Thunder-Lakers Q&A: Kobe Bryant — '... We've really got to be careful with the ball, keep them out of transition.'

Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 36 points and hit 18 of 18 free throws in his team's 99-96 victory over the Thunder in Game 3 on Friday night at Staples Center.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: May 19, 2012
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Kobe Bryant scored a game-high 36 points and hit 18 of 18 free throws in his team's 99-96 victory over the Thunder in Game 3 on Friday night at Staples Center.

Here is a portion of Bryant's interview session that took place after deadline:

What was the key to controlling tempo in Games 2 and 3?

"We've done a really good job controlling the pace of the game and being physical. But as you see, even tonight, you see stretches of their explosiveness. They just go on runs quickly. In 45 seconds to one minute they can go on a 7-0, 8-0 run, so we've really got to be careful with the ball, keep them out of transition."

How fueled were you by how Game 2 ended with you not getting to take the final shot?

"It didn't mean that much to me. You have to take the good with the bad. Mentally, that just doesn't bother me. There's going to be games where I win them and there's going to be games where I lose them. When I lose them, everybody is going to criticize and say what they have to say, but I don't care. I take it like a champ. I forgot about the last game already. I just come out and do my job and move on to the next one."

How taxing is it to remain so aggressive throughout the game?

"It's not taxing; it's fun. It's a challenge, right? We all enjoy that. I certainly do. You want to be against an opponent that you respect and you know is going to bring it physically and mentally. That's extremely enjoyable."

How were you able to get to the line so many times?

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