Kobe Bryant's best Kwote of the night came when asked about his uncharacteristic five misses at the charity stripe: "That was point shaving."
All jokes aside, he also shared some big time props for Russell Westbrook, who did the overwhelming amount of damage to the Lakers:
“The biggest compliment I can give him is the fact that you can’t treat him like a role player. What I mean by that is that some nights he’ll have good games, some nights he’ll have bad games. I had to tell the guys at halftime you have to approach him as a great basketball player, because that’s what he is. You can’t just assume he’ll miss shots.”
Kobe also talked about the Thunder's improvement between the playoffs and this season. The element cited? Maturity.
"I think they seem to know their roles," explained Bryant. "Not that they didn't last year, but I just think going through a year, going through a playoff series of watching those roles develop, you have an offseason and come into the season knowing exactly what you're supposed to do. I think that's what's going on with them."
More from Kobe on the win:
Lamar Odom was also full of compliments for Westbrook, with plenty to spare for Kevin Durant, too:
More from Odom on the win:
Phil Jackson, on the win:
Phil Jackson, on Kobe's and Pau Gasol's performances against the Thunder:
Jackson, on three point defense and the way the Lakers performed down the stretch:
Andrew Bynum, on the win, along with the upcoming games against Dallas and Denver:
Ron Artest explained why he might be experiencing continually good fortune against Kevin Durant, despite the swingman's status as the league's best scoring machine. The kid may be talented, but his build and (relative) lack of speed makes him a better matchup for Artest than the previous night against Eric Gordon:
"I guess styles make fights for me," explained Artest. "He's tall and not as quick as the point guards I've been guarding. Yesterday, I had to chase (Eric) Gordon... Gordon's really quick and Durant's not as quick..."
Derek Fisher's 15 points were a season-high, and the fairly modest tally illustrates his struggles from the field this season. From his perspective, the issue has been on some level too few shots (6.5 per game) creating too little rhythm. And after a bad showing against the Clips, Fisher arrived at Staples Center determined to make something positive happen:
"Tonight I wanted to kind of back to just focusing on taking advantages of the opportunities that were there," noted Fisher. "I've been thinking a lot about trying to direct and make sure running our offense and doing the things that I need to do for everyone else. I wanted to get back to doing some things for myself.
"The way we've been playing, the way I've been playing, coming off the loss yesterday where I felt there were some shots I missed that were, to be frank, easy shots, because I haven't really been thinking about scoring or looking at the basket. Tonight I just wanted to reestablish a particular mindset. It was just something that was really bothering me after losing that game last night."
Still, there Fisher was asked if the drought might be prompting defenses to leave him unguarded.
"I wouldn't venture to guess or bet that the strategy is to leave me open," said the 15-year veteran. "I wouldn't bet that at all, but I guess you can ask coaches of the other teams."
I don't even need to ask other coaches. Leaving Derek Fisher open on a regular basis is not the game plan. Period.