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Official postgame quotes and notes following Oklahoma City's 115-108 win over the Jazz on Monday at EnergySolutions Arena.
Notes: The Jazz are now 71-84 all-time versus the Oklahoma City franchise and 5-5 since it moved to Oklahoma City . . . Guard Deron Williams tallied 16 of his season-high 31 points in the first quarter . . .Utah lead 33-27 after the opening period, it was the first time since 11/3/10 versus Toronto that the Jazz lead after the first 12 minutes. . . Tonight's loss makes Utah 5-1 this season when it scores over 100 points . . .Paul Millsap tied his season-high with six assists... The Jazz shot a season-high 50.6 percent from the field, the previous high was 49 percent at Atlanta on 11/12.
Jerry Sloan – Head Coach (7-4)
On the game"I thought they played extremely well, they made their shots, every time we tried to give a little help in there, they seemed to get the right man to get the shot. The offensive rebounds hurt us more than I think it should have, but you have to give them credit. They were desperate for a win and wanted to get one, and they came out in our building and beat us."
On how much Russell Westbrook hurt the Jazz in the second half"Well, anytime they give him help, and he doesn't need much help, he has the ability to get on top of the basket, and he shot pretty well around the top of the key. But he's a terrific player, he's a dynamic player, so lively. He's tough to handle, and so is [Kevin] Durant. I thought our guys worked very hard to guard him, and he goes to the free throw line 16 times and doesn't miss a free throwthat makes a difference."
Deron Williams – Guard (31 points, 11 assists)
On the game"They definitely played well. They had a tough home loss last night and you could see they wanted to bounce back. We had opportunities to put them away. You look at those second and third quarters where they scored 31 and 35 points. That is way too many points to give up in a quarter. They shot 50 percent, that is too high to shoot, it all points to defense. We did a better job executing tonight but we didn't get enough stops."
On the team's progress this season"We can still get a lot better. I think that is the good thing about the team; we still have a ways to go and we have a pretty good record. We are not going to hang our heads over one loss. We just got to bounce back. We have a couple more at home. We have not had much time to practice and work on things because we have had so many games, so tomorrow will be a good day to get some good practice in."
C.J. Miles – Forward (16 points, 2 rebounds)On trying to comeback from a double-digit deficit"We believe (we can comeback) all the time, especially when we cut the lead to two (late in the game). It was a close game; we could have easily been up. Both teams played hard, they made some big shots and Ibaka had a huge game which really hurt us."
On the Thunder's shooting in the second half"(The Thunder) have a great team with a lot of good scorers. They are aggressive and want to get to the free throw line and they did that tonight."
Andrei Kirilenko – Forward (13 points, 3 rebound)On the game
"Defensively we tried to play active and aggressive, but in the fourth quarter (The Thunder) started making every shot, especially Ibaka hurt us from mid-range. We almost got there late in the game, but almost doesn't count. It was a tough game."
On the Thunder's supporting cast"I think (the Thunder) played as a team tonight. They concentrated, not only getting the ball to (Kevin) Durant, but the rest of the guys were at the right spot and hit the open jumpers. It's a very tough match- up."
On Thunder's free-throw shooting"They were active and we've been fouling a lot, that's all there is to that. One of our keys to the game was getting to the line, but we didn't do that good enough tonight."Notes: The Thunder broke a two-game losing streak to the Jazz with this win (last loss was 10/31/10, 99-120) ... Oklahoma City is now 2-0 when shooting 50% or better (50.7%), and 2-2 when their opponent shoots 50% or better (the Jazz shot 50.6%) ... Serge Ibaka registered his second double-double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds, tying his season-high in rebounds (11 vs. BOS 11/7) ... The team reached a new season-high in free throw percentage, shooting 97.1% (previous season high was 94.6% vs. PHX 11/10/10).
Scott Brooks – Head Coach (6-4)On the game"We beat a very good team, a team that is playing their best basketball in the league right now. They are a tough team to play. They are physical, strong, well coached; they are everything you want from a team. They challenge you, and we came away with great effort and came away with a win tonight."
Comparing to last night's performance"Like we tell our guys all the time, you have to leave it on the floor. We felt that last night we did not leave it on the floor. We did not play with the level that you need to play with in this league to be able to get wins. Tonight if we had not won this game we would have been disappointed, but we left it on the floor and we can go home and tell ourselves we improved today."
Kevin Durant – Forward (30 Points, 6 Rebounds)On the game tonight"Man, we needed this win. They've been playing very, very well and especially very good on their home floor and after a tough loss last night we needed this win, so it felt good."
On if there was more motivation tonight since the Jazz beat them so bad in Oklahoma"We let that go a couple weeks ago. We were just trying to get better tonight. They started off very hot and I think we did a good job of bouncing back and that's the type of team we are. We're a resilient team. We were like that all last year and some this year a little bit as well in spurts, but tonight we put a good game together, got some stops when we needed and got some scores."
Russell Westbrook – Guard (22 Points, 7 Assists)On the game"It was a tough loss for us last night and we came out tonight with a sense of urgency and came out with a victory."
On if he was nervous after the Jazz started coming back after being down by 13 points"No. I know what type of team we have and what type of caliber of players we have to come back and compete every night."
Brian T. Smith