e defensive intensity helped the Thunder make both Games 1 and 2 fourth-quarter contests before it lost by eight and three points, respectively.
"They respect them,” Brooks said of his players’ reverence for the Lakers. "They respect the buildings that they go in, but they don’t fear them. I think that’s the swagger that we have to have. We have a very confident swagger about our team. It’s not arrogant. It’s a very confident, workmanlike swagger.”
And with the first two defensive gems, the Lakers were put on notice.
"They’re the best shot-blocking team in the league and they do a great job of taking charges down low. So they are a very solid defensive team,” said Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who saw five of his shots swatted Tuesday. "They protect the basket, and as a result a lot of easy opportunities that we normally get at the rim are contested ones.”