Game 5 Notes & Quotes: Rockets 108, Trail Blazers 98

600rox.jpg

April 30th, 2014

NOTES

• Portland set a new playoff franchise record with 14 blocked shots (13, 4/15/77 at Chicago).

• Damian Lillard is first player with 125+ points and 35+ assists in first 5 career playoff games since Tim Hardaway (April 25-May 5, 1991).

• Wesley Matthews tied a Trail Blazers playoff record with four 3-pointers in a quarter (Porter-1994, Fernandez-2010, Matthews-2011).

• Wesley Matthews has scored a new playoff career-high 27 points (25, 4/21/11 vs. Dallas). He has 18 points in the third quarter alone.

• Wesley Matthews has tied his career high (regular season or playoffs) with three blocked shots (4/13/10).

• Houston recorded another sold out crowd of 18,230 tonight. Rockets fans have sold out Toyota Center for a third straight playoff game and 41st of the year.

• Houston dominated in the paint +20 (60-40) against Portland tonight.

• The Rockets held a commanding lead of 17 throughout the first half of play. It was their biggest lead of the game. Houston held Portland to 1-11 from the field (.091) in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter to secure the win.

• Houston overcame a 3-1 deficit to stay alive in the playoffs. The 1994-95 (4-3 vs. Phoenix) were the last Rocket team to do this. Houston is 29-25 all-time when facing elimination.

• Chandler Parsons had 20 points (8-22 FG, 3-8 3FG, 1-3 FG), four rebounds and four rebounds in tonight’s win. Parsons had a playoff career high in field goal attempts.

• Omer Asik finished with 10 points (5-12 FG) and 15 rebounds tonight. This marks his 1st double-double this post-season, 4th career overall in playoff games and 7th for the season.

• Jeremy Lin came off the bench scoring 21 points (9-15 FG, 2-5 3FG, 1-1 FT), 4 assists, three rebounds and two steals. This is Lin’s second career playoff game with at least 10 points, two assists and two steals.

• Dwight Howard had 22 points (9-15 FG, 4-6 FT), 14 rebounds and three blocks in tonight’s hard fought win. Howard has posted a double-double in each playoff game this series and this was his 32nd double-double in career playoff games all-time.

• Wesley Matthews lead all Trailblazerswith 27 points (9-18 FG, 5-9 3FG, 1-1 FT) and Damian Lillard finished with 27 points (9-18 FG, 3-8 3FG, 5-5 FT) in tonight’s loss. They are the second Trailblazers backcourt to finish with 25 or more points in a playoff game (4/29/01 vs. Lakers, Steve Smith and Damon Stoudamire).

• Tonight’s Portland starting line-up averages 50.0 points, 50.3% FG and 38.5% 3FG in the First Round of the playoffs.

QUOTES

matthewsnotes.jpg

Wesley Matthews

On What Happened Down The Stretch:
“They made plays. You have to give them credit. They played with a sense of urgency, desperation, that we knew they would. It seemed like Jeremy Lin hit big shot after big shot. We got stops and still gave ourselves an opportunity. They made plays when it came down to it.”

On His Play And Eighteen Points In The Third Quarter:
“I felt good, but I was just playing basketball. I don’t think I went into that quarter thinking that I had to be aggressive, but it was in the flow of the game and my teammates were finding me and my shots were falling.”

On The Trail Blazers Confidence In The Third Quarter:
“There is no question that we thought we were going to win that game. In a 82 game season, you play in every kind of game and we have been a resilient team all year. We’ve been in deficits that we’ve allowed ourselves to get into, but we’ve been able to pull them out. There was no question that we were going to fight and we got it to a one point game, but we just couldn’t get over the hump.”

On Jeremy Lin:
“He made plays. I remember two tough 3’s at the end of the shot clock, so that is six points right there that easily could have went either way, but credit him, he made plays, he was attacking the rim, aggressive and 21 points off the bench is huge.”

lopeznotes.jpg

Robin Lopez

On If The Trail Blazers Have Lost The Edge:
“No, I don’t know it was that. I think we may have underestimated how desperate they were going to come out. I’m excited for Game 6 and I know that they will come out with a greater level of intensity and confidence and we will have to try and match it overcome it.”

On The Difference In Tonight’s Game:
“I think it was just the energy in the first half. I don’t know if Houston did anything different. They just came out very desperately.”

aldridgenotes.jpg

LaMarcus Aldridge

On What Happened In The Fourth Quarter:
“They made plays. We had opportunities to make shots. We didn’t make certain shots that we needed. We didn’t get the big stops down the stretch and I think they definitely played well down the stretch and we didn’t and I thought that was the biggest keys in going down the stretch.”

On Houston Defending Him Differently:
“No, that was just how the game went (only 12 field goal attempts). The ball didn’t come to me as much tonight. Our guys were making shots and we were playing off them and that’s how the game went. It wasn’t about how Dwight (Howard) guarded me or anything like that.”

On The Trail Blazers Position:
“They came home and they took care of their home court and now we’ll go home back to Portland and we’ll try and do the same thing. We’ve been good at home all year, and now we’ll go back home and take care of business.”

stottsnotes.jpg

Head Coach Terry Stotts

On The Game:
“It was another hard fought game. Obviously, we got down early in the first half, and I didn’t think we played the way we’ve been playing the series. We turned the ball over to much and were a little out of sorts defensively, but we made a good run in the second half. It was just another hard fought game and so we look forward to playing them on Friday.”

On Seeing A More Intense Effort From The Rockets
“I think both teams have been playing with a high intensity all series. I didn’t necessarily notice it one way or another because all the games have been at a high level of intensity and effort. I think you’ll see the same thing on Friday.”

