes without saying that it was a tough loss to accept, but it is a loss, and we have to learn from it. I thought our guys played as hard as a basketball game you can play. They were physical, and they challenged shots. We struggled a little bit down the stretch with execution, and throughout the game we struggled with turnovers. I think we had 26 turnovers or 25 turnovers. That's hard to overcome against a very good Dallas team.
I give our guys a lot of credit; they came and fought and did everything they can to win this game. It's unfortunate that we didn't come out with the win. Dallas outplayed us down the stretch.

Q. What's the mood of your team after this? Everyone knows the history of teams being down 3-1. What are your guys like now?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, there's no doubt it was a tough loss. If this loss did not hurt, there's no such thing as a loss that can hurt you. Our guys are very resilient. They're a group that battles every day. They're a group that believes in each other. There's no question that this is a very difficult loss, but it is a loss you have to take. You have to take it like a man and move on, and we have to somehow muster enough energy tomorrow in our practice and then come back and just focus on one game. We have to win one game.
I believe in our guys. They're going to give every ounce of effort that they have come Wednesday night. But it definitely was a tough loss. There's no way around that for all of us, for our organization, for every player in that locker room, for every coach, for the fans. It's a tough loss, but you've got to move on, and you've got to focus on the next game.

Q. How important was losing James to that sixth foul because that seemed to kind of turn the tide?
SCOTT BROOKS: You know, he got fouls. We were fouling the team once again. But James, I didn't think James had a good first half, but I thought the second half he came out, gave us some energy. He was defending much better. But James is important.
I thought Thabo played an extremely -- very good game on both ends. Thabo made some shots for us. That's not something that we look for him to do often, but he defended and gave everything he had. But James fouling out, you know, that's -- he fouled out.

Q. Could you talk about two shot attempts that you got up and just explain what maybe you were looking for? Sefolosha shoots from the corner a potential three ball and probably not your best three-point shooter and then Kevin put one up late that may have been blocked by Marion but it was a deep ball, kind of a low percentage shot?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, the first one with Thabo, I think there was like 17 seconds; we were up two. Kevin drove baseline. Marion and Dirk came over to double-team him. He got up in the air, threw the pass. It was a good pass. Thabo took the shot with I think it was about seven seconds on the shot clock.
Jason Terry slid under him so when he shot the ball, Thabo spread his legs so he wouldn't fall on him. He didn't have good balance, but he didn't have room to land, so he missed the shot. But I thought Kevin made the right play. He attacked -- maybe attacked a little too early.
Thabo, I thought he caught the ball with eight seconds on the shot clock when he missed the shot there. The last one wasn't well executed, but they did a good job of pushing us out and taking us off the spot. We have to be stronger. We have to be able to push back without getting the foul.
And Kevin was worried because he pushed back one time and got the foul, so that situation, you just have to fight. Everybody has to fight for their space on the floor.

Q. You guys have accomplished a lot this postseason in spite of your youth. Was this one of those games that maybe your youth maybe cost you a little bit with the quick shots? And a lot of those guys were visibly frustrated, especially Kevin on the floor there in the second half.
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, we did take some quick shots. I thought we got up like 15 with like five and a half to go, and we had a couple turnovers and a couple of quick shots, but we missed some shots. We were making those shots throughout the game, and we missed some of those shots.
And then I thought we had two bad fouls. We fouled them in the backcourt and gave them four free throws without having any time run off the clock and then the turnover and then a couple of missed shots. Was that youth? I don't know. That's how we've had some success all year, playing with a young team. We just have to execute better.
And then we missed a couple of free throws that probably would have put us up seven or so with a couple of minutes. Russell never misses free throws in the fourth quarter. He always seems to be automatic. But turnovers really bothered us, turnovers tonight bothered us, just too many.

Q. Everybody on your team was playing maybe better games than they had most of the series. It looked like you had it in the bag, 15 points with five minutes left. Kevin turned it over nine times. For a guy who has the ball so much, what can he do to protect the ball against pressure like that, and how do you think it affected his ability to take over from the offensive standpoint at the end?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, it definitely bothers you when you turn it over nine times. K.D. has done very well all season at keeping his turnovers down, and I thought that was an improvement from last season. Nine turnovers, you have to just learn from it. It's something that he's not going to be very happy with himself, but he's an aggressive player. He just turned the ball over too many times. It's hard to overcome 25 turnovers in a basketball game.

Q. They had you -- they ended up outscoring you 19 to 2 counting early in overtime. Did your team relax when you were up 99-84, do you think?
SCOTT BROOKS: Looking back you can probably say that. I'm not sure. We had a lot of errors and we missed some open shots and then we turned it over and then we fouled a couple of times in the backcourt, gave them free throws without running the clock.
And then Dirk, guys, he made a contested three. You can't double-team that. He made a spin off the wrong foot contested. He made that. He made one that we double-teamed on the baseline that was an impossible shot, and he made that. He took over. He took over the basketball game that he's capable of doing. Unfortunately he made some tough shots again tonight.

Q. You're up by 15, looked like the offense started sticking. Did guys kind of panic? Did you want more ball movement because it looked like there was a lot of holding the ball deep into the shot clock.
SCOTT BROOKS: I thought we had some good looks that we missed, and we turned it over. Ball movement is always -- that's something that we have to continue to get better at. There's no question that we've improved in a lot of areas, even on the offensive end. We've improved in a lot of areas throughout the year, but we have to continue to get better. The ball movement could have been better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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