Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 104, Kings 91
November 8, 2013
- • Damian Lillard’s 20 3-pointers are the most by a Trail Blazer through the team’s first five games of any season.
- • Wesley Matthews now ranks fifth on Portland’s all-time made 3-pointers list with 465, surpassing Clyde Drexler (464).
- • Damian Lillard is only the second NBA player ever to record three or more 3-pointers in each of his team’s first five games (D. Stoudamire – 1996, TOR).
- • LaMarcus Aldridge has scored 20-plus points in each of the Trail Blazers’ first five games, the first time that has happened since Clyde Drexler did it in 1988, and only the fifth time in Trail Blazers history.
- • LaMarcus Aldridge is the first NBA player to record at least nine field goals in each of his team’s first five games since Vince Carter (2006, N.J.).
- • Damian Lillard is the first NBA player to ever record 100 points, 25 rebounds, 25 assists and 20 3-pointers in his team’s first five games.
- • LaMarcus is the only player to record 54 field goals in his team’s first five games this season and the first since 2011-12 (LeBron James).
- • Portland and Sacramento both entered tonight’s game averaging 40.75 rebounds per game. The Trail Blazers finished the game with 47 rebounds while the Kings were held to 31.
- • Thomas Robinson scored a season-high 10 points. Robinson scored eight points on 4-for-4 shooting in his first 5:53 of action.
- • The Trail Blazers went on a 12-0 run from the 9:11 mark in the third quarter to the 5:56 mark of the third.
- • Through the first five games of the season, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews have scored 33 of the team’s 49 3-pointers.
- • DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 33 points in 33 minutes.
- • Every Trail Blazer who played in tonight’s game scored.
- • Nicolas Batum dished out the first four assists for the Trail Blazers.
On defense tonight:
“We made our presence felt from the start. They made some shots. Cousins knocked down some jumpers but that’s what we’d want to live with as long as he’s not in the paint, just dominating the paint and the shooters knocking down threes. He was the only one going for a while so we hung our hats on that. I thought we played a good, full game defensively and offensively.”
On transition defense:
“We focused on it a lot the last few days. We did a couple drills in practice that were harder than transition defense would be in a real game. I think guys got back on shots. We didn’t stand around and watch. We got back right away when the ball was in the air. We played physical even in transition. We might have got away with a few fouls, but we did what we wanted to do.”
“We played good defense, we got out in transition and we put them in scramble mode. We just moved the ball and guys knocked down shots.”
On contributions of Joel Freeland:
“Joel is an extreme competitor. At practice, you’ll see the same thing you see in the game. He’s a perfectionist with the verticality. He goes straight up and we always tell him one day you’re going to get dunked on, but he’s blocking shots every game and getting offensive rebounds and chasing down loose balls. We need that from him. It’s great to see a guy embrace his role and embrace his time on the floor the way he does.”
“The encouraging thing tonight was the things that we had emphasized the last couple days – our transition defense, our defensive rebounding, points in the paint – I thought we were all very aware of that and we did a good job with that for most of the game. I think that was the most important part coming out of this game. It was a good win, but they’re dangerous at home and we have to go play another one tomorrow.”
On Aldridge and Lillard:
“They’re both good players. We rely on them to do a lot at both ends of the floor. Damian makes plays, LA makes plays. We went to LA on the block in the fourth quarter. Damian is picking his spots. I thought we had a good performance by a lot of players. I thought Wes was aggressive in the first half. Joel Freeland came in and did a lot of good things, we felt his presence when he was out there. But obviously Damian and LA, they are kind of our go-to guys and they came through tonight.”
“He’s found his niche, he’s finding his way. He’s making plays that people appreciate, certainly teammates and fans. He makes defensive plays, hustle plays, kicks it out for three pointers – all the little things that you need on good teams. You need guys who are willing to do all that work and make sacrifices. He just continues to improve in that role.”
On improved transition defense:
“We made much more of a priority on getting back. There were possessions where we had three guys back when the shot was going up. It was apparent to everybody that we had to get better in that area and it was much more of a concern for everybody and we made it a focal point.”
“He made his jump shots early. I was very pleased – we kind of dared him to shoot some shots. I think we needed to be a little bit closer and I thought we made that adjustment. He finishes around the basket. He’s a strong guy who can convert through fouls. He’s a talented guy. I think the whole league knows that.”
On the missing piece in today's game:
"It's just a lot of small things. Getting our rotations down, P's and Q's down the stretch. We can't really blame the offense in the last stretch … It's just the small things that we break down and the small things turn into the big things. So, it's just those small things that we need to continue to do better and stop making the same mistakes."
On what small things he thinks are missing:
"Another thing we gotta do, we gotta gain rebounds. We just can't depend on the bigs to grab rebounds, a lot of rebounds go out of our area. And even though as bigs, we should be able to rebound out of our area, we tussling and boxing out, we gotta get some help from outside rebounders. We gotta gain rebounds and when we don't, we don't get any second chances for a lay-up or wide open three so that also hurts. Like I said, they're small things turning into big things."
On having a good offensive game personally but still losing:
"The numbers don't mean anything with a loss. Forget the numbers, I'm worried about the win. We gotta correct this, we can't continue to make the same mistakes."
Sacramento Head Coach Mike Malone
On the overall impression of the game tonight:
"No defense. We scored the ball but we didn't defend anybody. 49% from the field and they killed us from the three-point line. It's a broken record. Until we buy in and try to defend for 48 minutes, DeMarcus can score 50 points, we'll still lose. So, I'm not worried about the offense, I'm worried about giving up 48% every night."
On the inability to stay focused defensively:
"The whole first half, every huddle I said they're at 62% and they're at 61% and we got it down to 54 at halftime and I said that 54, for us to win this game on the road, that 54 has to get down to the mid 40's. Obviously, it didn't. We had stretches where we played OK but we just couldn't sustain it and that's been the story of a very short season so far is that we cannot sustain anything we do on either side of the floor for extended periods. We play well for a little while offensively and then we collapse. We play well for a while defensively and then we collapse. LaMarcus Aldridge hit some very tough shots, he's a tremendous player but, like I said, he got going, Lopez got going early, and the three-point line killed us again."
On the defensive mix-ups:
"We gave up seven threes in the first half and we watched some of them at halftime. Sometimes they were getting threes off of just us trying to make it up, not executing the game plan defensively and making stuff up on the fly. When you do that, you get hurt. Obviously, Wesley Matthews has been shooting at a very high level, Damian Lillard can get it going, and Nicolas Batum can get it going but we have to be a lot more alert and understand who we're guarding, personel, who we're closing out to, and have a lot more discipline on the defensive end of the floor."