Game 1 Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 122, Rockets 120

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April 20th, 2014

NOTES

• LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard are the first teammates since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1992 to finish with 45 and 30 points in a postseason game.

• LaMarcus Aldridge is first player with 46+ points and 18+ rebounds in a road playoff win since Elgin Baylor in the 1962 NBA Finals (Elias).

• LaMarcus Aldridge's 46 points and 17 field goals are playoff franchise records, and his 18 rebounds ties for fifth-most by a Trail Blazer.

• Damian Lillard is the first NBA player with 31+ points and 9+ rebounds in his first career playoff game since LeBron James (4/22/06 vs WAS).

• The Trail Blazers have won a playoff game in Houston for the first time (previously 0-7).

• Damian Lillard is the only Trail Blazer to score 30+ points in his first career playoff game.

• LaMarcus Aldridge is first NBA player with 46+ points, 18+ rebounds and 2+ blocks in a playoff game since Hakeem Olajuwon (5/14/87 at SEA).

• Tonight’s overtime game was the first in Rockets’ opening round history.

• The Rockets fall 122-120 in OT to the Trailblazers tonight. Portland now takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

• Dwight Howard finished with 27 points (9-21 FG, 9-17 FT) and 15 rebounds in tonight’s bout. This marks his 28th double-double in playoff games.

• Chandler Parsons played 46:53 and finished with 24 points (10-21 FG, 3-11 3FG, 1-2 FT), six rebounds and one assists in an overtime loss. The Rockets are 1-2 in playoff games when Parsons goes for 25 points or more.

• James Harden had 27 points (8-28 FG, 3-14 3FG, 8-10 FG), five rebounds and six assists tonight. This marks his fifth game with at least 25 points and 5 assists in a playoff game. (last vs. Oklahoma City 5/3/13)

QUOTES

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Damian Lillard

On Playoff Debut:
“It was exciting, man. Our team had some adversity and we competed very hard. They (Rockets) played a great game and you can’t take anything away from Houston. It came down to making free throws and making stops and we were able to get one more.”

On Their Play
“We were just very aggressive in the first half, both defensively and they (Rockets) didn’t shoot free throws. We knew that going into the second half it wasn’t going to be the same. The referees would see they hadn’t shot any free throws and it changed. They came out in the second half and they got some calls and that’s what we expected but our whole thing is to just keep playing and stay together. They made a run and we made our run and we stuck with them and were able to pull it out.”

On If He Plays Like A Seasoned Player
“I can’t consider myself a seasoned playoff vet. There are so many other guys that have played in 200 games. I think I heard Tim Duncan played in 200+ playoff games. That’s my first one and I’m happy that we were able to win it.”

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Nicolas Batum
On The Game:
“This was a big win for us. It was a great win for us but it’s just one game and we can’t be satisfied. We were down ten (points) a couple of times and were making mistakes but we still got the win. Everybody played well and showed up at the end. It was a fantastic win for us.”

On Defending James Harden:
“That’s what I have to do. I know he’s one of the best top ten players in the league. He’s clutch. We all know he’s going to get his shots so I try and do my best to try and deny him and make it difficult.”

On The Playoffs:
“I’m a little bit tired but you have to feel good because it’s the playoffs. You can’t be tired because we have two days to get some rest.”

On LaMarcus Aldridge:
“I’ve been seeing that for six years. We really needed the way that he played for us tonight. His game was huge for us. He was everywhere on the block and Dwight (Howard) is not a bad defender so he did great against one of the best so I’m very proud of him.”

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LaMarcus Aldridge
On What Got Into Him Tonight:
“It was just one of those nights. I got into a good rhythm and I started to feel good down low and I think my coaches and teammates did a good job trying to find me down low and I was trying to lead tonight. I thought every guy played great tonight. Joe came in and took some big fouls for us and made some big plays. This team is good. For us to win we need everybody.”

On The Team's Play Down The Stretch:
“Every guy on this team comes to me and talks to me and they believe in me and they tell me that I can dominate a game and I can do it so I’m always hearing that my teammates have my back. Those positive affirmations from them are always good for me and I’ve been here and I’ve went through this process and I understand it and I just think that tonight was one of those nights.”

On His Intensity:
“I made the playoffs three year sin a row and you kind of get comfortable and then I missed it three years in a row so just being back here I am very excited about it and I am looking forward to the challenge. I am playing better than I have in the past. I tried to tell every guy that the playoffs is like another level and another season and tonight I wanted to lead in that way. I think every guy felt I came ready to play.”

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Robin Lopez

On Playing Against Dwight Howard:
“He’s a good player. There are times when I’m going to have to try and guard him one on one and I am up for that challenge.”

On Fouling Out:
“I was just having a talk with Chandler (Parsons) and I asked him if that was six fouls and I gave him a tap on his back. This is playoff basketball and the emotions are very high and we want to win games. There’s a lot of passion involved.”

On The Game Being Physical:
“That’s a lot of fun. That’s the way I grew up playing basketball and that’s the style and the way it should be.”

On Fourth Quarter When The Team Was Down By 11 Points:
“We just wanted to make sure that we stuck with it. We’ve come back from bigger deficits this season and we realize that we can come back. We knew we could still win that game. We have a never say die attitude.”

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Terry Stotts

On The Way The Blazers Competed:
“I was really proud of the way we competed. I thought that we grounded it out at least three times, once in the first half, once in regulation, once in overtime. We stayed together and kept competing. We had guys make big plays. We fought through some adversity and foul trouble. It's good to get a win. This is just game one. We know we still have our work cut out for us.”

