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NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: THUNDER v SPURS


May 27, 2012


Kevin Durant

Russell Westbrook


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Game One

Oklahoma City Thunder  98
San Antonio Spurs101


Q. ¬†Kevin, in the first half it seemed like you were catching the ball near the basket and you were getting into a good rhythm.¬† In the second half you were catching it behind the three‑point line and the shot clock was getting a lot shorter.¬† What did they do differently if the second half?
KEVIN DURANT:  They forced me out a little bit.  You know, they do a good job in the help defense.  But I just got to watch film see what I can get better at.  I think I got good shots tonight.  Rebounded the ball, passed the ball.  I did things I wanted to do individually.  I just got to do it better next game.

Q.  Russell and Kevin, what happened differently defensively for your team from holding them to 16 in the third, and then they scored 39 in the fourth?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:¬† Free throws.¬† I think they shot‑‑ I don't know how many free throws they shot in the fourth.¬† We did a great job defensively three‑and‑a‑half quarters.¬† And then it kind of got out of hand.

Q.  Kevin?
KEVIN DURANT:¬† You know, they run their sets.¬† They got good shots.¬† They got to the rim, got to the free‑throw line.¬† I think we did some really good things tonight.¬† Just got to keep playing hard.¬† Russell was great tonight on the ball.¬† We used our hands well.¬† We just got to keep doing it for 48 minutes.

Q.¬† Guys, it seemed like the pace of the game through three quarters was much to your liking, pretty up‑tempo.¬† Fourth quarter seemed to play into the Spurs' hands.¬† Slowed down.¬† Got into their execution game.¬† Can you talk about how the pace of the game changed.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:  I don't think it changed much.  We were in the game all the way.  We were just trading baskets with them in the fourth quarter, just wasn't able to knock the shots down we usually knock down.  They came away with the win.  But we'll be all right.

Q.  Russell, earlier you mentioned defense being very good in the first three quarters.  Do you feel like your collective length and kind of activity was what gave them problems for most of that third quarter?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:  We did a great job of helping each other out.  Everybody was in the right spots.  Everybody rebounded the ball well.  It got us opportunities to get out in transition.

Q.  Kevin, you went the first five minutes without really taking a shot in the fourth quarter.  And then it was hard to get the ball out of your hands.  No disrespect, but was that intentional, if they're not going to give you the ball, you're not going to give it back up when you finally got it?
KEVIN DURANT:  Say it one more time?

Q.¬† You went one‑on‑one a whole lot late in the fourth quarter after not getting the ball any.¬† Was that a coincidence?
KEVIN DURANT:¬† Coach was drawing up plays for me to get isos.¬† I got fouled.¬† I was able to keep us in with some free throws.¬† But the thing about me is I can play off the ball.¬† I don't always have to have the ball in my hands.¬† In the beginning of the fourth I was playing more in the corners.¬† James has been so great in pick‑and‑rolls with us all season.¬† He does a great job making great passes.¬† So I was playing big.
They helped off me, I was there for the shot.  I'm just going to keep trusting in my teammates, keep believing in our system, no matter what people say.  We'll be fine.

Q.  Kevin, did Stephen Jackson guard you any different than, say, World Peace did in the last series?
KEVIN DURANT:  Everybody since I've been in the league has been trying to go physical with me, bump me and push me, but I like it.  I'm a skinny guy, but I like it.  It's no different.  It's not just Stephen Jackson.  They do a great job as a team.
But if a guy misses shots, whoever is guarding is going to get the credit.  But I got to my spots, I got where I wanted to get.  I shot good shots, made good passes.  Unfortunately, we lost.

Q.  The Spurs get so much scoring up and down their lineup.  How difficult is that to prepare for?
RUSSELL WESTBROOK:  Not that difficult.  We're a good defensive team.  We've been a great defensive team throughout the playoffs.  A game like tonight, we played hard defensively.  They just came up with the win.
KEVIN DURANT:  You know, we're a solid defensive team no matter who is on the floor.  They have a lot of guys that can score the ball, but all we're worried about is playing solid defense and trying to take away some of the things they like to do.  But there are some good things tonight.  We just got to get better tomorrow, watch film, and we'll be ready to go Game 2.

Q.¬† Seemed like the Spurs were pump‑faking in every opportunity in the second half.¬† How much focus are you going to have to get on the fundamentals and staying disciplined on their shot fakes?
KEVIN DURANT:¬† We had nine blocks tonight.¬† Serge did a great job.¬† Tried to help him out at the rim.¬† They are a veteran team.¬† Splitter is good at pump‑faking, Tim Duncan, Ginobili.¬† We have to continue to be aggressive, man.¬† We'll be fine.

Q.  Kevin, it looked like the momentum kind of turned early in the first two minutes when Splitter got going in the fourth quarter.  When did you guys feel it slipping away?  And do you walk away tonight feeling like you let one slip away?
KEVIN DURANT:¬† Splitter rolled to the rim, that's what they've been doing all season.¬† He made a few lay‑ups and we fouled him.
It's tough.  We had this game going into the fourth.  It's tough, but we can't hang our heads, man.  It's a long series.  We have to keep playing, try to get Game 2.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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