Assorted reaction from the Celtics' 89-67 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA Finals Tuesday night:
-- Rajon Rondo on one reason the Celtics played so poorly:
"I think we were a little bit focused on if Perk was going to come back instead of just continuing to play. As soon as halftime came, you know, we all just ran to the locker room and to the training room to see how he was feeling and if he was okay. Our energy went down a little bit, but for the most part it's not an excuse. We just came out and didn't have it."
-- Rondo on Game 7:
"Lakers-Celtics. The biggest rivalry in NBA basketball. Seven games... It's going to be a physical game. I'm looking forward to it."
-- Kobe Bryant on Game 7:
"No different to me. I don't mean to be a buzz kill, but it's not. I know what's at stake, but I'm not tripping."
-- Phil Jackson on coaching his first-ever Game 7 in an NBA Finals Thursday night:
"Yeah, it's really a high-tension situation. Players have come down to putting a lot on the line at this particular point. A lot of times it's not about the coaching at that point. They've already got it in them. It's about who comes out and provides the energy on the floor and plays the kind of game and dictates the kind of game they want to dictate."
-- Doc Rivers on who starts Game 7 if Kendrick Perkins can't play:
"The whole team had struggles scoring. I haven't given that any thought yet on who we would start. It's pretty easy to figure out, it'll be one of two guys -- Rasheed or Baby -- but I'm not sure. We've got to get better play out of Baby, and I told him that after the game. We do. He has to come with that same spirit he came in the famous Shrek and Donkey game. We need that again, and we need that from everybody."
-- Phil Jackson on the contribution of Ron Artest:
"Ron I think kick-started us with a couple threes and got confidence in what he was doing. You know, he made some plays out there. Defensively he felt more comfortable with what we were trying to do out there I think on the floor. And I thought he continued his game. It wasn't just a little quarter burst or a little half, but I thought he continued playing the right way."
-- Pau Gasol on the Lakers playing well with Kobe Bryant on the bench:
"It's important when any player comes out of a game that we have enough on our bench that we can sustain the level of playing that we have been carrying throughout to that point."