Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 106, Mavericks 108
December 7, 2013
• Damian Lillard tied a season high with 32 points (Oct. 30 at Phoenix), his seventh career 30-point game. He is 6-for-7 from 3-point range this season in the last five minutes of games within three points (including 2-for-2 tonight). Lillard has made five 3-pointers in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
• Robin Lopez tied a career high with eight offensive rebounds. He recorded at least 14 points and 14 rebounds for the second time in his career (18 points, 14 rebounds on Oct. 29, 2010).
• Despite the loss, Portland’s 17-4 record through 21 games is still the team’s best since the 1998-99 season (17-4). The Trail Blazers also still lead the Western Conference at 17-4.
• Portland’s streak of eight consecutive home wins, dating back to Nov. 5, came to an end tonight.
• The Trail Blazers lost a game by fewer than 13 points for the first time all season. Portland was 13-0 in games decided by 12 points or fewer before tonight.
• Tonight marked the 529th game for LaMarcus Aldridge as a Trail Blazer, tied with Damon Stoudamire for the 10th most in team history.
• With his third free throw attempt of the night, LaMarcus Aldridge tied Geoff Petrie for eighth on the Trail Blazers’ all-time free throws attempted list (2,225). Aldridge solidified the eighth spot by finishing the night with six free throw attempts, bringing his career total to 2,228.
• Nicolas Batum posted his fourth 20-point game of the season. He contributed to seven of Portland’s nine field goals in the third quarter (made five, assisted on two).
• Wesley Matthews’ string of 20 straight games with a 3-pointer to start this season came to an end tonight. Nicolas Batum extended his same streak to 21 games this year.
• Robin Lopez recorded his eighth double-double of the season with point and rebounds. Lopez recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds by halftime, only the second time in his career (and this season) that he has recorded a double-double by halftime (10 points, 10 rebounds at Phoenix - Nov. 27, 2013).
• Damian Lillard has scored 40 points in the first half over the past two night combined, shooting 11-for-16 from the floor, 7-for-10 from the 3-point line and 11-for-11 from the foul line.
• Portland’s 25 second-chance points are the team’s second-most in a game this season (27, Nov. 1 at Denver).
• The game featured 18 lead changes, tied for the most in any Trail Blazers game this season (Nov. 17 at Toronto). Every quarter of the game was decided by four points or fewer.
• Portland and Dallas entered tonight’s game as the NBA's only two teams in the top 10 in FG% (DAL-9th, POR-10th), FT% (DAL-2nd, POR-3rd) and 3PT% (POR-1st, DAL-8th).
• Dirk Nowitzki dished a season-high seven assists to go with his team-high 28 points.
On Tying Shot Then Game Winner:
“On mine, I knew I would get a good look. We had run a play similar to that a couple times and we came off open every time. Shawn Marion, he knew I was coming off trying to raise up so I knew he would jump. I head faked him and he didn’t jump as far off as I thought he would so I jumped to the side. That shot went in and I wasn’t sure if I was on the line or not. They ran a good play and he hit a tough shot.”
On Defense Against Ellis Game Winner:
“He just got open. Any screens amongst the guards, we were going to switch it, but it was a big that actually set a back screen on Wes. They got what they were trying to get to. He knocked the shot down.”
On Moving On From Loss Like This:
“We’ve got to let it go. It’s not like we can go back and play the game over again. It’s over with. I hate to lose a game like that. I’d rather be blown out than lose at the buzzer, but we have to move on and take care of business in our next game.”
On Defense Tonight:
“We tried some different coverages just to try to slow down Dirk. There was a few miscommunications out there but we stuck with it and we had a chance to win the game at the end. That’s all we wanted to do, give ourselves a chance. They just hit a good shot.”
On Tonight's Game:
That was a pretty good game. Dallas is an effective offensive team. Any time Dirk is on the court, he creates problems for everybody as far as pick and roll coverages. Just his presence on the court makes a difference. He made big shots in the late fourth quarter. That’s what he’s done throughout his career. I was pleased with the way we competed particularly in the second half. It was a good game, we just came up short.”
