On Dirk's play tonight
He played great, he played great. He carried us. His emotion and his attitude carried the team. We had some tough stretches, but we just hung in there, kept battling. Calderon really played just a fantastic game, particularly with the shot making and the shot to send it to overtime. He was great. Ellis hit timely shots, made timely plays. Marion's got a tough job; he's guarding the best scorer in the world. It's just a hard deal for him and he was able to make some key buckets, too. Obviously, we need the win. I'm just real proud of the way the guys battled the whole way through it.
On Calderon's return from injury
He's been a total gamer for us really all year. Tonight, we were down nine toward the end of the second quarter and put the ball in his hands on pick-and-rolls three straight times. I think he hit two threes and then he made a play which lead to another three - that's nine points in a minute, minute-and-a-half. He kept us going right there. Defensively, he was solid all night long. We scrambled around well as a team, but he didn't give up any ground. It really shows how you miss a guy like him in the game on Sunday against Brooklyn. It's just really tough without him because he's been there all year. He's only missed I think one game. He was great. We battled and we won the boards, which was big. We had a lot of turnovers, which was not good, but they had a lot, too. We survived it.
On Ellis' fourth quarter play in recent games
At times, it's by design, at times, we get in transition and the guys look to get him the ball to make plays. He's big for us. He had a struggling first half in terms of finding offense and getting good clean open shots. Instead of being frustrated, he just kept playing. At the right time, things popped and he was able to get two or three buckets. There was a period in the fourth where he got us that lead before they kind of inched back in and then took the lead back from us before Calderon hit the shot. We need him to keep doing what he's doing.
On his play in this game
Yeah, I wanted to attack a little more, instead of just hoisting tough shots, so I put the ball on the floor a little bit. My first play was a spin and a dunk. I was in attack mode a little more, wasn't hesitating as much. Even though in the fourth I missed a bunch of shots in a row, I just had to attack more and I was going to keep coming, keep shooting whatever I got my hands on. They had some smaller lineups, obviously, so I felt like I had some match-ups. I posted up some, try to take whatever they give me. That was a heck of a game, fun to be a part of.
On why he was in the attack mode
I don't know. Obviously last game was disappointing. Never really had a games where I was looking around and hesitating too much, so I go back to having fun out there, being me and go attack a little.
On his emotions after hitting the overtime 3-pointer
Honestly, I had some good looks. I had the one on the wing to tie it and that look was decent, and even the game winner in regulation, that little turnaround, it was pretty deep but it looked right on line. I thought it was going in and then it was a little short, it squirmed off the rim. I was just happy finally one went it. I think that's what I screamed, "finally." (Not another f-word?) No, it was finally. I was like, "finally, one went in," because I felt like I had some good looks in the first half and there in the third quarter I was open a few times.
On when Holger got here
Today. I guess he was tired of watching my shooting percentages fall over the last couple of weeks. So got a little work in before the game, and that's always good, so hopefully we can carry on.
On whether he thinks the team would have some confidence if they faced OKC in a playoff series
Honestly, it's too early. I watched Phoenix last night in Atlanta with Bledsoe and Dragic and we have our hands full. And Memphis has been playing well. We have a heck of a schedule coming down the stretch so it's all we focus on now, finishing strong these last 10 games, keep competing, playing off each other on offense.
On coming back after his facial injury last game
It was good, it was nothing. It's going to be uncomfortable for a few weeks, so I can play. There's nothing else that's going to keep be from doing it, so it was a great game for us, and we needed it. It was one of those games that we needed to get, and so I'm pretty proud of the team.
On guarding Westbrook
I think I did great. I feel comfortable out there. He's a great player, he was hitting a couple of jumpers at the beginning, but I think that's just what a good player does. You cannot get too worried about your guy scoring, or the guy you're defending scoring, so as a result, we have to help 'Trix. He did a great job, even if Durant got a lot of points. It's not all about stats, it's about the team.
On the importance of this game
It's do or die for us and we are aware of it. We just want to win and win out, and win as many games as possible. We knew we were at home playing a good team, but if we stick together and play together, we can win.
On guarding KD
KD is a cold blooded killer. He can get his shot off at any time he wants. He can shoot the ball anywhere he wants which makes it tough defensively. You've just got to keep giving him different looks defensively, and I think we did that all night long me and Shawn Marion. We doubled teamed him off pick and rolls and sometimes ran isos, but you just have to switch it up and keep him off balance.
On the atmosphere of the AAC tonight
It was like a playoff game and playoff atmosphere. From a player standpoint, you'd much rather play in a packed house than an empty gym. It brings out the best in each player. You've got to show up, and that's what we did.