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NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS: THUNDER v SPURS


May 27, 2014


Scott Brooks


OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA: Game Four

Oklahoma City 105
San Antonio 92


SCOTT BROOKS: That was another good defensive game. That's one of the things that we wanted to do when we got back into our building is play the type of defense that we're capable of playing. I thought that was two good defensive games. We used our length and athleticism to disrupt their flow, and a lot of guys, a lot of guys were involved. Russell, obviously he had just a monster game, points, assists, rebounds, low turnovers. Serge obviously came in and came back and had another good game, solid all‑around game. Perk I thought was really good, 10 rebounds, two blocks. Everybody chipped in. The defensive mindset was outstanding. We've got to keep focusing. We've still got things to get better. We're going to watch the film tomorrow and figure out ways to improve going into San Antonio, which is obviously a tough place to play.

Q. You were talking about the defensive effort that you got. What's the biggest difference in these last two games in the defensive side compared to the first two?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, one, we just played better. We talked about‑‑ that was the biggest adjustments. We played better. We didn't play a good basketball game. Give them credit. They played well. They were making shots, they were scoring in transition, they were scoring in pick‑and‑rolls, they were scoring all over the three‑point line. Tonight, zero points in transition. That was one of our keys going into this series. We didn't accomplish that in the first two games, but we did that tonight. Our activity, our length, our quickness, our speed, and we played with great toughness tonight.

Q. Would you talk about your thought process during the injuries and their quick recovery, what was going on? Do you pay attention to that or coach what's going on in the game? What's in your line of thinking during Serge and Reggie's exits?
SCOTT BROOKS: I was a little worried with Reggie when he hurt it in the first few minutes. I didn't want to make a change in the lineup to get ridiculed, so I wanted to make sure I could get him a couple more possessions. But I liked Reggie coming back and trying to make another effort. It was a little too sore, so we decided‑‑ I decided to rest him as much as I can.
Russell has energy to play back to backs in the same night. We all know that. So I wasn't really too concerned with that. We got Fish back there backing up if needed, but I thought his energy was outstanding. Russell's defensive toughness I thought really set the tone in this game tonight.

Q. Can you talk about Jeremy Lamb, the thought that you did go with him, and if Reggie can't go, will you start him?
SCOTT BROOKS: Don't know. I thought Jeremy came in and gave us a couple of buckets, got to the free‑throw line, he got a nice steal. He has to keep playing with a lot of confidence and give us energy and make impact on both ends. We expect two‑way players and we have to focus on that. I think he was solid tonight.

Q. When you left San Antonio a few days ago down 0‑2, it didn't feel like 2012. You're back 2‑2. Does this feel more like 2012 did with momentum and things going your way?
SCOTT BROOKS: You know, when we left San Antonio, we didn't feel good. It wasn't a good feeling. We were disappointed in ourselves. I was disappointed in myself. I was disappointed that we didn't play the way we're capable of playing. We're not even thinking about 2012. That was a great year, a great time, but we've moved on from that a few years now. The thing I love about our group is we've always been a bounce‑back ability team. We've always had the bounce‑back ability, and that's showed. Unfortunately it took another game, but it showed these last two games. We played with toughness, we played with energy and we played together, and that's been our recipe. We're a good offensive team, score enough points, but our defense is really what we hang our hat on, and I thought we did a good job defensively.

Q. This is now seven‑straight times you've beaten them with Serge. Why when you're at full health do you think you have so much success against them?
SCOTT BROOKS: That's the question. We were just‑‑ no one really knows. We play well with Serge. Serge is a really good basketball player. He's gotten better in a lot of areas. Defensively we can change some things up. We can do what we do with Serge in the lineup that we can't do with other guys, and we try to utilize his strengths and his ability to block shots and alter shots and mix things up with some of the schemes that we do.

Q. Did you want to get your starters out of there and then just felt like you couldn't because of the way their deep reserves played?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, one thing, they went with their reserves and they're going to keep playing, and the thing about their reserves, they're great shooters. They throw four three‑point shooters on the floor and you have to play, because they can make three shots in a row and that's nine points. If they get three stops, it could be a 9‑0 run. Didn't like the way we finished but I'm not going to let that disappoint what we've done tonight. We had about a six or seven minutes that we just relaxed when they had their reserves in, but give them credit, they kept playing until the final buzzer and that's what we talk about as an organization, and I'm sure they do the same.

Q. KD and Russ have obviously been involved offensively, but it seemed tonight that they were more engaged defensively. Is that how you saw it? Did you see them playing their best game of the series, complete game of the series, both of them?
SCOTT BROOKS: No, I thought the last two games we played as a group. We talk about being a two‑way team, and it's just not talk. We have to have everybody participate in it, and we did that tonight. No matter who we threw out there we competed on that defensive end. That's how we generate energy and generate opportunities in transition. Russell was all over the floor, like I said. He has energy to supply the whole room, and that's how he plays. That's when we're at our best, when he is locked in defensively. He's guarding a really good player. It's not easy. I thought Tony had a really good start, but a lot of it was we didn't get into our coverage and he was able to get into the paint and score around the bucket.

Q. Speaking of Russ, it's obvious that KD is the leader of the team but Russ is kind of the emotional spark plug, the emotional leader. How do you explain the way his teammates react when he is engaged like that?
SCOTT BROOKS: To Russ or KD?

Q. To Russ.
SCOTT BROOKS: You know, he's been leading us for a long time, and he's had‑‑ KD and Russell had a very difficult job leading an NBA franchise at 20 years old five or six years ago, seven years ago for Kevin. But they handled it well. They continued to stay steady and did their job every day, and that's what we talk about. I give them all the credit. They focus on being a good teammate to one another and to the rest of the guys, but Russell's passion for the game is something that we need, and he supplies us with that, and guys respond. He's emotional, he's been a terrific guy in timeouts and halftime. I thought it was another terrific all‑around game for him tonight.

Q. When Russ is looking to pass as much as he was tonight with the 10 assists, how big is that for the flow of your offense?
SCOTT BROOKS: Well, it's always a good balance. Russell is an attack player. He has to be able to score for us, but he's been terrific the balance, averaging over eight assists during these Playoffs I'm pretty sure. But tonight 10 assists. We want him to be aggressive, we want him to attack. That helps our other guys get open shots. Russell needs Serge to attack. That's what he does. He finds Serge for easy, open jump shots. That's what we talk about. I'm glad we were able to execute it tonight. It was a great game, but still, all we did was what we were supposed to do, win our two home games. We still have to go down there and win a game, and we're looking forward to playing a good 48‑minute game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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