Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 105, Grizzlies 98
March 30, 2014
• Portland's 105 points are the most against Memphis during all of March. Memphis entered today best in the West in points allowed per game (94.0).
• Portland’s win tonight snaps Memphis’ five-game winning streak in the series between the teams. The Grizzlies won this season’s series, 2-1.
• The Trail Blazers finished the game with a 52.0% mark from the field, their best shooting night since Feb. 26 vs. Brooklyn (53.5%).
• The Trail Blazers bench scored 23 points on 10-for-14 field goal shooting to go with 13 rebounds in the first half. Mo Williams (5-5 FG) and Thomas Robinson (4-4 FG) combined to make all nine of their field goal attempts off the bench in the first half. Portland’s bench ended the game with 30 points.
• Mo Williams scored 17+ points for the eighth time this season. Six of those eight games have come since the All-Star break.
• Robin Lopez is just the fourth Trail Blazer to record 300 offensive rebounds in a season (K. Washington, B. Williams, C. Dudley). He is one of only two NBA players with 300+ offensive rebounds this season (Andre Drummond).
• Robin Lopez is the first NBA player with 300+ offensive rebounds and 130+ blocks in a season since Dwight Howard in 2010-11.
• Robin Lopez finished in double figures in rebounds for the 31st time this season, 19th-most in the NBA.
• After making all five of his free throw attempts tonight, Wesley Matthews has now made 36 consecutive free throws, dating back to March 14 at New Orleans.
• Damian Lillard scored all 13 of his points in the second half.
• Nicolas Batum scored or assisted on each of Portland's first four baskets of the game (1 FG, 3 assists).
On Aldridge Coming Back:
“Whether he’s scoring or not, just getting him touches has a big effect on the game, has a big effect on how the defense reads our offense.”
On Aldridge's Impact Defensively:
“I think it’s a little bit easier playing with length back there. He’s one of our leaders both overall and defensively. So having him back there, having him talking, that’s big for us.”
“Having the length back there is big for us. I know it gives me a lot of confidence to go for a few more blocked shots, a few more contests. Just having a big body to box out, occupy somebody, it’s going to free up a lot of rebounds for us.”
On Ending Up-And-Down March With Better Performances:
“I thought we had some tough ones that could have gone either way. We won some good games so hopefully we can carry this momentum over into next month.”
On Limiting Second Chance Opportunities For Memphis:
“Obviously, Marc and Zach are already tremendously talented scorers. All you really can do is try to bother their shot and limit their second chance opportunities. That was one of our sticking points tonight.”
“We’ve played pretty well the last three games. We’ve successively ratcheted up each of these three games. Hopefully that will continue going forward because it’s just going to be more intense.”
On Bench Stepping Up:
That’s something that’s been consistent actually over the past few games. Even when we didn’t come out with a win necessarily, we’ve been getting nice contributions from our bench. They’ve been getting a lot of experience and they’ve been proving themselves.”
On Tonight's Game:
“Well much like the last few games, I really liked how we’re playing. I liked our mindset, I liked our focus from beginning to end. Except in the fourth quarter – outside of a couple loose possessions, I thought we were really locked in on both ends of the court. We matched their physicality. Our shooting lineup gave us some separation in the first half. We got a lot of good effort off the bench too. Mo Williams was terrific. LA was terrific. We had a lot of good performances.”
On Mo Williams:
“He’s playing well. I think having LA back has really reinvigorated some people… Mo is playing well. All year long, when he has scored, that’s been a bonus for us. He leads the league in assists off the bench. The fact that he’s had three good games in a row, obviously it helps us, but he’s had a pretty good year for us.”
“I think part of it is LA being back makes a big difference for everybody, as far as the rotation and minutes. Dorell at 4 did a good job when LA was out, so now we’ve managed to kind of find a way to continue to play him at 4. That’s worked out well for us the last three games. Dorell getting 7 defensively rebounds in the first half was big. It opens up the game for us as far as playing in flow and playing in transition. Settling on our rotation – when LA misses seven games, it’s hard to settle into a rotation. So yeah, it’s nice that it’s working out, but like I said, when LA was out we had to patch things together. The fact that a lot of guys got minutes during that time, now we can go forward with it.”
On Limiting Second Chance Points And Transition:
“Especially in the first half, and the third quarter for that matter, we did a good job of rebounding the ball. Wes did a good job on Conley. The most important thing going into the game was limiting their put-backs and limiting their transition. We did an excellent job of that in the first half and as far as I know, the third quarter as well. We really wanted to limit the amount of easy baskets that they got. I thought we made them work for it.”
On Beating Grizzlies After Two Losses Earlier:
“Hey, this was a good game. Memphis is most likely a playoff team and they’ve beaten us rather handily, particularly the first game. The second game, we’re in the middle of rough road trip and they caught us at a good time and we didn’t play that well. It’s not about a statement game, but I do like the process of how we’ve gotten better over the last three games.”
On Portland's Performance:
"Honestly, they were just the aggressors tonight. We knew exactly what they were going to run. It was a great game plan defensively and they executed. We didn't get shots. They jumped out on us, made runs and made plays they needed to play. They were first to the 50/50 balls and, you know, they play well at home. So, you have to expect them to play how they play but we have to be better."
On Frustration That Sets In Throughout A Game Like Tonight:
"I mean, it's the NBA. You're going to miss shots. At the end of the day, we need to start holding the defensive end more and more and more down the stretch. We're going to have to get stops. We can keep talking about how many points we need to score, what we need to do to score, but, at the end to the day, we have to stop the opposing team. They outscored us, so we have to go back to our defensive principles."
On Tonight's Game:
"They just came out harder than us. They wanted it more from the start. They came out being aggressive. Our defense wasn't there tonight. They played good and hit shots, we didn't hit shots."
On Aldridge's Affect:
"[LaMarcus Aldridge] is their horse. He's what makes them go. So, anytime you have LaMarcus, your best player out there, it makes a difference."
On Dropping Down To Ninth:
"We just have to keep winning. We're still there. We just have to take one game at a time."
On Portland Being The Aggressors:
"That's what we just talked about. They were aggressive and had more energy. It was obviously a disappointing loss at Golden State. Maybe there's a hangover affect or whatever, but they came out much more aggressive. They have a ton of playmakers and they made us chase them all around the floor. Batum, Wes Matthews, Lillard and Mo Williams and then certainly, [LaMarcus Aldridge] had a big night as well. He's tough to come down on because they've got all those shooters standing around and just trying to contest the twos and keep him off the foul line so he doesn't get free ones, but offensively they were tremendous and defensively they were pretty good tonight and they just were aggressive and got to the rim. We were aggressive, we got a ton of shots in the paint. We had 48 shots in the paint. We were 22 for 48 in the paint. So, we got all kinds of good looks, we only had 11 turnovers, we didn't finish some plays. If we had finished some plays in the paint and around the basket, it'd have helped us set our defense a little bit against what they were doing, which was cross matching us and playing their bigger guards on Mike Conley. So, we were just kind of always behind tonight and our hats are off to them. They've had a great season, they're well coached and they're a good team."
On Portland's Shooting Percentage Tonight:
"It seemed like they made some tough shots, but we gave up 36 points in the paint. We only got hit for five threes against a team that only got 15 of them up. The easy ones were demoralizing. After they make a tough shot and then make another jump shot and then go get two lay-ups. So, we have to come out with a sense of urgency tomorrow against a team at altitude and whatever excuse you can make, but we've got nine left and we have to come out with a real sense of urgency tomorrow."