Here’s what the Spurs and Rockets said after Wednesday’s game

The Spurs media services people were ready with their notebooks and tape recorders after the Spurs’ 101-95 victory over Houston Wednesday night.

Here’s what both teams had to say:

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

(On the way Tim Duncan responded tonight…)

“For the number of games and all that, I thought Timmy and Tony were great in keeping everything solid for us, the way they do.  They hung tough.  Kawhi was great and again, defensively, starting to figure out what’s going on.  Timmy and Tony lead the way for us and of course, Richard stepped up and made a huge shot.”

 (On the Spurs’ defense…)

“The first quarter, they drilled us.  We played the kind of defense we played last night in Milwaukee. It’s early.  We’re going to stay on them.  We know that’s where the money is, that’s where it’s at.  You’ve got to play “D” and we’ll keep at it.”

(How important was it for Kawhi to be able to defend the perimeter on both Martin and Lowry?)

“It’s huge for us to have a guy on the team that can do similar things to what Bruce (Bowen) did in the past.  This young man has a lot to learn, but as I’ve said a lot of times, he’s very willing, he’s very versatile and I think he’s got the ability to be one heck of a player and he wants to be.  We’re excited about him.”

(On Duncan’s ability, even at this stage of his career, to make that one play that is needed…be it a pass, block, rebound…)

“Tim’s a competitor.  It doesn’t matter.  Just because he’s a little older, doesn’t mean that he’s not going to compete to the best of his ability.  He’s got a huge basketball I.Q., a great drive and he’s going to do anything he can to help his team win.”

Spurs forward Tim Duncan

(On passing Larry Bird on the all-time career scoring list…)

“Really? Wow. How’d I do that? (in the background: Free Throws) I didn’t want to pass him, out of respect, I was missing them (free throws) for him. It’s great. That’s unbelievable. I didn’t realize I was anywhere close to him.”

(On being the leader and keeping the team together during this stretch…)

“Yeah, absolutely. I’m still a big part of his team and I want to be a leader of this team. I want to be a leader on and off the floor. I want Pop and the rest of the guys to count on me to do that and I’m ready for that.”

(On Tony Parker’s play tonight…)

“He’s unbelievable. I know he’s going to be worn out tomorrow. He had a great night. He did just about everything for us. He continued to attack every time down the floor every time when we called on his number. He found a way to get things done. Whether it was finding open shooters or getting all the way to the rack or making jump shots in the lane. Whatever it may be, he was great for us.”

Spurs guard Tony Parker

(On winning the game in dramatic fashion…)

“I’m happy with this one. It was a tough one. Houston is a very physical team and they played great tonight. Everybody had to play great and it was a great win for us. We needed it.”

(On his desperation shot…)

“I lost the ball. I went into my shot and I lost it. I turned around, had a good look at the basket and it went in. So it was one of those nights for me. It was just a good night.”

(On Tim and himself stepping up in the fourth quarter…)

“I was just being aggressive. I was trying to be aggressive on the pick-in-rolls and Timmy was playing great in the post. They weren’t doubling him and with no double team, we kept passing the ball to Timmy. He played great. He missed a couple free throws in overtime but overall he had a great game.”

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard

(On playing 10 games and getting used to the NBA…)

“I’m getting more comfortable on the court. Just knowing the offense more and my teammates are helping me out each and every game. I’m feeling more comfortable, basically.”

(Does it make you better playing against the best player on the opposing team…)

“I think so. Guarding the best player always helps your game. It involves being physical and playing at a high level every game.”

Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale:

 (When asked if it’s tougher to execute in overtime)

“We had some good looks.  We were up one and we had two put backs, but we missed them.  It got tougher for them (the Spurs) too.  It gets tougher for everybody down the stretch.  Everybody ties in a little bit more.  The whistles get a little bit tighter.  That’s just the way it is.” 

(When asked Gregg Popovich said this team is the worst defensive team he’s had, do you agree)

“The played well and they won the game.  They made some big shots.  Tony (Parker) hit the big fadeaway at the end of the shot clock.  We had plenty of chances.  I was just happy that our guys went out and competed.  We’re making strides to getting where we want to go.”

(When asked if the end of regulation play was meant for Luis Scola the whole way)

“Yeah, we had a play set up, and then we drew that up for Luis (Scola) to get down in the post.”

(When asked his thoughts on Tim Duncan passing Larry Bird on the career scoring list)

“He’s been great.  He’s one of the best players to play this game.”

Houston Rockets guard Kyle Lowry:

 (What was the problem for you guys offensively towards the end of the game?)

“A couple plays weren’t executed as properly as we should have executed them and a couple shots didn’t fall. I had two offensive tip-ins that didn’t fall. It just happened that some shots didn’t go in for us tonight.”

(On Spurs’ defense in the fourth quarter)

“They’re a great defensive team, we just missed some shots.”

Houston Rockets forward, Luis Scola:

 (Was it tougher to get open shots down the stretch?)

“It usually is. Towards the end of the game, the defense picks up and tries to play more intense. The game is on the line, so I wouldn’t say it would be tougher. On both sides, not just for us on offense but probably for the other team on offense too. It’s just how the game goes usually.”

(Did you sense extra intensity from the Spurs playing without Manu?)

“Manu is very important for them and T.J. Ford is out too. We also have a couple guys out too. Everybody gets injured. It’s just a part of the game. Those guys can play. Tony Parker can play, Duncan can play, and all those guys can play. Obviously, they would prefer to play with Manu every game. We would prefer to play with all the players every game, but that just doesn’t happen and it’s just the way it is. Manu will be out for a long time so they are probably going to get used to playing without them.”

 (Did the Spurs do anything different defensively to stop you?)

“I don’t know. You have to ask them, I don’t know.”

 (Thoughts on Spurs’ defense tonight)

“They look like a good defensive team tonight. I don’t know what has been happening in the other games.”

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