'They ran out of gas': TNT crew dissects Rockets' Game 7 loss
When former Rockets Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith are holding live microphones, the game isn't always the thing. Sometimes, it's the pregame, halftime or postgame that steals the show.
Accordingly, here are selected postgame quotes from Chuckster, Kenny the Jet and Shaquille O'Neal – joined by Warriors coach Steve Kerr - from TNT's coverage of Golden State's 101-92 victory over the Rockets in Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Finals.
Johnson on the Rockets' second consecutive third-quarter collapse: "I think we've seen this movie before."
Barkley: "The Rockets gave it all they have. You've got to give the Warriors credit for coming back in the second half. But you've got to take your hat off to the Rockets. They battled. They gave it everything they had."
Smith: "They ran out of gas. The word earlier I was using was, was it going to be sustainable? The kind of energy and shots and when you're shooting the ball so poorly ..."
Barkley: "I got a message for the NBA. After watching for the last two days, feel free to take a 2-pointer every now and then."
Johnson: "It's not an insult to your manhood. Go ahead."
O'Neal: "Especially when you're up 15."
Smith: "Chuck, do you remember the good old days when you missed 23 in a row, you take a layup?"
Barkley: "After watching the Celtics game last night and the second half tonight, it's almost embarrassing to the point where, like, this is just stupid to keep shooting 3s when you aren't making any."
O'Neal: "Kenny, what happened to the old law if you don't make a couple of shots, you go to the hole, get fouled, go to the free-throw line, regain your rhythm?"
Smith: "The Rockets were diversified in the first half. Clint Capela was in the game. And he was part of the action, and they just abandoned it in the third quarter."
Barkley: "What was their 3-point percentage in the third quarter?"
Johnson: "They missed 27 3s in a row."
Barkley: "That's almost impossible for an NBA team until we saw it tonight. ... I don't think you can even beat a bad team doing that."
Smith: "You didn't give yourself a chance."
Barkley: "Could you say that stat again, please?"
Johnson: "They were 7 for 44, the Rockets, from deep."
Barkley: "Come on, man. Seven for 44. That's ridiculous."
Smith: "That's unbelievable. That's like hearing Chuck say, 'No, I'm not hungry.'"
O'Neal: "Chuck, you want a Krispy Kreme?"
Barkley: "No, I'm good. That (the Rockets' shooting woes) is crazy right there, America."
O'Neal: "Live by the 3, die by the 3."
Smith: "They died by it."
O'Neal: "I was walking down the street, down Fannin, and I asked this guy, 'Who do you like tonight?' He said, 'I'm not really a basketball fan.' But he said, 'When it comes to great shooting, Houston will get cold before Golden State gets cold. I'm going with Golden State.'"
Smith: "He was a smart man."
Jackson: "You got some good analysis from a guy who doesn't watch basketball."
Barkley: "First of all, he's lying."
Johnson: "What did he say, 'Man, you're big, did you play basketball'?"
O'Neal: "He said, 'I'm a lawyer. I gamble, but I don't watch the games.'"
Smith: "You were talking to Chuck."
O'Neal: "You were right. It was Charles."
Johnson: "A lawyer wandering around the street on a holiday."
O'Neal: "All right, you caught me."
Warriors coach Steve Kerr joined the set.
Johnson: "Our old TNT colleague."
Kerr: "I thought I was going to be back here with you at halftime tonight, I thought I'd be back with TNT by next year."
Barkley: "That was only if you had taken the Knicks job."
Kerr: "I thought we wore them down. They got tired. All the high screens for James, he has to work so hard, and I think our defense eventually took over. ... Their defense is fantastic and so is ours. It became kind of a rock fight out there."
The show then went to a James Harden interview highlight.
Question: "How hard is it to deal with the 'what if's' with Chris going down?"
Harden: "We don't even think about that. We had opportunities tonight and last game without Chris. Obviously he's a big part of why we were here."
Barkley: "That was stupid, what he said."
Smith: "What part of it?"
Barkley: "You have to wonder what would have happened if Chris Paul (played). ... You can't say it like it don't matter. It clearly mattered. The guy won two games basically by himself and put (the Rockets) up 3-2."
O'Neal: "You can't wonder about stuff that's not going to happen."
Barkley: "You can't just say it don't matter at all. It matters."
Johnson: "Can't we all just get along?"
O'Neal: "What if I played with Hakeem in '94-'95? It don't matter."
The "Gone Fishing" graphic for the Rockets included George Foreman, Travis Scott and Beyonce with Smith, Harden and Paul.
Smith: "I wanted to include Kelly Rowland ... and the Madd Hatta."