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Thunder Quotes After Emotional Win Over Houston

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Thunder coach Scott Brooks

On playing and winning without a full roster:

"We know we have some missing pieces right now but we're not making an excuse. We've always had that ‘next-man up' mentality. Perk brings great experience to our team. He brings a lot of toughness, he brings that physical presence that you get with all the battles that he's been through."

On the defensive effort:

"I thought we did a great job locking up. To start the game, the physicality that makes us a good basketball team was good tonight, the toughness that we brought to the floor for 48 minutes is what makes us a good team and we just have to build from here."

On steadying the ship:

"We always find a way to stay together and stick through. That is what good teams do. Whether you lose a few games or you win a few games, you can't get too high and you can't get too low."

On Beverley:

"You saw the same thing I saw, there's really not much to talk about. We played a good basketball game, I'll just leave it at that. I liked the way our guys competed. We're not worried about what they do and how they do it, we worry about what we do."

On Russ' response:

"He's not out there to make friends. He's not out there to be anybody's buddy. He competes with everything he has in his body. He's about playing the right way, about playing a game, as a coaching staff, as fans, as an organization can be proud of. He plays the way its supposed to be played."

On whether this was the most physical game all season:

"No. Not at all."

On incident with James Harden:

"Well, my mom wouldn't be proud of me, what I said."

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Russell Westbrook

On the defense:

"Defensively, we did a good job locking in for four quarters and doing a great job of stopping ‘em. We kept ‘em under 100 points, that's Thunder defense."

On whether this was one of the more physical games this season:

"No. Heck no."

Kevin Durant

On energy and effort:

"It was good from the beginning. Once we lock in and focus in on what we're supposed to be doing, we're a pretty good team on the defensive end."

On the constant skirmishes:

"All that stuff comes with the game, you just gotta play through it. Just play. They're not a dirty team, they play hard, you gotta give ‘em credit. They play extremely hard. We just go out there and play for each other, and out crowd was great tonight and we feed off that energy."

On the rivalry:

"I just love competing. We love competing. We take it personally but it's not like ‘I hate this guy' or ‘I hate this team,' we play to win. Whoever we're playing against."

Reggie Jackson

On incident with James Harden:

"Just happened. Talked with James a little bit about if after, but something that just happened, that's what I'll go with. It wasn't really that confrontational, maybe a little love tap from being teammates for two years."

On the team defense:

"That's something we try to work on, we still went for a little too many pump fakes, but when we did and were about to get beat, the next guy helped. Tried to help each other out tonight."

Caron Butler

On the constant fighting:

"That was just two teams that were trying to win. Obviously we wanted it, we lost two in a row, so we definitely needed to come back with a little more fire and a different disposition and that's what we did tonight."

On the Rockets' physical gameplan:

"It is what it is. We're just trying to play our brand of basketball and win games."

On settling in with his teammates:

"It just takes a while, getting to know rotations, and knowing where guys are going to be. It's a trust factor and you've got to have that trust."

On prepping for the stretch run:

"Everybody's fighting for something at this point in the season. It don't stop. Bad teams are fighting not to be worse and good teams are fighting to be better. We're fighting to be the best."

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