Where should we begin -- 50 wins, lets start there.
50 wins is tremendous for me. Since I joined this organization it hasn't been less than that. I know the fans really appreciated it tonight.
How about the fact that you scored 14 points in the 4th quarter -- same as the Rockets...
I've been trying to get it across to the coaching staff, and they've been listening. I just let them know in the fourth quarter I definitely want the ball in my hands. I'm not going to take the shot all the time, but most of the time -- and hopefully it goes in. I've got to thank my teammates. Brandon Bass setting great picks. Jason Kidd, his court vision is unbelievable. And the defensive effort we had in the fourth quarter on Yao and Artest was the key to the game.
Talk about that what Bass did late in the game.
Well, he just used his quickness. And hat's what we tell Brandon all the time, you're going to be outsized by these bigmen but if you use your quickness your team is going to be there to help you. He did an outstanding job, and that's why we got the win.
The Spurs won, so that means Mavs and Spurs.
Going down to the riverwalk. A place we've been before. It's going to be an outstanding series. It's obviously a big rivalry. They're playing great basketball right now. Tony Parker is not in the MVP talks, but he should be with his play on both ends of the floor. And Tim Duncan is a hall of famer. They got a great team, but I wouldn't put anything past us. I believe our best is yet to come, and we'll be ready.
You didn't make a guarantee, but you have said we'll get out of the first round.
Yeah it's funny, you watch TNT and ESPN and nobody is picking us to do anything. And that's the just the way we like it -- the dark horse. We're going to ride in on our dark horse and shock the world.
I will say one thing. Coming into the game we had the opportunity to win 50, a lot of questions about running it to a ninth straight year and that would symbolize that this is an elite franchise... This would be an elite franchise anyway.
But I'm really proud of the effort our guys made tonight. We were a little stale in the second and third quarters but found energy off the bench. Josh really gave us a huge lift in the third quarter. Kidd played a great all around game. And Dirk and JET were huge. Big credit tonight to Bass and Hollins because they got us going defensively and that got our crowd into it. It's good to have momentum going into the playoffs. It doesn't guarantee anything, but I really feel like it's good for our team to be winning headed in.
He had a tough start, and I was just hoping Jason would find a way to get him into the game. He hit the one jumper and we finally started to get stops. When we get stop the ball moves up the court and that's his dimension. He makes great things happen. It led to one trip to the line, then another, and then another. Jason got in some pick and roll stuff with him that was productive. Josh made a couple of good passes as well. That was really a key stretch because we needed to get our fans into the game. That was important. JET really had a great game from start to finish, but we really needed that one other guy to give us some scoring.
Is this as close to playoff game as you've been in during the regular season?
Definitely. We had some other close ones, but it's that time. It's a positioning game, and we wanted to move up. We had to hope that New Orleans lost, but we had to worry about ourselves and getting that positive momentum going into the playoffs.
Biggest challenge San Antonio presents?
Their experience. Tim Duncan and Parker play so well together. It's just going to be a nail-biter and go back and forth. It 's going to be a game of possessions.
How confident are you in your ability to play playoff basketball?
I'm confident. All I have to do is bring energy to my team. I have great teammates and a great staff around me. That gives me a comfort level going into the game. I just have to play hard, rebound the ball, and do the simple things.
JET was huge in the fourth quarter,
For a guy to come in and just take over... He hit that big shot against Minnesota and just said "give me the ball". For a guy to have confidence. Seeing that from your leader is big. He took the game over. It was like a tie game and he put us up ten.
Walk us through what was going on in that fourth quarter -- outscoring the Rockets 30-14.
We had to key on Yao. He's such a great player, and he hit some tough shots. We knew all of our bigs, from me, to Damp, to Bass had to turn it up playing against him and make it as tough as possible for him. And then J-Ho got off to a hot start and one thing led to another.
What did Howard do for you guys in the second half?
He was huge. He had a great game on Artest defensively, so while he may not have had the points in the first half he played great in the second. Just his intensity and his will... He's huge to our team.