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Los Angeles Lakers Guard Kobe Bryant


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Q. Do you feel you guys dodged a bullet tonight?
"I don't think we dodged a bullet. I think they played extremely well and we played well enough to win. You know, they bounced back like we knew they would, played extremely well, and we got out of here with a win."

Q. Talk about preparation and your traveling to Orlando.
"Just work hard tomorrow. I'm sure we'll watch film, see some of the things that we can correct, which are many of them, blew a lot of assignments tonight, and just be ready for Game 3."

Q. Can you give us a defender's eye view of that lob to Courtney Lee.
"Honestly, it was just a brilliant play. It was just a very, very smart play that he drew up. He knew my eye was more on the shooters coming up, and just a hell of a play by a hell of a coach. "

Q. You've been through these Finals so many times before, can you talk about the importance of holding the home court? I know the series is far from over, but at the same time you did what you wanted to do. Talk about the importance of being up 2‑0 as opposed to possibly having the series tied going to Orlando.
"We just did our job defending home court. Last two series we didn't do that, put ourselves in jeopardy having to go on the road and win a Game 3, and here we managed to do it. Now it's time to go to Orlando and see if we can't get one."

Q. You found Pau for that lay‑up in overtime that was a key play. Can you talk about the way you communicate and keep each other involved in each other's games throughout the course of the game?
"We're always talking to each other, always, things that we see and defenses ‑‑ their whole defense is cocked towards me and Pau, so we're in constant dialogue that we can see, adjustments that we can make on the fly, and we've been kind of trying to time that up the right way the whole game. It just didn't work out for us, and at the right time it did."

Q. When you speak to him in Spanish, is that more of like a gesture, or at any time is it a tactical advantage?
"You know what, it's just what language comes to me first to be honest with you. It's just whatever rolls off the tongue."

Q. Can you describe that play a little bit more in detail, what you saw, how it unfolded from your perspective?
"Which one?"

Q. The one where you passed to Pau.
"We just put Dwight in a situation where he had to make a choice, simple as that. Pau and I timed it perfectly with him being parallel to myself and him having the right angle to get it to him just in case Dwight committed. He committed, and I got Pau an easy bucket, and one."

Q. Phil said that he didn't believe this game was up to your standards. What do you think about that comment? And if so, why?
"Meaning what?"

Q. Seeing open players, being able to strip the ball if you were doubled.
"He said the team wasn't up to our standards?"

Q. He said he didn't think you played up to your standards tonight.
"No, absolutely not. I didn't read the coverages as well as I did, and we still managed to win the game. It's on me to make those adjustments, make those reads, and I'll come back Game 3 ready."

Q. Is that being a little overanxious or what?
"No, it's just like the quarterback throws an interception every now and then. You know what I mean, it's the same type of situation."

Q. Can you talk about the difficulty of what Orlando has to do on their home court? Fish and I have been discussing how big this game was and how tough it is for anybody to win three straight, whether it's on their home court or not.
"I don't think they're thinking about that, they're thinking about one game. This is a very loosy‑goosy team we're playing against. You seen some of the shots they hit tonight, those are tough shots. Supposed to be tough shots. For them it's like shooting fish in a barrel. They're just thinking about Game 3, and so are we."

Q. The second part is your game face has been on the entire series. Still waiting for a big smile out of you. You're up 2‑0. What's the story? Are you not happy or only half happy?
"What's there to be happy about?

Q. You're up 2‑0.
"The job is not finished. Is the job finished? I don't think so."

Q. I wanted to ask you two questions: One, what kind of coverages were you getting tonight? And it seemed it was a more difficult night for you offensively. What were they doing to force that? And can you talk about some of the adversity this year Derek Fisher has gone through lately, his shot wasn't falling, having trouble with some of the guys like Aaron Brooks, and what he did tonight?
"Coverage is a little misleading. In terms of me turning the ball over, that was me having to make smarter decisions with the basketball and not having to force the ball in certain situations and making sure guys stayed spaced, stayed in right positions. Those are things we can adjust in terms of scoring the ball. That is what it is. The thing I need to adjust to is the turnovers.

Derek is a professional, he's going to keep on coming all the time. If he's not shooting the ball well, it's not going to affect him. It's not going to affect the next shot, and he's going to continue to shoot the ball and play with great energy and play with great confidence."

Q. Experience is divine on this squad right now, making the plays, executing down the stretch. You've reached the abyss with the warrior glare, but it just seemed tonight Gasol and D. Fish separated themselves making key plays in money time.
"Yeah, that's what great teams do. You've got to have other guys step up and contribute and make big plays, and we've been doing that the whole playoffs. Lamar just had a great, great game, particularly in the fourth quarter. The guys played well."

Q. You talk about energy. Think about what you spent the other night to have that kind of win and then think about tonight and the fight that you had tonight. How hard is it to keep that even, knowing where you want to go and the goals you have? How hard is it for you guys to be on an even plane energy‑wise?
"We're about to kick it up."

Q. So you have more to give?
"You'd better believe it. We're close. You see what I'm saying? This is The Finals. We're going to be ready to go."

Q. Is it hard then when you win a game the way you did the other night, is it hard not to have a drop‑off coming into today?
"No, I don't think we had a drop‑off at all. Our energy was actually higher than it was the other night. But Orlando, they just executed extremely well. They have a great coach, they made great adjustments, and they busted us. The energy was there, it's just that they made their adjustments. So we have to make ours and we have to be ready to go in Game 3, and we will be. But they will be, too."

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