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May 11, 2014

Darren Collison

Blake Griffin


Clippers – 101
Thunder – 99

Q.  Darren, a lot of what provides success for this team is defense.  In the end it seemed offense was more important.  Did one lead to the other in this victory?
DARREN COLLISON:  Definitely one led to another.  Seemed like all game long, we wasn't making it hard for them, wasn't giving them enough resistance.  We finally made a lot of plays on the defensive end, got the offense going.
That's what it is all series long.  Whatever team plays the more physical or has more defensive stops throughout the stretch is going to win the game.  I thought we did that today.

Q.  Blake, in the regular season you were down big multiple times and came back to win.  What does it say about your team that you were able to do it with your season on the line?
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  It starts with our whole bench.  Even when we were down 20‑whatever in the first quarter, everybody kept telling each other, Chip away, chip away.  We're not going to do it in two minutes, four minutes, just keep chipping away.  That was kind of our mentality for the rest of the game.
We just kept fighting.

Q.  Darren, can you talk about going up against a guy that you went to school with, what that was like.  Was there a back and forth, maybe you said something to him in the fourth quarter?
DARREN COLLISON:  Huh (smiling)?
It was great competing.  We was both competing out there.  We've been doing it for a very long time.  He's a great competitor.  I'm a great competitor.  Nothing was said.  We were just going out there and competing.

Q.  Blake, with the play early in the game with Ibaka, do you think there was something more there or do you think it was an accident?
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  I don't know.  I really don't know.  I can't get into his head.  I'm not going to try, so...

Q.  Blake, this is your biggest comeback this season.  What type of momentum does this give you Tuesday?
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  Hopefully we kind of remember what got us this win.  It was our rotations defensively.  It was the way we were talking, the way we believed, the way we moved the ball.  The ball just found an open man on offense.  We weren't trying to force anything down the stretch in the fourth quarter.  Hopefully we carry that momentum, not necessarily just the excitement but just the momentum of how we were playing and things that made us successful.

Q.  How does this rate amongst the gutsiest wins you've ever been a part of?
DARREN COLLISON:  This is up there.  We've had wins like this throughout the season.  We've been here before.  Doc has been telling us all series long, It's a long game.  We stuck with it.  The good thing about it is that even though we didn't play well throughout the game, we was able to get a win.  That feels more impressive than anything we did.
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  It's right up there.  I remember two years ago, Game1 in Memphis, we were down 20‑something in the fourth quarter and came back.  This is right up there with it, just because of the circumstances.  It's an obvious thing, but 3‑1 compared to 2‑2 is a huge, huge difference.
Nothing really else to say.

Q.  Blake, Doc said with five fouls, he told you to play like you had one.  How did you focus at the game at hand?
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  Tried not to think about it.  After Game1 in the series with Golden State, I was in foul trouble, ended up fouling out.  I think I was too tentative and didn't play aggressive enough.  Doc told me that after Game1.
Going back in in the fourth quarter, I tried to be aggressive, not avoid foul trouble, really keep playing the same way.  It turned out to work out.

Q.  Darren, a couple times you had a three and you pump faked, came in, drove.  How are you able to fight the temptation?
DARREN COLLISON:  Yeah, I mean, we had a lot of good opportunities to shoot the three ball, especially when Chris is creating.  When the game is that close, you want to make sure you have good shot selections.  They was able (indiscernible) the pump fake.  A lot of times I could have shot the three, but I wanted to make sure we had good shot selection.
I feel that ignites their offense in transition.  I thought we had a lot of shots in the paint, which is good for us.

Q.  The lineup you closed the game with is basically one that hasn't played a lot together all season, especially with Danny out there.  What was successful about that lineup?  Why did it work?
DARREN COLLISON:  I think on the offensive end, we was able to space the floor.  OKC do a good job of packing in the paint.  When Blake rolls, it puts pressure on their defense.  CP was able to make the right plays, we had shooters outside.
I thought our rotation was good.  That's probably the best rotation we had all year along especially when KD gets it going, was able to double‑team him.  Our rotation was pretty solid.

Q.  What did it feel like being out there in that fourth quarter as you're coming back like that?  Did you have a sense it was building toward what you were able to do?
DARREN COLLISON:  Yeah.  It felt good to be out there.  The whole time I'm thinking, We can't be down 3‑1, we just can't be down 3‑1 going to Oklahoma.  For us, just battling, continue to fight, tying the series up, definitely momentum for us.

Q.  Blake, you have been solid offensively for a while, last couple years.  Doc coming in, what did it mean to you all as a team have him kind of try to just build upon what you were already doing offensively, to pick up the pace instead of trying to change everything?
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  The things he talks about with our offense, I remember early on when I first met with him, he said, I truly believe if the coaches didn't come in, you guys could win 50 games on your own.  But if we really trust and really buy in, really believe in what they're teaching us, we rely on our offense, not just trying to out‑shoot people, rely on our defense, then we're going to be successful.
That's kind of the mindset.  Keep the ball moving, keep doing what we do on offense, but defensively I think is the biggest change this year to years past.

Q.  When you're down 22 points, playing horribly, could you have imagined at that time you would have ended up winning this game against that team?
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  It is tough.  But that was early.  That was in the first quarter.  Started to come back a little bit in the second quarter.
Like I said, I've been a part of games where we were down 25, 27, I can't remember what it was, and we still came back and won.
Especially early on, you can't just hang your head and throw in the towel at that point.  You just got to keep chipping away, like we said, and good things will happen.

Q.  Darren, this off‑season you had opportunities to play other places, took less money to be here.  Was it to be in situations like this?
DARREN COLLISON:  Without a doubt.  I just felt like, you know, being in a winning situation will elevate my game on so many different levels.  It's paid dividends all season long.  I texted BG.  I want to come here regardless about the financial reasons.  I didn't care who was on the team.  I thought this team had a good shot of competing for a championship.
I want to put myself in that position.  It's hard sacrificing, you know what I mean, but I made the sacrifice, I'm here, and I'm happy I made the right decision.  Playing with these guys, it's a great group of guys to play with.  I'm glad I made that sacrifice.

Q.  Blake, describe the last play.  Seems you went a little early, like eight seconds.  Describe what you saw there, what you were thinking.
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  The play that I missed the layup on (smiling)?

Q.  Yes.
BLAKE GRIFFIN:  Honestly, I didn't know exactly what the shot clock was at.  When D.C. caught it and drove, kind of pump faked it and hit me, I wasn't sure.  I just knew I didn't want to get a shot clock violation and give them a chance to take the ball out.
I probably rushed it a little bit.  It's my fault that I put us in that situation.  But hopefully I'll learn from it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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