What the Spurs and Kings said after Wednesday’s game

Here, courtesy of the quick transcribers in the Spurs’ media services office, is a sampling of the post-game comments from the Spurs and Kings after San Antonio’s 124-92 victory Wednesday night at the ATT Center.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

(On positive feedback to DeJuan (Blair) after diving for a loose ball and starting a fast break)

“Coaches love that sort of thing.  That kind of effort is above and beyond.  You have someone like that trying to get minutes and be on the floor and show you what you can do, that he can play the complete game.  That is impressive to any coach, so I was really happy for him that he did that.  It fires up the team, giving the team confidence in him.  So it is a win win for everybody.”

(On offense in second half, especially in the third quarter)

“I don’t really have any idea.  I didn’t really watch the offense too much.  We have been concentrating on the defense.  That is where we really need to improve the most.  Last night and tonight we played very good defense, and it fueled the offense that you saw.  That is where it all starts for us.  I thought we had great focus tonight after a back to back, where one might think we are the tired team.”

Spurs guard Manu Ginobili

(On how the team feels now with their magic number being one)

“Of course it’s better because we know we have a big chance on Saturday against the Jazz.  We were a little worried.  We knew it wasn’t the end of the world to finish second, but at the same time after the kind of season we had, we wanted it.  We got a great opportunity, it’s not over yet, and we definitely want to get the next one.”

(On what the three-game winning streak has done for the team’s confidence)

“We knew we were not going to lose every single game for the remainder of the season.  We had a few good games that we just couldn’t win, so it wasn’t that we were just playing terrible.  We had a better schedule in the last three games.  We had a pretty important game in Atlanta that we won and that kind of got us going and then we got lucky that the Lakers lost against the Jazz and that gave us an extra game to be able to close it next game.”

(On the offensive surge in the third quarter)

“We played much better.  We pushed the ball a little bit more and defensively I think we were pretty good in the first half too.  But the key was to move the ball, attack quick, we made a few shots, so we had the whole package in the third quarter.”

(On if the defense fueled the offense)

“Sometimes I think it’s both ways.  Sometimes defense fuels offense and sometimes when you make three threes in a row, everybody’s pumped up and the defense is more aggressive, more energetic.  So it goes both ways sometimes.”

Spurs guard George Hill

(On what was the difference in the third quarter)

“Just getting set.  I knew we needed a little bit of fire power coming off the bench, a little aggressiveness, so I just tried to come in and give a spark.  I think it kind of helped and at the same time, it got other people going too.”

(On the perimeter game tonight)

“Just taking open shots.  I think we had a lot of great looks and they fell.  Each game is not going to be the same looks but fortunately that was the game plan Sacramento went to and it opened up a whole bunch of corner threes and things like that.”

(On what Coach Pop said at halftime)

“He said we’re playing pretty good defense with the lack of giving up a couple offensive rebounds, but at the same time he wants to push the tempo since we know that they score a lot.  Our thing was if we can get the most second chance points and get the rebound and push it, it’ll open the game up and that’s what happened.”

Kings coach Paul Westphal

(Thoughts on the game)

“My overall assessment is that the Spurs are very, very good. We hung with them real well in the first half, not turning the ball over too much or shooting the ball very well. I thought our defense was good in the first half, except for our transition defense. When they got out and ran, we didn’t have too much defense for that, and in the second half, our defense wasn’t very good, our offense wasn’t efficient, and they hit every shot. They just blew us out in the third quarter.”

(On what to say to the players)

“Move on to the next game. It didn’t go our way tonight, we got beat by a great team, did some good things, learned from the bad things, get your rest, and we’ve got another game to finish this trip 2-1.”

(On the positives that come from this loss)

“There’s lot’s of positives. We played a very good first half. We showed that we can defend, we got good shots, didn’t always make them, but that’s basketball. In the third quarter, the roof fell in, but that doesn’t mean everything was bad.”

(On how to bounce back)

“We don’t lose our confidence because we just lost to the best team in the league. We did some good things, caused things to go the other way. Whatever team makes 12 out of 19 threes and gets to the line as much as they do, it’s not necessarily going to be a good result.”

Kings guard Tyreke Evans

(On the third quarter)

“We didn’t make shots. They did and they got a lot of points off the fast break and that’s what killed us.”

 (On why the Spurs are so dangerous)

“They make shots and they run their offense. They just play together; they’re a veteran team. They finish those quarters out.”

(On how the Spurs create so many open shots)

“They cut hard and swing the ball side to side. They set picks and make the defense move side to side. It’s hard. One time down the court we played great defense and they still hit a floater. It was good defense but they just move the ball so much.”

(On what they could have done differently defensively in the third quarter)

“I think we were playing pretty hard. They were out there moving the ball side to side and running the pick-and-rolls. They were making us help on defense and then they were finding the open guys and making their shots.”

(On Tony’s role in the offense)

“Tony Parker; it starts with him. Once he gets out in the open and gets a couple layups, that get’s them going. They start running because they know when he’s running he’s going to get a layup and get them the ball for an open look.”

Kings center Samuel Dalembert

(On the third quarter)

“In the first half everything was working. That’s how the game goes though. This game has ups and downs. The Spurs weren’t missing anything. They were hitting everything. They pulled away from us. Starting in the third quarter and going all the way to the fourth quarter they just kept pulling away and hitting their shots. We tried everything we could; we fought, but we just couldn’t get back in the game.”

(On the Spurs’ shooting tonight)

“What we’re taught is to run great 3-point shooters off the line. We were doing that and they were just ripping through and doing a one-dribble pull-up and knocking down their jump shots. Sometimes you just have to go in and give them a hard foul to try and get those guys out of their rhythm. But tonight the whole team was in rhythm; everybody was making shots.”

(On what they can take away from a game like this)

“I really wouldn’t say you can take anything away from this game because we lost. We just have to come back more mentally prepared from the beginning to the end of the game. We just have to keep playing and growing as a team. Hopefully things will work out in the end.”

Leave a Reply