Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 100, Kings 99
April 9, 2014
• Portland's 51 wins this season are already tied for eighth-most in the 44-year history of the Trail Blazers franchise.
• Sacramento’s two-point lead, 99-97, was tied for its largest advantage of the game before Dorell Wright’s 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds remaining proved to be the game-winner.
• With the win, the Trail Blazers improve to 33-7 (.825) this season against teams with records below .500.
• Portland is now 26-4 (86.7%) this season when holding its opponents below 100 points.
• The win gives Portland a 3-1 victory in the season series against Sacramento. The Trail Blazers have not lost a season series to the Kings since 2007-08 (3-1).
• LaMarcus Aldridge now has 50 games with 20+ points this season, a new career high (49, 2010-11).
• Nicolas Batum has now scored in double digits in 55 games, a new personal career high for any season.
• Damian Lillard tied his career high for assists in any half with eight assists in the first half of tonight’s game (eight in the first half on Dec. 1, 2012 at Cleveland).
• Damian Lillard finished the game with 10 assists, marking the 15th time in his career he has reached double figures in assists (sixth this season).
• With eight rebounds in the first half, Thomas Robinson tied his season high for rebounds in the first half (twice).
• Portland went on a 9-0 run from 3:46 to 1:07 left in the third quarter to take a 79-67 lead, before Sacramento answered with a 10-0 run to narrow the Trail Blazers lead to 79-77 with 10:45 remaining in the fourth quarter.
• Portland’s 75 field goal attempts were only one more than a season low (74, Feb. 25 at Miami). • With 30 points and 12 rebounds, Sacramento center DeMarcus Cousins recorded his 51st double-double of the season, passing Chris Webber for most double-doubles in a single season in the Sacramento-era.
• DeMarcus Cousins scored at least 30 points in all four games against the Trail Blazers this season and averaged 33.3 points and 11.5 rebounds in the series.
On Tonight's Performance:
“That was crazy right there. It still feels fake to me. That was pretty cool right there, especially sitting over there being mad at myself for not making those shots the whole game and then coach giving me an opportunity to go back out there. That was big time. It was a big win for us. I’m just happy I was able to knock down the shot.”
Was It Hard To Go Out With Confidence After Not Making A Shot All game?:
“Not when you’re a shooter, you know what I mean? My whole mindset was I was so mad because pregame I was making all my shots. I got out here tonight and I couldn’t make nothing. It goes like that sometimes and shooters shoot so that’s all I tried to do was knock it down with a lot of confidence.”
On First Game-Winner Since High School:
“Every win right now for us is big. That’s a good scrappy team, a young team. They’re going to keep fighting. Mike Malone I played for in Golden State so I know what type of coach he is. He wants guys to go out there and play hard and compete like they’re going to the playoffs as well. That’s what they did. I think we responded well. They made shots and were getting stops at the end, that’s a hard fighting team. They’ve got a lot of young good players so you have to give them a hand as well.”
On Final Possession:
“Coach gave me the option to go run the baseline and go to either side. I know that play. Dame likes to go to his right hand so he can get to the basket. Once Reggie Evans – he’s a four-man and that’s the best thing about me being out there with bigger guys on me, he crashed the paint. I moved Nic up a little bit and I was in the corner where I could give him an easy outlet and he made a good pass and I just took it with a lot of confidence and knocked it down.”
On Tonight's Game:
“It was an exciting way to win a game. Dorell picked a good time to make his shot. Sacramento did what they do well. The way they rebounded the ball in the second half in particular really hurt us. Turnovers hurt us. For me, it is good to get one of these close wins. It’s been a while since we’ve won some close ones so no matter how it comes, it gives us a little momentum.”
On Last Play:
“In that situation, you have LA and Damian in a pick and roll and they have to make a play. With Nic, Wes and Dorell out there, they have to make a decision. Reggie Evans was guarding Dorell and he was protecting with LA on the roll and Dorell was open. It was a good decision by Damian to find him and showed trust that you have to take what the game gives you and Dorell knocked it down.”
On Inserting Wright For Final Play:
“Because he’s a threat. He’s been a threat throughout his career. Every time he shoots, I think it has a good chance of going in no matter what’s happened before, plus the odds were he was going to make one.”
On Sharpening Up Play For Playoffs:
“I don’t know if we would have won a playoff game tonight. We showed signs of good basketball. Ofensively, we moved the ball. We ended up with 26 assists. That’s good to see. We held them below 44 percent for most of the night. The only thing from a defensive standpoint was our rebounding. So we did a lot of good things. My biggest concern going into the playoffs is sustaining the quality of play for basically the whole game. We had our ups and downs. We did a lot of good things on both ends of the court, we just have to sustain it.”
On Last Play:
"Coach put the ball in [DeMarcus Cousins'] hands, try to do a pick and roll and came off and tried to get a good look and I thought I got a good look at a shot, that's just a shot that I have to make. Unfortunately, I didn't knock it down."
On Tonight's Performance In Comparison To Last Night's:
"Last night, coach was disappointed in us. He felt like we didn't come out and give a good effort and just compete. We kind of let up last night and tonight we knew we were in the game, like last night, just had to come out and compete and just play hard and try to will a win out. Unfortunately, we came up short tonight, but overall I applaud the effort form the team as a whole and I thought we had a good game, just unfortunately we came up with the loss."
On Two Close Losses In A Row:
"It's tough. We have to improve on being able to close out games and it's tough. The Dallas game, I think we lost by two. We should have pulled that one out. We had a chance to win and same with tonight. We lost by what, one point, we had a chance to win that game and it's just something for me to build and learn from, just learn how to close a game out and as a team, we just have to figure out how to get some stops and execute down the end."
On Losing Tonight On A Three Pointer:
"It's tough to lose a game no matter what kind of shot they hit. I thought our guys in the second half played tremendous, great energy, great effort. We held them to 44 points in the second half, but Lillard does such a good job of attacking, he puts two on the ball and then you come over and tag on the roller, Aldridge, and now you have Dorell Wright spotting up. Give Dorell credit, hits a big, big shot for them and then we don't get a great shot on the other end. We didn't have great execution at the end of that game with the last play, but a great opportunity for [Ray McCallum] to try to make a play at the end and we came up a little bit short, but really enjoyed and appreciated how our guys played tonight."
On The Difference In The Team's Performance From Last Night To Tonight:
"The effort level from last night's fourth quarter to tonight's fourth quarter was night and day. Finally, [Ray McCallum] started attacking, our defense picked up. I thought, again, that second half we hold that team to 21 points in the fourth quarter, which is great. That team is averaging 107 points a night. So, to come in their building and hold them to 100 points, I think, is terrific. It's just energy and effort. Tonight we did a much better job of doing that for 48 minutes and I really commend our guys for doing that on a back-to-back against a very good team. What I told them after the game was this, don't look at the record, forget about our record. We're playing some playoff teams to the wire right now in their building, Dallas, Portland, and we have to find a way to get over the hump, obviously, but these experiences that our young guys are going through can only help us in the future."