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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

"Defensively, they really tried to crowd us, especially me. They really tried to crowd me. I drive the ball and just be aggressive. I'll get those calls most of the time and get to the free-throw line."

Do you think the Thunder was taken aback by your comeback tonight?

"I don't know if they were taken aback. This team we're playing really seems to just go out there and just play. They don't seem to get too high or too low. They just go out there and do their jobs."

Your thought on having to play back-to-back?

"We just show up ready to work, ready to play. Get your big-boy pants on and leave your diaper at home."

Is there enough time to rest?

"Not if it's an up-and-down game, no. We don't have a shot. We could both be extremely well-rested and we wouldn't have a shot, so we've got to slow the game down, play our pace, play our tempo, and we'll be fine."

It seems like you're deferring more to teammates.

"It's good defense. They try to crowd me and surround me and force other guys to shoot the ball. They're long and they're active. I could finish running a marathon, I'm still thinking, 'Shoot first.' That's just how I am. If the defense is sitting in there crowding the lane, my guys are wide open. I've got to kick it to them."

You were matched up one-on-one against former teammate Derek Fisher a few times. How did that go?

"The same result as all those times we were playing one-on-one all those times in the gym by ourselves. No different. I love him, but he's a midget."

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