Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 100, Nuggets 95
February 25, 2014
• Portland now has 11 wins against the Northwest Division (11-3). No other NBA team has more than nine wins within its own division.
• The Trail Blazers have win each of their first three meetings against the Nuggets for the first time since 1998-99 (3-0 sweep).
• Portland has won 18 of its 20 games this season when holding its opponent below 100 points.
• Damian Lillard joins Kevin Durant and LeBron James as only NBA players with four straight games of 28+ points and 5+ assists this season.
• Robin Lopez's career-high seven blocks are the most by a Trail Blazer since LaMarcus Aldridge had seven on Dec. 28, 2010 at Denver.
• Damian Lillard is the first Trail Blazer with four straight 25-point, 5-assist games since Clyde Drexler from March 10-15, 1992.
• Nicolas Batum's first 3-pointer is 600th of his career. He joins Terry Porter (773) and Damon Stoudamire (717) as only Trail Blazers w/ 600.
• With tonight’s loss, Denver falls to 14-14 at home, their most losses at Pepsi Center since 2006-07 (18 home losses).
• Coming into tonight’s game, Denver had won 23 of their last 26 home games over Portland. The Blazers swept the Nuggets (2-0) in Denver this season, the first time doing so in a full season since 1996-97.
• The Nuggets are now 1-16 on the year when scoring 95-or-fewer points.
• Denver grabbed 64 rebounds (27 offensive) tonight. The 64 boards set a new NBA season-high, while the 27 tied an NBA season-high for offensive rebounds.
• The Trail Blazers shot 28-76 (.368) from the field. Denver is now 6-3 when holding their opponent to under 40% shooting from the field.
• The Nuggets also shot under 40% (37-103 FG), moving to 0-11 this season when failing to shoot 40%-or-better.
• Denver’s 103 field goal attempts were their most in a non-overtime game since they shot 108 in 4/18/01 vs. SAC.
• The Nugget’s made four three-pointers, tied for their second fewest this year. Their .200 three-point field goal percentage is also tied for their second lowest this year.
• J.J. Hickson posted 16 points and a career-high 25 rebounds (15 offensive) tonight. His 25 rebounds is tied for third most rebounds in Nuggets NBA history, and his 15 offensive rebounds is the most ever by a Nugget in team NBA history (tied for most in franchise history with Spencer Haywood who grabbed 15 at Kentucky on 2/12/70).
• Since December 1997, only three players in the NBA have collected 15+ offensive rebounds in a single game: J.J. Hickson with 15 vs. POR on 2/25/14, Andray Blatche with 16 vs. CLE on 4/1/11 and Dennis Rodman with 15 vs. LAC on 12/23/97.
• Additionally, tonight was Hickson’s second game with 24+ rebounds this season, joining Dwight Howard as the only players this season to post two 24+ rebound games (LaMarcus Aldridge and Anderson Varejao each have one such game).
• Aaron Brooks registered 14 points, five rebounds and six assists. It is the sixth time in his career he has reached those numbers in the same game and first time doing so since 4/11/10 at PHX.
On Overall Performance:
“We got up on them and they turned it around and picked up their energy. The game was kind of going our way because we were executing, flying around and getting stops. We kind of relaxed because I guess we thought it was easy but really we were just doing what we were supposed to be doing but they found their way back into the game.”
On Nuggets Fourth Quarter Comeback:
“They really picked it up. We had some lazy passes and just weren’t moving the ball as much as we were when we went on that big run. That’s how the game goes. It’s a game of spurts. In that fourth quarter they had their run.”
On Playing Without Aldridge:
“I think it was a lot of guys. It wasn’t just me. Obviously I have to be a little more aggressive and step up my game with him out. We’ve been having guys step up consistently with Mo [Williams] coming in, [Dorell] Wright, Will [Barton], [Thomas Robinson], and everybody has raised their level of play. That’s what we’re going to need as long as [LaMarcus Aldridge] is out.”
On Overall Performance:
“I had a lot of guys helping me out inside. I think near the end of the game we were trying to pack it in. I wasn’t out there trying to chase stats. I was out there just trying to play basketball and I think that’s what everybody else was trying to do too.”
On If Nuggets Small Lineup Affected How They Played:
“I don’t know if we saw it that way. We were a little shorthanded in the front court too. I think we just came into this game knowing that they’re still an aggressive offensive rebounding team and we were just going to have to scrap to get that W.”
On Tonight's Game:
“I was really proud of the way we competed. It was a difficult game and we did a lot of good things. We made some big plays defensively to win it at the end. Our offense kind of shut down a bit in the fourth quarter, but our defense stayed solid. To get a win like this in Denver is something we needed to do.”
On Why This Was Such A Difficult Game:
“Thomas [Robinson] going down kind of limited our big men. So we had to find other ways to play. I guess what made it difficult was in the fourth quarter. For a little over three quarters we played really good, but [the Nuggets] played big, we played small. [The Nuggets] pounded the boards and made some plays. So what made the game difficult was the fourth quarter.”
On Team's Resourcefulness:
“I think it says a lot about the guys that were out there. Everybody did a little bit of everything. Kenneth Faried and J.J. Hickson are two of the best rebounders in the league. Our guys were just competing. Obviously J.J. had a great night rebounding the ball. But, I thought even being relatively undersized; the defensive plays we came up with were big. Dorell [Wright] fronting the post and getting a deflection and turning that into two points was a big momentum play for us. We have said this a few times, but, as long as LaMarcus [Aldridge] is out, everybody is going to have to do a little more. Damian [Lillard] had it going early. We just need to keep finding ways to score and keep finding ways to keep [opponents] from scoring.”
“I told J.J. Hickson don’t let coming off the bench affect you just come out and respond by playing hard. He bounced back and worked hard. I told him way to keep working, he did a great job and was a big part on the comeback.”
On Finishing In The Paint:
“I took it in the paint a couple of times, Robin Lopez is really smart by staying on his feet and keeping his hands up. That’s something we have been working on but we haven’t capitalized on it just yet but coach is right we have to take it to the basket to get easy point.”
On Points In The Paint:
“We had 64 shots in the paint and we only connected on 27 of them. In a game where you get 27 offensive rebounds you think you’ll win that game going away. J.J. [Hickson] did a heck of a job for us coming off the bench with 16 points and 25 rebounds and 15 offensive rebounds. We just weren’t able to convert all of those opportunities that we got. When we were able to get second and third shots we weren’t very good from the perimeter shooting the ball tonight.”
On Fourth Quarter Effort:
“I was happy to see that but I wouldn’t say that I was proud because that’s what we’re supposed to do. I shouldn’t have to beg for that on a nightly basis. Yea I was happy to see it because it’s something that we’ve been harping on at least for the last two or three weeks. To finally see it, yeah I was happy but proud of it? No I’m not proud of it because that’s the way you should play all the time.”
“It seemed to fire J.J. up. He was very energetic. He was a monster on the boards, especially on the offensive boards. So that’s the kind of effort that I want to see.”