What the Spurs and Rockets said after the game

The Spurs media services people were ready in the locker rooms with their recorders and notebooks.

Here’s a compilation on post-game comments from both locker rooms after the Spurs’ 99-91 victory over the Rockets.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:

(When asked about his captains’ play tonight…)

“Tim (Duncan) and Tony (Parker) did a great job of leading the way for the whole group.  I thought that everybody else followed.  They never gave in, because Timmy and Tony didn’t allow them to.  They did a fantastic team job tonight.”

(When asked about the charge late in the fourth by Gary Neal…)

“We had a couple of charges in the second half that really helped us.  He (Neal) got back on defense very well. They got the benefit from it by getting in good position and taking the charge.”

(When asked about the matchup between Danny Green on Kevin Martin…)

“I think everybody worked their butts off to try to limit him.  He’s (Kevin Martin) a heck of a player and one of the toughest guys to guard in the league.  I thought they did the best they could.  There’s no way you’re going to keep him down.  He’s so skilled and he works so hard at it.  They did everything they could.”

(When asked about the game in Houston where Pop sat some players in the first half … was there something you saw at the end of the second quarter that made led you to believe to go in a different direction…)

“I thought in the first half our defense was really solid.  They made a lot of shots and we made some mistakes.  The combination of them being on fire and us not being able to hit anything. That’s something you have to assess whether you think guys are playing poorly or if they’re playing well.”

Spurs guard Tony Parker:

(On the comeback win…)

“Yeah, it was a great win for us. Houston jumped on us as they shot the ball pretty well and everybody on their team was on fire. It was like they couldn’t miss, so we just tried to stay in the game, hang in there, play defense and set some zones. Finally in the third quarter, they started missing shots and we made a run. It was a great effort from everybody to keep fighting.”

(On Tim Duncan in the paint in the third quarter…)

“Timmy looked great. He was in rhythm, he was very aggressive and made some great moves. He’s looking good right now.”

(On Pop pulling the plug in their last Houston match-up and if tonight looked similar…)

“Yeah, definitely. I was worried he was going to do that but he stuck with us and we were able to come back into the game. Timmy got into a good rhythm and was aggressive tonight. That was a good win for us.”

(On if the older players wonder when Pop might pull the plug on a game…)

“No, I normally don’t really think like that, but I thought that today since we have a back-to-back. Maybe I thought Pop was going to pull the plug and focus on New Orleans, but I’m happy we kept fighting. We stayed in the game and had an opportunity at the end to win it.”

(On their defense against Kevin Martin in the second half…)

“I think we did a better job. Danny Green and Gary Neal both tried to contain him and make him drive as he made so many shots in the first half. In the second half, I thought we played more physical and were able to contain him as a team and force him to drive towards Timmy or Tiago.”

(On if they changed the approach on Kevin Martin…)

“Yeah, a little bit. We were more aggressive and tried to make him drive.”

Spurs forward Tim Duncan:

(On if the comeback from tonight resembled the game against Dallas last week…)

“You know, I think we learned a lot from their game. It provided a lot of experience for our bench and for our team as well our confidence. I thought we played well last game. We just didn’t have a good start this game. I think we turned the corner a little bit, it didn’t show in that first half, but I think we’re playing better basketball right now. It was good to comeback and it was great to get this win as we know we have a big one tomorrow too.”

(On what worked so well in his attack of the paint in the third quarter…)

“Exactly that, I was just trying to be aggressive. I was trying to get in the paint as they were staying locked up on our shooters. They weren’t double-teaming so I got a chance to attack a little more, get in the paint, and make some shots. I felt good that quarter and just kind of made it work.”

(On if he was happy Pop let him play in the second half…)

“Yeah, I was happy to be on the floor. Like I said, it was a great comeback and a great win for us.”

(On if the team turned up the intensity in the second half…)

“You know what; honestly I thought we played pretty well throughout. They made some contested shots throughout that first half, as we stayed with it and continued to fight through screens and contest. At the end, it turned our way a little bit. All in all, I thought we played pretty good throughout.”

(On Pop resting him on back-to-back games…)

“I don’t think about that. I’m not worried about that, as I hope it doesn’t come to the point where I need to take a day off. I feel pretty good right now and I’m not resting or saving for any other game. I’m just going to play whatever game is in front of me.”

Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale:

 (Do you credit the Spurs for how the game turned around?)

“We had too many turnovers. We turned it over and we fed into that a little bit. They turned it up a little and we had to respond with more ball movement and more hard drives. They made some shots and made some things happen.”

(Was the team relying on Kevin Martin too much?)

“If he’s hot, you try to get him the ball.”

Houston Rockets guard Kyle Lowry:

(On the last couple of minutes of the game…)

“We needed to lock up and know what we were doing offensively and defensively.  They made a big three and a couple of free throws. We missed open threes and open twos and we missed some shots down the stretch, but that happens. We got good looks but just could not convert on all of them.”

(Frustrating loss for the Rockets?)

“We’ll put it behind us tonight and build tomorrow. We will just keep on building.”

(On the Spurs energy…)

“They picked their energy up. They played with more enthusiasm, but we missed some shots down the stretch. They played good defense and made good shots down the stretch.”

Houston Rockets forward Luis Scola: 

(Was this a frustrating loss for the Rockets?)

“We just have to let it go. We were able to hold (the Spurs) for the first couple of stretches when they were coming back, but then they closed the distance. When they came back and they tied the game, the momentum was on their side and they had the advantage towards the end.”

 (Impact of Dalembert’s fourth foul…)

“I don’t think it is just that one thing. It is the whole game.”

 (On Houston’s Second half difficulties…)

“It’s going to be harder. They are playing at home and they are not just going to let us beat them. They are going to fight back. We were holding them. We were up by 13 or 14 (points) but they shortened the distance. Then they tied the game and the momentum was on their side.”

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