Game 3 Notes & Quotes: Rockets 121, Trail Blazers 116 (OT)
April 25th, 2014
• The Trail Blazers now lead the best-of-seven series, 2-1. The road team has won all three games. The last time a Portland series saw the road team win each of the first three games was against Kansas City in the First Round of the 1981 Playoffs.
• Portland and Houston have gone to overtime twice in this series (Game 1). The last time Portland went to overtime twice in one series was the 1990 Conference Semifinals vs. San Antonio.
• Damian Lillard is the first Trail Blazer with 30+ points, 6+ rebounds and 6+ assists in a playoff game since Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler both did it against Utah on May 19, 1992. He is the first NBA player with 30+ points, 6+ rebounds and 6+ assists in one of his first three career playoff games since Carlos Boozer (4/23/07, Utah at Houston).
• With 26 points tonight, Nicolas Batum scored a new postseason career high (18, 4/18/10 at Phoenix). He also tied a playoff career best with nine rebounds.
• LaMarcus Aldridge is the only Trail Blazer to ever score 100+ points in Portland’s first three games to begin the NBA Playoffs.
• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first NBA player with 40+ field goals and 30+ rebounds in his team’s first three playoff games since Kevin Garnett (April 20-24, 2003).
• Damian Lillard is the first player with 60+ points, 20+ rebounds, 20+ assists in his first three career playoff games since Steve Francis (April 17-23, 2004).
• The Trail Blazers have scored 100+ points in three straight playoff games for the first time since April 29-May 3, 1994, also against Houston.
• The Trail Blazers have made at least eight 3-pointers in three straight playoff games for the first time in team history. Portland’s 10 3-pointers tonight were one shy of a playoff franchise record (11, 4/29/10 vs. Phoenix).
• Mo Williams scored nine straight points for the Trail Blazers from 9:12 to 7:18 in the fourth quarter. He led all bench players in the game with 17 points.
• The Trail Blazers went on a 14-4 run from 5:16 to 1:59 in the fourth quarter to regain the lead, 107-106.
• The Trail Blazers scored 16 unanswered points from 11:10 to 7:16 in the second quarter to lead for the first time. The score was 42-38 by the end of the run.
• James Harden scored a new playoff career-high 37 points (36, 4/24/13 at Oklahoma City). The three highest-scoring games of the 2014 NBA Playoffs have all occurred in the Portland-Houston series (LaMarcus Aldridge has games of 46 points and 43 points).
On How Houston Played:
“I thought they played a great game. Both teams knew what was at stake if we were able to win this game. They came out and competed and played really well. I thought our team did a great job of making it a game. We played well ourselves. It came down to one play – they made one more play than we did.”
On Whether Daniels Was On A Scouting Report:
“We knew that he was a shooter. We didn’t know that Chandler Parsons was going to be in foul trouble and he would be out there as much as he was. Once they went small, we went small too. That’s really when we got back into the game. He hit, I think, two threes, but he raised up on that last one like he had been there before. You live with him shooting that shot over James Harden.”
On The Game:
“It was a huge game for us, just like it was for them. But like I said they made one more play than we did. It would be a problem if we lost this game because of effort or we weren’t focused on taking care of business, but we were. It’s the playoffs and nobody said we were going to come out and sweep them. We’re lucky that we were able to win two games in Houston and be in the position right now that we’re in right now. It’s one game and we’ve got to move on from it.”
On Houston Starting Asik Instead Of Jones:
“I wasn’t surprised. We didn't know what to expect. They didn't have an answer for LA in the first two games. Once I saw him and Dwight out there at the same time, I figured they were trying to make it harder for him. When a guy gets 40-plus two games in a row, you’ve got to change something and that just happened to be the adjustment they made.”
On How Houston Defended Him:
“They were more aggressive. They forced me baseline and brought the big baseline. That’s why the first half I was making a read on it and I was more aggressive in the second half when I kind of figured it out a little bit. Pick and roll, they rotated big to big, so they made it a point to take me out and not let me get up a lot of shots tonight and not find a good rhythm.”
On Being Taken Out Offensively, But Batum/Lillard Stepping Up:
“We were still in the game. We had a chance to win. A tough play down the stretch and they hit a big three. We didn’t make plays down the stretch. We didn’t make shots down the stretch. Guys played great, guys stepped up and made plays for us.”
On Execution Late In The Game Offensively:
“We executed, we just didn’t make any shots. I had one or two shots I missed. We did get denied on some plays which we have to work on not getting denied on certain plays because then our play breaks down. I thought we had good looks going down the stretch, we just didn’t make shots.”
Harden Said Pressure Is On You. Does He Feel That Way?