On The Rockets Shutting Down LaMarcus Aldridge:
“He goes three-for-twelve and missed a couple of free throws and maybe his foul trouble got him out of his rhythm. Out team is constructed where we have to take advantage of the opportunities that are there. Obviously, LA (LaMarcus Aldridge) didn’t score, but we still scored 98 and we had some opportunities in the last three minutes. Obviously, LA (LaMarcus Aldridge) has had better games in the series, but I don’t know if it was necessarily their defense, but give Houston credit they played hard and we’ll look at the video and see here we can get better.”

On Jeremy Lin:
“He hit two big shots as the shot clock was coming down in both halves and those were big momentum plays. Those were his only two 3’s or, I’m sorry, one was a two, those were two big momentum plays for them and kind of took a little bit out of us. Both those plays we had a good defensive stand and then he throws it up at the end. His penetrations hurt us, particularly in the second half. We know he is very capable of doing that for them. For him to have 21 off the bench gave them a lot of big points.”

parsonscropped_1.jpg

Chandler Parsons

On The Crucial Win Tonight:
“We feel like we let a few of these games slip away and we showed growth tonight by not letting that happen. They (Portland) are a good team. They're going to continue to fight. They're resilient no matter how far they get down. They're going to keep attacking you and they've got guys who are capable of hitting some tough shots. It was a big win for us tonight. Our season is on the line so we are not trying to go home and we've just got to continue to battle and take it one game at a time.”

On The Rockets Making Enough Plays To Get The Win:
“We've got to continue to focus on what we need to do and how we are playing. There were some frustrating things tonight. We missed a lot of open shots. I missed multiple bunnies in the lane that usually finish but we stayed together, we stayed positive and we believe that we can win this series and our fans were great. The crowd was unbelievable and we look forward to another dog fight Friday in Portland.”

hardennotes_0.jpg

James Harden

On Him Stepping Up In Addition To Dwight Howard Stepping Up:
“Dwight carried us the entire game. We ran him down a little bit and someone else had to make a play. Chandler was playing well. Jeremy made some big shots. I really hadn't didn't anything the first two quarters so it was time to step up and make plays.”

On The Offensive Performance Tonight:
“We did a pretty good job of helping each other out. LaMarcus (Aldridge) couldn't get into a rhythm the entire game. Credit to our bigs but it was just basically helping each other out and having each other's back.”

On How Getting In The Lane Helped The Rockets Get Into A Rhythm Late In The 4th:
“It helps a lot just to be aggressive. Our team was making big plays throughout the first three and a half quarters it was time for me to step up and make plays. So, I just had confidence in my shot and attacking abilities.”

beverleynotes.jpg

Patrick Beverley

On How He Is Feeling:
“Fever is still a little high. I'm just happy we got the win. Go back home and get some rest and get ready for our upcoming game.”

On If He Feels They Won Because Of Team Defense:
“Yeah. I think we got stops. They missed some shots that they normally make. We rebounded. Dwight and Omer did a great job of rebounds. They (Blazers) started making a comeback in the fourth but we withstood it but like you said we got good stops at the end.”

jonesnotes.jpg

Terrence Jones

On What The Rockets Did Differently Against LaMarcus Aldridge:
“I think we've been guarding him as a team. We've been playing a lot of team defense and everybody has been showing up.”

On The Rockets Defense Being A Key To The Win:
“I think we got stops when we needed to and that's what got us the win tonight.”

howardnotes.jpg

Dwight Howard

On The Game:
“We did a pretty good job of not thinking so much, just playing. There are still some areas that we need to go at, especially when we have leads against this team. We've had double digit leads all series long and when we get those leads, we tend to stop doing what we did to get us those leads. So, we've got to learn as a team to value each possession. It's very important that we value the ball and get a good shot every time. That's something that we have to learn and we have to learn it fast.”

On What The Rockets Mindset Was Tonight:
“I don't want to go on vacation. I want to win. I want to give everything I've got ]. Every night, put my heart into it and sacrifice my body and do whatever I can to help this team win. It's not going to be easy.”

On What Rockets Did Differently In Defending LaMarcus Aldridge:
“We tried to make him take tough shots.”

mchalenotes.jpg

Head Coach Kevin McHale

On Team's Play Down The Stretch:
“Dwight was good down the stretch for us. He got the ball inside. We were able to play inside and out a little bit. Our spacing got better. They (Blazers) started running around a little bit, trying to overcompensate. If they didn't...Dwight was pretty solid. He was really good in the post. He was good decision making. He ended up with two assists but he really moved the ball well and got some of the hockey assists we've been looking for. We got some stops. They (Blazers) had a home run there in the third quarter where they were making a lot of 3's.”

On Resolve Of The Rockets:
“They've played well. The games have all been close. Our guys came out and battled. I thought they would. I didn't think that they would not battle. They wanted to get back to Portland and get another shot at them. Of course, our season was hanging on tonight and now our season hangs on Friday night.”

On Defense On LaMarcus Aldridge:
“He's a tough cover. We're just trying to keep bigger bodies on him and try to make him shoot over the top. He didn't get as many shots. (Wesley) Matthews got really hot there. (Damian) Lillard was killing in the first half and Matthews had a huge third quarter. It didn't seem like the ball found LaMarcus as much as it has in the past.”

On Jeremy Lin's Play:
“He played better. Jeremy has had some very good games for us. We needed him. He was able to break people down. They were trying to pressure him all over and he broke the pressure down and got in the paint and hit a couple of floaters.”