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May 19, 2014

Scott Brooks


San Antonio – 122
Oklahoma City – 105

SCOTT BROOKS:  Well, we have to do a much better job defensively.  I thought they were able to get anything they wanted, 66 points in the paint, 40 at halftime.  We take pride in our defensive play, but tonight we didn't play a good enough defense to beat this team.  One of the things that we have to do a much better job of containing the basketball.  This team always figures out ways to get better, bounce back the next game.  We're going to definitely have to play much better to beat this team.

Q.  66 points in the paint, is that due mostly to the loss of Serge or other factors?
SCOTT BROOKS:  You know, we're a no‑excuse team.  Serge is out.  He's not coming back.  We have to play better.  We have to play better.  If we expect to beat one of the best teams in basketball, and a very good offensive team, we have to play and we're not going to make an excuse.  No matter who we have out there, I have confidence in all the guys to compete on the defensive end.  We've done it all year.  We just have to get back, we have to regroup.  We'll have a day to get better, watch film and get better going into next game.  It's not about who we have, who we don't have, it's about we have to play much better as a group.

Q.  You started the second half better with the same lineup you started with with Nick, but still, Nick and Thabo get no points and very few rebounds.  Do you have to reevaluate the way you begin the game?
SCOTT BROOKS:  Well, we're going to always figure out ways to get better.  I thought that group in the third quarter, we got I think it was a one‑point lead.  We played defense.  We did a good job of defending them.  They weren't getting anything easy.  They got two easy looks off of mistakes, but other than that I didn't think they got anything easy that third quarter.  We just have to be able to do it throughout the game.  It's a possession‑by‑possession game.  You can't let up.  This is a very good team.  They played a good game.  Give them credit, they played a very good offensive basketball game.  We have to do a much better job of going into Game 2.

Q.  Along those same lines, what got you the lead in the third?  Was it just being aggressive on offense with Russell, too, and then did you go away from that or did they force you to go away from that offensively?
SCOTT BROOKS:  No, I thought we got the lead because of our defense.  We made them take a lot of tough shots in that third quarter.  In order to beat this team you're going to have to do that throughout the game.  You can't let up.  If you let up on a possession they can knock in a three.  If you let up a couple possessions, it's a six‑point run.  You can't do that with this team.  I thought third quarter we did a good job defensively.  We have to do a much better job for four quarters.

Q.  I think you got 38 points combined out of Reggie and Russell, but considering the way these games might play out, do you need even more from them defensively and offensively?
SCOTT BROOKS:  I think we need more from everybody defensively.  We scored 105 points.  We probably scored a couple down the stretch, but we scored enough points to win a basketball game.  We have to do a better job defensively.  40 points in the paint in the first half is too many.  We take pride in it.  We have to regroup and figure out ways to keep them out of the paint and also keep them off the three‑point line.  They're a very good team.  They're a team that can beat you in a lot of ways, and in order to beat this team you have to have all five guys on point every possession, 24 seconds.

Q.  Why didn't Serge make the trip?
SCOTT BROOKS:  We just felt that it was best for him to stay back and get some treatments.

Q.  Any chance that down the road‑‑
SCOTT BROOKS:  Contrary to what San Antonio was thinking, he's not coming back.

Q.  At all, so there's no chance?
SCOTT BROOKS:  He's not coming through those doors.

Q.  He's not staying home to rehab and‑‑
SCOTT BROOKS:  He's not coming back.  We have to play better.  We feel bad for Serge.  He's worked all year to be put in this position, but we're all men, we have to step up and play much better.  He's not coming back.

Q.  You turned back the clock on Duncan, it looked like it was 2004.  What was going on where he was able to be so successful early in the game?
SCOTT BROOKS:  One, he made his jump shots.  That's the thing that he's improved over the years, making that shot.  He used to always make the ones from the 45‑degree angle off the backboard, but now he can make them all over the floor.  He's going to go down as one of the best players in this game at any position, and he had a Hall of Fame night.

Q.  Was it fatigue to Russ and others that the ball got stuck in the fourth and it was a different attack, if you will, of different offenses?
SCOTT BROOKS:  I think two things, what happened:  We didn't play good enough defense when we took the lead, and then we took about three or four tough shots.  Something that we're going to look at and get better, but it's the defense, guys.  They scored 122 points.  I wish we could talk about the shots here and there, but it's really we have to do a much better job of stopping them from getting into the paint and also stopping them from getting open shots on the perimeter.

Q.  Just fatigue‑‑
SCOTT BROOKS:  There's a lot of timeouts, we have days in between games.  Fatigue has nothing to do with it.  We have to play better.

Q.  You talked pregame about possibly keeping your starting lineup pretty fluid throughout the series.  Any thoughts to how that starting five looked?  Plus you used a ton of different combinations throughout tonight's game, something you don't typically do.  How difficult is it to kind of scramble mid‑game trying to find a lineup that works?
SCOTT BROOKS:  Well, we're going to have to find lineups that work.  I have faith in all of our guys to step in and do the job, no matter who we put on the floor they have to be able to compete against this team.  They have five guys that can score on the floor at the same time.  You don't have a possession off.  Not one.  We can't hide anybody.  Everybody has to step up and guard.
We'll do a better job, we will.  This team always‑‑ we take pride in bouncing back.  It's one game.  If it's the NCAA Tournament, we're not feeling good about ourselves going to class tomorrow morning.  Fortunately for us it's the best of seven, first of four.  We've got to regroup, get better next game.

Q.  When you went small you could score with them pretty good.  You scored the ball easily but then you had struggles defensively.  What does the small lineup need to do better defensively?
SCOTT BROOKS:  I think all the guys, we're going to mix up lineups, but we've done it all year.  We've played small, we've played our normal traditional lineup all year.  It's nothing new to us.  We haven't played a lot of lineups with Kevin at the 5, but we've done it in the past three or four years ago.  We have to play much better defensively.  I keep harping on the defense.  They make you play every possession, and we have to do a better job of guarding them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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