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OKC Thunder: Q&A with James Harden, Houston Rockets

by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 24, 2013

Q: Despite everything, do you feel like one got away?

A: “Oh, most definitely. We had a few opportunities late in that game, the last three or four minutes, to capitalize on a couple of buckets and we didn't. I think the outlet pass that I threw to Chandler (Parsons) was a little bit too far. I think he got it blocked by Kevin (Durant), and they came down and scored after that. And just a few more possessions that we wish we could have had back that cost us the game. But most importantly, we were down 15. We could have just given up the game and said let's go to Game 3, but we fought back and took the lead. So we definitely have some confidence going into Game 3 and going back home.”

In the final two minutes, what were y'all trying to do with Kevin Durant to keep him out of the lane?

“Kevin's a tremendous (scorer). We just tried to play good defense on him, tried to try to make him make some tough passes and make somebody else beat us. Thabo (Sefolosha) hit a big 3, a big 3. And then Serge (Ibaka) came back and hit a big jump shot as well. It was a tough two plays, a tough two buckets that kind of gave them the lead and pushed them way ahead.”

You guys out-rebounded the Thunder 57-40 despite the small lineup. How were you guys able to dominate the boards, and can you talk about the zone you went to in the fourth quarter?

“We didn't know what to expect with that small lineup. We went really small. So our emphasis was to rebound the basketball. Rebound it and push it. Patrick (Beverley) had 12 rebounds, I had double-digit rebounds. So that was our mindset, just go out there and rebound and push it and be in attack mode and be aggressive. And as far as the zone, we were down so we had to think of something to try to help us come back into the game. And luckily that slowed them up a little bit. Well, a lot. They took some tough shots, and we got out and got some easy points and went on our run.”


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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