On Game Winning Shot By Ellis:
“They set a double screen. Blair set a good screen on Wes. It was a good play, good screen. Wes fought over it and [Ellis] got a look.”
On Defense On Last Play:
“With the players that they had on the court – you’ve got Vince Carter who can get his shot, you’ve got Dirk who can get his shot, you’ve got Ellis who can get his shot – so it’s hard to predict what they’re going to do. We just wanted to stay tight as we could. Blair set a good screen, but we wanted to stay as tight as we could to those three guys in particular and make them work for the shot.”
On Fighting Back And Having Chance To Win:
“We’re down 6 and it wasn’t looking good. Nic hit a nice three. Dame hit his three. We got spots when we needed to. This team keeps fighting. I don’t think there’s ever a point where we think we’re necessarily out of it. The shots Dirk hit – free throw jumpers, drawing fouls, post ups – he had a great performance late when it counted. But our team, we compete and that’s all you can ask.“
What Were Your Thoughts On Lillard's Game?:
“Same as I usually think about Damian’s game – he competes, he takes big shots. He likes the moment and takes advantage of them. His two back to back threes got us back in earlier. Obviously the three to tie the game. He competed defensively. We changed some coverages – in the first half we tried to do something different with Calderon’s pick and rolls. That was on me as far as his defense on Calderon. We tried to change our coverages with Dirk, which didn’t work. To answer your question, Damian competes."
On How The Play Came About:
“The first option was, obviously, was Calderon looking for me coming off, taking one dribble and pull up. Obviously, we just put it in this morning and it worked.”
On His Confidence Putting In The Game Winning Shot:
“First, I told [Vince Carter] before we walked out there if he gave me the ball, the game was over. And Calderon, we were walking, and we made eye contact and I told him to give me the ball, I'm ready for it. He gave it to me and I came off and hit the shot.”
On His Ability To Hit That Shot In A Game-Winning Situation:
“I was born for it. I've been taking that shot all my life. I love that time of the game and, like I said, I've hit a couple game winners in my career. At that point of the game, you always like to have that confidence to take that last shot. And I got it. And I have the ability to make those shots. Coach gave me the ball and I knocked the shot down.”
On What The Team Needs To Work On For Continued Success:
“The biggest thing, we need to start putting some wins together on the road. Our main court at home, we really handle that well, get a lot of wins just from the sake of the fans to give us the energy when we need it. The biggest thing for us, I think, is going to be road wins and that was a great win tonight.”
On Go-To Players To Hit Clutch Shots:
“We shouldn't have been in that situation but when you get in that situation, you have to get the ball to one of those two guys. So, [Jose Calderon] threw a great pass, [Monta Ellis] made a great shot, we get out of here alive.”
On The Possibility Of Game Winner Being A Redemption Shot For Ellis:
“We win or lose as a team so I don't focus so much on individual redemption. We knew we had a chance tonight. These guys have been playing great but it's hard to keep a streak like this going, going, going. But they're awful good. And we dodged a bullet at the end.”
On The Positive Influence Of Dirk Nowitzki Tonight:
“We were throwing to him every time. He's going to cause something to happen, something good. He's going to make it tough on them so we have to get the ball in his hands. He delivered about five or six times in a row so that was huge.”
On Tonight's Win Against The Best Team In The West:
“Every win is huge, every win you can get is huge. We've won the last two games in a row which is big. We hadn't been playing great on the road this year. Our hope is that we can build some chemistry, build some togetherness out here, which isn't easy. It's a hard place to play. Sacramento is hard to play, Golden State is hard to play. So, we have to be really together and this is a positive step in the right direction in a win against the best team in the West, which these guys are right now record wise. You really have to take some hits, shrug off some tough three-point shots, which we did, and make it down to one play and Monta made that play. So, we're very happy.”