Quotes From The Game:
"I don't know if we're that good or they were just that bad tonight," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said.
I think it's very infectious," Coach Phil Jackson said of the tenacity shown by Malone, in particular. "He and Gary both have impact and energy on the floor. We really needed a physical presence out there. We thought we'd lost the physical nature of our team."
It gave us an idea," Jackson said. "We'll know more after Wednesday night's game."
Rick Fox is a week or so from full-court, five-on-five scrimmaging, according to Phil
Malone, 40, made NBA history, becoming the first player 40 or over to get a triple-double.
"I think to get one anytime in your career is a little special," Malone said. "Being 40 is a little special. I think more importantly is the win. I'll take a win any day."
It's more important we keep this thing going," he said. "Sure, it was a big game. With all the hoopla, maybe it was one of the big games of the year. But there'll be more big ones. Hopefully, in June."
"The team played an excellent game tonight," said O'Neal, who also mentioned that his injury was fine. "We played with purpose. As long as we keep that up, everything should be OK."
The team played an excellent game tonight," O'Neal said. "We did what we're supposed to do -- stay dominant and hungry."
My teammates," he said, "played very, very well."
I'm good, I'm good," O'Neal said. "I was kind of rusty on my shot. I wasn't going to force it, so I just said to myself, 'I'm just going to do other stuff.' "
They made an immediate impact, just jumped right into it," Bryant said of the free agents, new to the Laker-Spur rivalry.
We have a full thrust," Bryant said. "Our whole team comes at you. Last year it was a one-two punch, this year it's just a wave."
They made an immediate impact," Bryant said of Malone and Payton. "Just jumped right into it. As far as being physical, trash-talking and Karl's ability to pass the ball, Gary's ability to push the ball. They jumped right into it -- both feet.
"We have a full thrust. Our whole team comes at them. Last year it was a one-two punch. This year it's just a wave. And that's how we play. It's not only myself, Gary, Karl and Shaquille. It's also Devean George. He's featured in our offense. They have five guys to think about."
And as Bryant came off the floor at the end, he paused for a moment to seal the victory with a kiss, smooching 10-month-old daughter, Natalia, who attended her first of Bryant's games.
Bryant responded to a pregame chat in which Jackson cautioned him not to overdo his offense in hopes of beating San Antonio ace defender Bruce Bowen (or Indiana's Ron Artest on Sunday) and settled for a few highlight moments in a mature overall game
They might want to include a link to this quote from Payton: "We can play against good teams, we're a good team. And we're not going to take anything lying down. We're going to come at you the same way you're coming at us."
They're hell on wheels right now," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said, "and there's no reason it should stop."
We're exactly where we were last year, trying to put together a team to see how good we can be," Popovich said. "For the nth time, we're not the defending NBA championship team. That team is not in existence any more."
"It's a little uncomfortable, but it's cool," Horry said. "It makes me feel like they are trying to tell me something. Should I go ahead and retire or something? But it's cool. It lets you know that sometimes they do appreciate the little things."
"I was cool with it," Horry said. "I told you guys when I walked out of the season-ending meetings -- I even told you that after the game. It was cool. But I'm still happy I got a chance to play there. It'll give (me) something to hang on my wall."
This feels all right," he said. "You kind of worry about it, but you don't. You just hope they appreciate the times that you spent here in the building, remember more the good times than the bad times."
I have a lot of love for those guys," Horry said. "You can't have six years together and not have love for one another."
Odd couple: Among Horry's new teammates is Hedo Turkoglu, the former Sacramento King who had his own championship hopes dashed by the Lakers for three consecutive years.
"We talked once about it, but that was it," Horry said. "Turkoglu don't talk much. Quiet guy.