On Damian Lillard's Performance:
“It was a Damian Lillard performance. Damian rises to the occasion. For all those people who were wanting to know if he was ready for the playoffs, I think he answered that question, so we don't have to answer that anymore. He made big plays. The three was big, getting to the rim was big, making free throws, it was a big time performance.”

On LaMarcus Aldridge's Readiness For The Playoffs:
“I don't know why anybody would question whether he's ready for this. The guy is an All-Star, a multiple All-Star, probably All-Pro. He's been ready for this moment too. We've worked 82 games to get to this point and we expect this from each other.”

On The Turning Point Of The Game:
“There were a few. When we fell down whatever it was in the first half and we fought back to tie it up, that was a turning point. Obviously when we fouled Dwight and he missed his free throws, that was a turning point. They came out and made the first six points of overtime then we tied it up, that was a turning point. I thought the game had a lot of even flow to it.”

On Winning Game One:
“We wanted to win at least one here, so we've done that. We're not by any means satisfied. We've got a lot of work cut out for us. We knew we had to win at least one here and we put ourselves in a position to win. We were able to eak it out. This one, after tonight is behind us. We've got to move on.”

On Deciding To Foul Dwight:
“First they have to be in the bonus. When Dwight was scoring, they weren't in the bonus. As soon as they were in the bonus, we had to extend the game.”

On LaMarcus Aldridge's Performance:
“We rode him (LaMarcus Aldridge). He was very efficient on his post-ups. When they played the small lineups, he (LaMarcus Aldridge) took advantage of the small match ups that he had.”

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James Harden

On The Difference In The Game:
“We just didn't get stops. When you're in the playoffs and you're up eleven at home with five or six minutes to go, you just got to close out games. We didn't make shots. We didn't get stops. They hit two big three's and they got an and 1 three and what not. It's a tough loss, it's tough way to lose, but we'll bounce back. We see some things we can do against them.”

On How The Trail Blazers Kept Fighting Back:
“They are a good team. They are a really good team. They have a lot of guys that can put the ball in the basket. Like I said, we let up a couple of times. We knew the game wasn't going to be easy. We let up a couple of times, gave them a couple of easy baskets, three pointers. Lamarcus (Aldridge) made a tough three pointer in the corner, but I've got to play better. I didn't shoot the ball well. (I'm) just kind of rusty. I've got to shake it off, but it will be better in game 2.”

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Terrence Jones

On How Tough The Loss Is:
“It was very tough. We were fighting so hard the whole game. Coming up short is always difficult.”

On How Hard It Is To Guard LaMarcus Aldridge:
“It's a very hard task. He gets the ball a lot of possessions. He's very aggressive. He had it going tonight, so it was difficult. (He) is versatile in scoring. Being able to make so many short range jumpers and then being able to post up. He made threes today and got offensive rebounds. All different types of ways of scoring."

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Chandler Parsons

On What Went Wrong In The Second Half:
“It was a combination of everything. We had multiple leads that we gave up and let them be the aggressive team and when we get a lead like that we can’t allow them to come back and they’ve got guys that can hit ridiculous shots, which they did tonight. (LaMarcus) Aldridge, (Damian) Lillard, those guys are going to hit tough shots. You have to live with that some nights, but when we have a lead like that; we have to expand on it. We can’t let them keep coming back in the game.”

On How Hard It Is To Guard LaMarcus Aldridge:
“He’s really a dynamic player. He is a strong, big dude, so you can’t put a smaller guy on him and he hits tough shots. He takes a lot of long two point shots, and he hit a big three tonight. He just makes tough shots. He’s got a high release. You can’t really block his shot. He’s had a great year.”

On The Frustration Of This Loss:
“It stinks. It hurts. At the end of the day, it’s just one game, but it is a game that we let slip away. We had no business losing this game.”

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Jeremy Lin

On Rockets Losing The 4th Quarter Lead:
“Just couldn’t get stops and didn’t get rebounds. Just kind of the little things that are called little things but I guess aren’t that little. Up eleven or whatever it was with five or six minutes to go, we really have to do the little things. All five of us on the floor just didn’t get it done and we let them come back.”

On The Frustration Of This Loss:
“It just feels like they just kind of stole a game from us. I am not down playing anything that they have done or anything, but that’s just how it feels. That’s how I feel right now. Man, we had it, and we should’ve won and now we’re walking away down one game.”

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Kevin McHale

On Flor Of Game When Portland Started Hack-a-Howard:
“That changed (the game) it somewhat. We missed some free throws. They came just pushing it down and we didn't defend, they just kind of ran it down, they got a four point play off of kind of funny play. Then we were kind of back on our heels, they pushed it up on us. They made a couple of tough shots. We got a lot of opportunities for us to control that game, we just didn't do it.”

On Inconsistencies On Defense:
“We put ourselves in position a couple of time to try to be in a situation where we are going to extend the lead. They started fouling Dwight (Howard) and then they started pushing it down and taking quick shots and attacking the basket. They got us in foul trouble, we got back on our heels and we didn't defend or push on the missed free throw very well.”

On Last Play:
“We tried something and they kind of blew it up. And then we got it into TJ (Terrence Jones) and TJ got it back to James (Harden). They had no bigs in there except for (Joel) Freeland and we were trying to get to the hole on it. We didn't get that. James picked the ball up and got a shot late. He's made those shots before, but it wasn't a smooth running play. We didn't attack the rim and get downhill like we wanted to.”

On Stopping LaMarcus Aldridge
“We've got to do a better job, we're trying not to come down...he had 7 offensive rebounds. He had points on offensive rebounds, he got to the line 13 times and he made 17 shots and a lot of them were to the middle. We were trying to take away a couple of things and we didn't do a very good job on him at all. He's been a handful for us all year long and we're going to have to come up with a couple of new ways to keep the ball out of his hands, we just didn't have any answers for him.”