What the Spurs and OKC said after Saturday’s game

The Spurs media services folks were busy after the game, recording and transcribing after the Spurs’ 107-96 victory over Oklahoma City.

Here’s a collection of some of the post-game comments from both locker rooms.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich

(On Tony Parker…)

“He became our all-time assist leader tonight, so I’m really happy for him in that regard.  He knew he had to have a big game tonight and we knew we had to score points against these guys. He went into the game with that in mind and he was aggressive all night long and had a great game.”

(Talk about the job Kawhi did against Durant…)

“He did the best he could for a young rookie who has never really seen these guys before and really hasn’t practiced any of the defensive strategies we might use.  We just tell him “do this or do that” and that’s pretty tough, so considering that, I thought he was amazing against a future hall of fame player.  As I said before the game, you don’t stop Kevin, he’s great.  You just try to make him work and I thought Kawhi made him work.”

(On the ball movement tonight…)

“They did a good job. They attacked and they kicked it to open people.  We missed a few, but that’s going to happen with every team.  But I think by and large, we got a lot of great shots on penetration.”

(A good way to end the stand before the long trip?)

“The last game of a homestand you always kind of call it the first game of the road trip and beating a great team like Oklahoma City is a good way to do it.  They’re something else.”

Spurs guard Tony Parker:

(On passing Avery Johnson to be the Spurs franchise assist leader…)

“It’s a great honor. To be mentioned in the same category is great. When I first got here, all I heard was Avery Johnson and what he meant to this city, the community and the Spurs organization. So I feel honored and happy to be with Avery as one of the best point guards in San Antonio, as I owe a lot to Pop. He’s the one who has pounded me to be a good point guard and to share and know the balance between scoring and passing. It was funny because I racked tonight and I knew I had like seven assists, so I thought I was going to come in and pass but Pop comes in before the game and tells me that I need to shoot 25 times. You need to take 25-30 shots or if not, we’re not going to win. It’s funny because every time Pop says that I have a big night, so it’s funny. He asked me to take more than 25 shots so I was happy to accomplish both.”

(On making a bunch of those shots by scoring 42 points tonight…)

“Yeah, I was rolling tonight. It was one of those nights. My shot was feeling good and every time Pop says that, I feel better in my head. So I don’t worry and I just play my game, be aggressive and be in attack mode. So it was just a great win for us tonight.”

(On if they were still talking about Avery Johnson during his rookie year…)

“Definitely, because he’s a great example, a great leader and he won a championship. For me, it was a great example to follow. “

(On being animated tonight against Russell Westbrook…)

“You know, when you play the best team in the NBA and they have the best record, you want to be aggressive. You want to play well, you want to win and I knew that game was big for us because from then we go on the road forever. It was a big game for us as I got a little excited. After 11 years, you find stuff to get excited as tonight was a good game to be in attack mode.”

Spurs forward Tim Duncan:

(On Tony Parker’s performance tonight…)

“Unbelievable, he was great. He carried us start to finish as he started out being more of a distributor. Pop really got on him at trying to score the ball and that we needed it tonight. He stepped up and did just that. Once he got rolling, he just took over the game. It was great.”

(On the dissimilar styles of play between Tony Parker and Avery Johnson…)

“Yeah. Knowing that he’s a scoring point guard more than anything, but he’s evolved over the years and he knows how to do it all. Pop stayed on him about being a distributor and at the same time have a balance between scoring and passing the ball. You saw that tonight as he ended up with nine or 10 assists and the 42 points. Great effort by him and we needed him to do that. He’s going to be great for us.”

(On if he was happy about being the shot to get Parker over the milestone)

“Sure. I wish it would have happened ten shots before that but I’ll take it for what it was. He came to me and said that he wanted me to hit the next shot and I was like, alright but I want to hit every shot. After I hit it, I realized why as it was great.”

Spurs forward-guard  Kawhi Leonard:

(On if he knew he was starting tonight against Kevin Durant…)

“I knew I was going to start before the game happened today. With the way Kevin Durant has been playing, they wanted me to guard him and just run around and try to make it tough for him.”

(On if he made a conscious effort to make Durant work on both sides of the court tonight…)

“Basically my teammates were finding me in spots. I just had an opportunity to score the ball and just tried to go at him.”

(On the performance of Tony Parker tonight)

“Yeah, it was a great performance. He was getting to the hole real easy and was making tough shots. He was making all the shots that he got and he just kept going at it.”

(On how he compares Kevin Durant to other guys he has faced)

“He’s at the top, everyone knows that. He was the leading scorer for the last three years. He’s a taller player and has such great skill at his height and can shoot the ball real well.”

Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks:

(Opening statement on tonight’s game…)

“They (the Spurs) beat us.  They beat us in all aspects of the game.  I thought Tony Parker had his way with us.  It’s all about stopping the basketball and we didn’t do a very good job at that.  It’s on all of us, including myself.  We have to do a better job of containing their pick and roll.  Tony Parker was good tonight.  That was as aggressive as I’ve seen him in a long time.  29 shots, he’s usually not that aggressive.  He had a great game going and we had trouble containing him.”

(When asked what positives came out of this game and on his bench’s play cutting the lead down…)

“They gave us some hope.  That’s what teams are about.  Everybody has to chip in when they get the opportunity.  They didn’t put their heads down.  They plugged away and made the game somewhat competitive.  We just didn’t have enough tonight.  Spurs are a good team.  They are really good at home.  It’s one of the toughest places to play.  They beat us in a lot of areas tonight.  The 3-point ball was the second difference maker, after Tony Parker.”

(When asked was there a moment before Tony Parker took off that let the game to get away…)

“When their rookie (Kawhi) Leonard hit those back-to-back threes. He made his threes.  He was three for three tonight.  I thought that got them (the Spurs) back into the game when we had a six- or seven-point lead.  It was Tony Parker and the threes. We had no answer for either one of them.  They are a good team.  We had a tough challenge tonight and they got away from us.”

(When asked about the play of Tony Parker tonight…)

“Like I said, that’s the best I’ve seen him move and attack.  He’s a good player.  He’s not an old guy. He’s a young good player.  He plays well.  They put him in a lot of good situations and he capitalized on them.  He was attacking and hitting his jump shot.  You hope when you play against him that his outside shot isn’t falling.  He had three things working: his mid-range, his floater, and his lay-up game were on.”

Thunder forward Kevin Durant:

(On playoff- like atmosphere…)

“That’s how it’s like here. They have the best home record in the league, so everybody is going to come out and see them play. It makes out for a playoff atmosphere. It’s a tough loss. ”

(On Tony Parker’s play…)

“Coming off pick and rolls, he was getting to the rim. He is so quick and he was beating our bigs to the lane sometimes. It’s tough for our bigs to guard someone as fast as Tony. They would foul him a few times then it makes them hesitant to play aggressively on him. I thought they did a good job but he was just making floaters, pull up jump shots and he had it going tonight.”

(What was different in the third quarter that let them gain a big lead…)

“They made threes the whole game.  That’s what won the game for them. They got into the lane and kicked out for threes, which led to Tony Parker getting into the lane so easily.”

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook:

(What made tonight so difficult…)

“They moved the ball. They got into the paint with quickness and we were just a step late. It was a tough loss but we just have to move onto the next one.”

(Talking about the play of the Thunder bench and how they created a spark in the fourth…)

“I feel like we have the best bench in the league. They did a good job of fighting back when we were trying to come back late in the game.”

(Talking about the play in the fourth quarter…)

It’s a tough place to play at and they might have the best home record in the league because of that. In the fourth quarter, we just did not get off to the start we wanted to and it ended up hurting us.”

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