“We’re still in control. The pressure is still on them. They lost two at home so they’re trying to come here and they have to take two. They came out and played as they should, they played like they were desperate, like they needed a win, like they didn’t want their season to end. We probably didn’t set the tone as well as we should have to start the game but I know we will do better next game.”
On The Game:
“It was a hard fought game. A little bit different than the previous two, but a game that could have gone either way. Ultimately, they made some shots at the end and we didn’t shoot the ball necessarily well in the overtime. But none of them are going to be easy. It’s part of the playoffs.”
On Execution Offensively In Last Few Possessions:
“LA’s shot, Beverly was denying Damian the ball and to be honest, it was an open, top of the key jump shot that he can make. So it wasn’t necessarily the play that we had designed but it wasn’t necessarily a bad shot. Then Nic’s three at the end, to get a clean look like that, he was 4 for 8 going into that, so I thought that was good execution. Mo set a good screen, Nic made a good read and had a good look.”
On Evenly Matched Teams:
“I think we all knew that we’re very evenly matched. We’re very similar in styles. I think these are the games we’ve got to expect. Extra possessions are going to matter in these games. Even though it’s a relatively high scoring game, the extra possessions matter. They did a good job on the offensive rebounds and got second chance points. We did a good job limiting their easy baskets in transition, but this is going to be a hard fought series. They came out and kind of took it to us early, but after that it was a game that just went back and forth.”
On Rockets Defending Aldridge:
“Their post defense was good, but he got open looks on pick and rolls. It was one of those things when they have the big guys, then we have to pull them away from the basket. I thought LA got good looks on pick and rolls, but they have a lot of length on their post defense.”
On The End Of The Game:
“We had some good looks down the stretch. Lin, Harden and Daniels made their shots and we didn’t. The possession where Mo had the ball, we could have been running the other way in it, but instead Daniels hits a three. A bounce of the ball here or there makes a difference.”
On His Sixth Game In The League Tonight And Making A Game Winning Shot::
"I was ready. My teammates and coaches said just be ready to shoot that shot and that's what I do, that's my job, so it was a great shot and a great game."
On His Emotions After He Hit The Shot:
"I looked over at [James Harden] and I saw he was hyped, so I looked back at him and said, "Let's go."
On The Head Coach Putting In A Rrookie To Make That Shot::
"It means a lot. As a rookie, you never know when you're going to play. When he called my name, I was ready to play. That just shows how much confidence he has in me."
On The Team's Fight Tonight:
"Well, it's a process and we're still getting better. We're still working hard and we're still going to try and keep getting better and better chemistry, but this is the most exciting part of the year. Our goal all year long was to get home court advantage and obviously losing those two at home wasn't ideal, but I'm happy with the way we fought tonight. We didn't hang our heads and we got a big win."
On His Thoughts After Tonight's Game Looking Forward To Sunday:
"The pressure is on them. Sunday is going to be a great game and we have to do a great job of being ready, being focused. We have to quiet runs to a minimum and just be out there for four quarters. The hustle plays, the loose balls, we have to get all of those."
On Troy Daniels' Big Shot And His Performance Tonight:
"It's big time. A couple weeks ago he was in the D league, and now he saved our season. It was a big time shot, he was ready to play. As soon as he came in and started practice, he was ready. He's always ready and always working hard, so this shot was just helping his mojo."
On Any Doubtful Thoughts Coming Into Tonight's Game::
"No. We had confidence. We shouldn't have been down 0-2 in the series, but we knew it was going to be a hostile environment. When we came in, we relaxed, they made a couple runs, but we had our composure and made the winning plays at the end."
On The Effort Of The Team Tonight:
"We played hard. We're not a fine tuned machine right now but we went out and played hard."
On The Decision To Play Troy Daniels Tonight:
"We needed somebody to make a couple of threes, three threes to be exact. He can shoot the ball and I think, prior to tonight, we were shooting 21% from the 3-point line. Troy can knock it down and he didn't have much time with us, he was in the D-league most of the time and I honestly, to be truthful, I told him, "Young fella go out there and fight your butt off. I feel bad that you weren't with us longer to get more comfortable, but you have to get as comfortable as you can possibly get right now." And he did.
One thing I did see in Troy is that he's a tough kid. He's going to get his nose dirty and we needed to get some nose dirty players."
On Tonight's Performance After Two Losses At Home::
"Yeah, I mean 4-point plays help and, again, you get big leads and you credit them, they battled back. We have to keep doing what we do. I thought we had more attack in the game, we opened up some more three's, we just have to keep getting to the hole. They're a tough team, they're going to bounce back on Sunday, but we are too. We haven't done anything yet. We've won one game, which feels a whole lot better than losing games, but we as a team just have to keep on fighting and I really thought they took the fight to us in the first two games."