“Losing Hurts, Period”: Players & Coach On The Game

The final shot

Gerald Wallace: We forced a turnover, it’s just the shot didn’t fall. I had a good look.

Joe Johnson: I saw we had the ball, and when Deron kicked it to me up the sideline, I didn’t want to take a 3 so I just tried to get in the lane and make a play. I saw C.J. open and he saw Gerald. It’s a shot that we’ll take, just didn’t make it this time.

Deron Williams: He had a good look. We fought our way back.

Losing: the lead and the game

Gerald Wallace: Losing hurts, period. On the road, at home, it doesn’t matter. All losses hurt. Regardless of the situation. Especially with teams we’re supposed to be taking care of. We look back in March and April at these games. That’s when they really show up on the sheet.

Avery Johnson: The guys are upset. It’s got to hurt a little deeper because we can’t keep giving up double-digit leads like this. … We’ve got a 13 point lead, we’re at home, we should try to take that from 13 to 20.

Brook Lopez: It’s rough.

Kris Humphries: They came out and did a great job of offensive rebounding. Some of their guards. (Marvin) Williams had 5. They kept after it, and they’re the kind of team when you give momentum to, with their system, it just builds and builds. they did a great job of staying with it and we didn’t battle back.

Avery Johnson: A combination of turnovers, offensive rebounds, fast break points, a lot of which you didn’t see in the first half.

Brook Lopez: I think we just need to come out more focused in the third quarter, that first five minutes, and go at them.

Joe Johnson: The third quarter has been our Achilles’ heel. We haven’t figured it out. We come in with a lead or a tie game … I don’t know if it’s the energy level, but we turn the ball over so much, man. We can’t even get into the first play. Then we’re discombobulated. One turnover leads to another and another.

Deron Williams: I wish I knew. We talked about it a lot. We have to come out and have a good third quarter and protect the ball, and we come out and do the opposite. … It’s something we’re very conscious of. Maybe because we’re so conscious of it, it’s a reverse effect. For whatever reason, we gotta come out and have better third quarters. We build these leads. A lot of our home losses we have these 12-14 point leads, and the third quarter just costs us.

Brook Lopez: Lack of focus.

Joe Johnson: I don’t know man. I’ve never seen anything like it. When you’re at home, this is where you’re supposed to be the strongest. I was just hoping we could kind of blow them out so we could get a rest for tomorrow. We have those leads … the game is never over. We always shoot ourselves in the foot with turnovers.

Avery Johnson: We’ll keep searching. Like I told the players, we gotta do a better job taking care of the ball. We cannot come out … we got 3 or 4 quick turnovers in the third quarter. We don’t have time to stop the game, go to practice to work on it, and go back out.

Brook Lopez: We didn’t take care of the ball. We turned the ball over a lot, that led to a lot of transition buckets for them. … We just didn’t really crash defensively, we didn’t box out, I gave up a big offensive rebound to Al (Jefferson) with 1:30 left. We can’t get outworked like that.

Joe Johnson: It’s on us as players. this has been a trend for us. We gotta get out of this.

Gerald Wallace: We can say it as much as we want. We say it every game at halftime. But regardless, the result is still the same. We come out and we don’t execute. We have silly turnovers. Our defense is lax. We’ve got to figure something out.

Fixing The Leak

Kris Humphries: I think we gotta catch the ball and put more of an emphasis on getting low, getting our guys off of us and presenting ourselves to the ball, as well as passing. Getting guys so they can catch it clean.

Avery Johnson: I think the main thing is we’re not moving when the ball’s in the air. We’re ball-watching too much. We’ve got to move a little bit quicker to gain a couple of steps, but we didn’t do that tonight.

Gerald Wallace: We’re trying to figure that out. We don’t know. It’s something we’ve got to look at. We’ll watch film in the morning and figure out what it is. We know it has to do with the starters, and we come out with a sense of urgency in the beginning of the game, but we have to carry it over for 48 minutes. … We can recover from this, but we’ve got to do it fast.

Controversial charge

Deron Williams: (The charge call was) very (frustrating). Especially because I didn’t think it was enough to be a charge. … I didn’t even ask (the ref). I just put the ball down and left.

Avery Johnson: I think we’ll all see based on the new rules whether it was an offensive foul or a flop. That’s a tough one. We got one-on-one coverage in the post with a smaller guy and that was a tough break for us.


Brook Lopez: It’s a good game for us to bounce back. I don’t think we have to worry about energy at all. I think we’re all excited to play them. It’s going to be a good environment for us.

Kris Humphries: Um, okay. I like playing at the Garden. Yeah. It’s a great stage with the fans, New Yorkers in there, and tradition. It’s just a great place to play, we’re looking to go in there and get a win.

Deron Williams: We gotta bounce back. This was a tough loss. It shouldn’t sit with us well. We had control of the game and gave it away. Now we’ve got to come back tomorrow and go across the Bridge and have a good game.

Gerald Wallace: Just go out and play. We know what we’ve got to do to win. We know the crowd’s going to be in it. It’s going to be an exciting rivalry game, at MSG for the first time. We have to stick to our principles, and obviously … have a better third quarter.

Kris Humphries: (The fans) love me. The boo is “I love you.” It’s all good.

Brook Lopez: It was fun the first time around. I wanted to be there on the court the second time. This is a big game for me personally. I love playing against Tyson (Chandler). It’s a big challenge for me and I’m looking forward to it.

Kris Humphries: If i didn’t feel (we were ready), we wouldn’t go to the game tomorrow. You’ll see us there.