Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 102, Nuggets 96
March 1, 2014
• The Trail Blazers now have 12 wins against the Northwest Division (12-3). No other NBA team has more than 10 wins within its division.
• Portland now has four win streaks of at least five games, the most since the 1999-2000 season (also four).
• The Trail Blazers have held their opponents below 40% FG in four straight games for the first time since Feb. 11-16, 2005.
• The Trail Blazers improve to 20-2 this season when allowing fewer than 100 points.
• The Trail Blazers completed the regular season series sweep against the Nuggets for the first time since 1998-99 (3-0 sweep). The last four game sweep came in 1996-97.
• Tonight marks the first Trail Blazers game all season where neither team has had a player score at least 20 points.
• With a record of 41-18, the Trail Blazers are now a season-high 23 games above .500.
• This is the first game this season that Robin Lopez has led the Trail Blazers in scoring.
• Nicolas Batum set a new career high with 16 rebounds (14, Dec. 5, 2010 vs. L.A. Clippers) and is the fourth Trail Blazer to record at least 16 rebounds in a game this season (Aldridge, Lopez, Robinson).
• Nicolas Batum is the first Trail Blazer record 16+ points and 6+ assists in the same game since Zach Randolph on Nov. 17, 2003 at Dallas.
• Nicolas Batum had recorded 6+ assists for the 25th time this season, ranking him third among NBA non-guards (L. James – 35, K. Durant - 27).
• Robin Lopez tied his season high with 18 points (Jan. 7 at Sacramento).
• Meyers Leonard tied a season high with points (8- twice, most recently on Feb. 12 at L.A. Clippers).
• Robin Lopez’s tied his season high for scoring in the first half with 12 points (Dec. 4, 2013 vs. Oklahoma City).
• Trail Blazers reserves scored 12 points in the first quarter on 3-for-5 FG and 6-for-7 FT.
On Coming Back From Injury:
“It felt good. My timing was a little off but it felt good to be back out there playing with the guys.” “I felt good, a little tired, but for the most part my body felt good and my conditioning felt good.”
On Key To Win Tonight:
“Just trying to make their looks tough, not giving them anything easy and trying to rebound down the stretch. They have a lot of guys that crash the boards so I thought down the stretch, it was big to get rebounds.”
On Guys Stepping Up While You Were Out:
“It was great. Guys played really well. Guys did what they had to do and I think it’s going to make us better down the stretch.
On Robin Lopez Leading The Team In Scoring Tonight:
“He’s been good all year. He’s gotten more comfortable in our offense, making reads and making plays in the pick and roll and things like that.”
On Rebounding Better Than In Matchup In Denver:
“We had to. We had to – this team plays with a lot of energy. That was their way of beating us – it was going to be offensive rebounds, it was going to be through energy. We matched it tonight. Of course it helped to have LA back in the lineup.”
On Aldridge Transitioning Back Into Lineup:
“I think it was pretty smooth. We still put up over 100 points and our defense got better dramatically. We got another win and we’ll take that every time.”
On Tonight's Game:
“That was a solid win for us. We did a lot of good things. I felt like we were in control of the game for the most part. The fourth quarter, we had too many turnovers and the second half, we had too many fouls and gave up too many free throws. It was good to get LaMarcus back obviously and get him back into the groove. So anyway, it was good to get another one.”
On Barton Playing Well Enough To Stay In Rotation:
“I like his energy. I like the way he runs the court. I like his length. He has a good feel for the game, good sense. He’s playing like Will plays, but he’s playing within the context of the team. I felt like he had had two out of three pretty good games and deserved to stay in the rotation.”
“After the game in Denver, that got our attention. It was a focus. For us to get 43 defensive rebounds and for them to get 10 offensive, it was a pretty impressive rebounding night.”
Was There More Focus Attacking The Rim Tonight?:
"Yes and no. We scored a lot of points in the paint against them before, but I want our guys to take what the game gives them. If they can get to the rim, get to the rim. If they’re open at three, shoot three. I think it’s important to play with a good feel and not force things.”
On What Portland Did Tonight To Get The Win:
"I don't think they did anything. I think we did it to ourselves. We played a little bit better. I think we missed 10 or 12 free throws, so we made those I think we lose by five or six, but the effort was there. Everybody, the whole city of Denver, after that loss to Brooklyn, we had a sour taste in our mouth. We just wanted to get back out there and try to give the fans something to cheer for because the most important thing you got at the end of the day, you have to go out there and you have to play with passion and heart and you can't use anything for an excuse."
On The Little Improvements Within The Team That Are Being Seen:
"That's what I'm preaching to the guys, the coach is preaching it to me and I'm just preaching it to the guys and just saying that it's not going to be easy to get off of this hump, but you just have to believe and you just have to keep fighting and keep doing the little things. You're going to have to do things you probably didn't have to do before when we were winning seven in a row, five in a row, but you're going to have to do them to get off of this hump."
On Making Sure The Team Doesn't Fall Apart:
"That's the main thing. Coach got on us real good yesterday, he got on us real good and he just wanted to see who was going to respond tonight. You know, who going to switch on to the guys who are bigger than them and stop them, who going to switch on the guys who are smaller than them and stop them and who's going to go out there and give the effort. I think tonight we gave the effort. We missed free throws, I think our turnovers were down, but at the end of the day, none of us are not into moral victories, but if we play like this on our home court, we can win every game."
On Tonight's Game:
"Well, a lot better effort from our team tonight. They came out, they competed and, you know, we knew LaMarcus Aldridge was coming back. We didn't know how much of a factor he'd be. We tried to take Damian Lillard out of the game as much by really blitzing him and putting him under duress in pick and roll situations."
On The Difference Between A Win And A Loss Tonight:
"The difference, I told our team, the difference in the game in my estimation, I mean, we got to the line 35 times and only made 23 free throws. They were 23 for 24 from the free throw line. So, that difference in what we missed and, you know, the times that we got there, you lose the game by six points and you miss 12 free throws, that can be the difference in the game. I thought the team played a lot better and responded after the embarrassing game that we had the other night at home against Brooklyn, so we got better tonight and I'm happy with our effort."