Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 100, Pelicans 94

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April 6, 2014

NOTES

• Portland clinched a playoff spot tonight with the win and Memphis’ loss (112-92 at San Antonio).

• Portland has clinched its 30th NBA Playoff appearance since joining the league in 1970, tied for fourth-most in the NBA in that time (LA Lakers-39, San Antonio-34, Boston-31, Chicago-30). Portland has now made the NBA Playoffs in 30 of the last 38 years, after missing the postseason in each of the franchise's first six seasons.

• The Trail Blazers have recorded 50+ wins for the 12th season in team history and first since 2009-10.

• The Trail Blazers improve to 25-4 (.862) this season when allowing their opponents to score fewer than 100 points.

• LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his 12th game of 25+ points and 15+ rebounds this season. He never had more than one such game in any previous year. His 12 such games are second-most in the NBA this year (Kevin Love, 16).

• LaMarcus Aldridge has more games with 18+ rebounds this season (5) than the rest of his career combined (4).

• LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his 39th double-double of the season, a new career high (38, 2012-13). He also matched a season high tonight with eight offensive rebounds (Jan. 20 at Houston).

• Damian Lillard scored in double figures for the 55th straight game, the eighth-longest streak in the NBA this year.

• Nicolas Batum notched his 15th double-double of the season. His previous career best in a season was seven (2012-13).

• Trail Blazers starters outscored the Pelicans’ starting unit, 86-45.

• Portland regained the lead, 65-63, after an 8-0 run from the 6:39 to 5:18 marks in the third quarter. The Trail Blazers had not had the lead since the 2:19 mark in the first quarter (21-20). Portland expanded the run to 20-2 from 6:39 to 1:01 in the third quarter to take a lead, 77-65, it would never relinquish.

• Win the win, the Trail Blazers take the regular season series over the Pelicans, 3-1. This is the first time Portland has won the season series over New Orleans since 2011-12 (4-0) and the first time ever winning the series by a count of 3-1.

QUOTES

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LaMarcus Aldridge

On Winning 50 Games:
“50 wins is always a big honor in this league, especially being in the West with so many good teams. It’s definitely not something to take for granted. I think guys are happy about it and we’re definitely happy to be locked into the playoffs. We’re not satisfied with it, but this is definitely a really good night for us.”

On Taking Control In The Second Half:
“Just trying to make their looks tough. We gave them a lot of easy looks in the first half. They got a lot of easy shots off pick and rolls. We talked about it at halftime and I thought the guards did better and the bigs did too.”

On Slowing Down Davis After The First Quarter:
“They said that he likes to go left so I was giving him right and he made every shot going right, so I just stopped doing that.”

On What You Want To Tighten Up Over The Final Four Games:
“Everything. You always want to keep getting better. We want to keep trying to fine tune our defense, our pick and roll and try to get sharp.”

On Not Celebrating After This Win:
“We all said that we’re happy about it and we just moved on. This wasn’t out ultimate goal. It was one of our goals but we’re not satisfied to we’re not going to over-celebrate about it.”

What Do You Like About How The Team Is Trending At This Point?
“Just that we’re playing unselfish. We’re getting back to playing defense like we did early in the season. I feel like guys are locked in more defensively and that’s been big for us.”

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Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Game:
“50 wins is something to be proud of. I told the team that 50 wins has always been a standard, it’s been a bar in this league. The Trail Blazers have been such a great franchise and this is only the 12th one, so we’re really proud of what we’ve done so far. It’s something no one can take away from us, but I don’t think anybody in the locker room is satisfied with where we ware. It’s an accomplishment and we need to enjoy it and then get ready for Sac on Wednesday.”

“It was a win that we needed to have, but we said going into the season, making the playoffs was a goal, but we weren’t going to be satisfied with just making the playoffs.”

On Sluggish Play In The First Half:
“I guess it’s the definition of the first half – the first quarter we got off to a good start. We kind of went back and forth. The second quarter, we got a little loose with the ball. I don’t know if it would be necessarily sluggish, but I really liked the energy we had in the third quarter. I thought Dorell Wright came in and gave us a spark. Robin being sidelined with foul trouble obviously changed the dynamics of the game in the first half. He had an impact on the game until he got his fifth foul. We were kind of just patching it together in the first half, but I really liked how we played the third quarter.”

On Aldridge:
“LA was great. He had some blocks, obviously his rebounding, he had good hands. He’s a really good communicator out on the court. In pick and rolls, he knows angles. I’ve said this a few times – I think his defense is underrated because he’s always locked into the game plan, he knows personnel, he can bother shots and he can rebound.”

On Focus Now Moving Forward:
“LA was great. He had some blocks, obviously his rebounding, he had good hands. He’s a really good communicator out on the court. In pick and rolls, he knows angles. I’ve said this a few times – I think his defense is underrated because he’s always locked into the game plan, he knows personnel, he can bother shots and he can rebound.”

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Anthony Davis

On Sitting Out Games:
"I know they have their best interest for me. Of course I want to play and be on the floor with the guys. So, I just have to see how it is day to day."

On His Level Of Pain Tonight:
"I mean, it's a back spasm, so it's tough to play through that, but I try to grind it out with these guys. As a leader of the team, I want to be on the floor and try to win every game no matter if we're going to the playoffs or not. I want to make sure that we compete and I feel like I need to be on the floor. So, that's what I'm trying to do is help the team win."

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Anthony Morrow

On What Changed In The Third Quarter:
"They got off to a run. We had trouble scoring. Obviously, they made runs, so that's what they do. They're a good team. At home they're going to make runs. They hit some shots and we just didn't execute offensively in the third like we should have, but the guys really fought hard, so I'm really proud of my team. I take my hat off for my teammates, they really fought hard in the fourth quarter. We just dug ourselves too big of a hole in the third quarter."

On The Condition Of Anthony Davis:
"He's working hard. We definitely see him out there grinding. He has so much heart, he's out there putting it all out on the line just like everybody else, but he's going to continue to work hard and we'll continue to pray for him and his back."

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Monty Williams

On Anthony Davis And His Battling Through Pain:
"He's just, he's sore. I try to get him out of the game because he's looking like that and as soon as I go to sub him he's like, "I'm good coach, I'm good." He's just trying to do everything he can to help his team and tonight was no different. That's why we love him. He doesn't want to let anybody down, but if he doesn't start to look better in the next couple of days, we have to make a decision on going forward. We'll go home and get him a lot of treatment in the next couple of days and see where we are."

On The Separation That Occurred In The Third Quarter:
"We had really poor defensive execution and our offense kind of led to that. We took some really tough shots and turned the ball over a number of times trying to dribble into traffic and let them get into transition, which is what they do really well. So, they capitalized on our mistakes, but we did not play well after having a seven point lead at half. We came out in the third quarter and didn't have our best stuff."

On Aminu's Performance Tonight:
"I was trying to piece it together. We've had so many obstacles in our line-up. He's done a decent job. In the first half, I thought he was really good. In the second half, inconsistent, especially at the defensive end, but he rebounds well and made some really good passes early in the game and finished around the hoop. They upped their pressure tonight and I thought that put us on our heels for sure."