Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 106, Pacers 102

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December 2, 2013

NOTES

• At 15-3, Portland is off to its best 18-game start since the 1998-99 season (15-3).

• Portland’s 15-3 record is tied for No. 2 in the NBA and includes wins over the No. 1 (Indiana) and the other No. 2 (San Antonio). Indiana and San Antonio are a combined 0-2 vs. Portland this season and 31-3 against all other NBA teams.

• The Trail Blazers are now 8-0 this season against Eastern Conference teams.

• The Trail Blazers scored 106 points against the Pacers tonight, only the second time Indiana has given up more than 100 points this season. The first time came in their 110-94 loss to Chicago on Nov. 16.

• LaMarcus Aldridge has scored 24-plus points for the 10th time this year, joining James, Durant and Love as the only NBA players to do so in 2013-14.

• Damian Lillard is the fifth NBA player with 1,900 points and 600 assists in his first 100 career games – L. James, A. Iverson, D. Stoudamire, O. Robertson (Elias).

• Tonight marked LaMarcus Aldridge’s 14th 20-point game of the season. Only Paul George has more in the NBA this year (15 including tonight).

• With his third field goal of the night, LaMarcus Aldridge tied Geoff Petrie for fifth on Portland’s all-time made field goal list (3,970). Aldridge solidified the sixth spot with 11 total made field goals on the night bringing his career total to 3,978.

• Damian Lillard is now 4-for-4 from 3-point range in the last five minutes of games within three points this season.

• With his ninth field goal attempt of the night, LaMarcus Aldridge tied Jim Paxson for sixth on Portland’s all-time field goal attempts list (8,075). Aldridge solidified the sixth spot with 19 total field goal attempts on the night, bringing his career total to 8,085.

• Tonight was Damian Lillard’s 100th career game. He is the third player to start his first 100 career NBA games with Portland - Twardzik, Wicks (Elias).

• Portland made its first 15 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished 15-for-16 in the period.

• The Trail Blazers got their first lead of the night, 75-72, during a 15-4 run from the 3:47 mark of the third quarter until 10:37 in the fourth.

• LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his eighth double-double of the season with 28 points and 10 rebounds.

• David West recorded his 11,000th career point on a two-point field goal at the 3:31 minute mark of the second quarter.

• Paul George recorded a career-high 43 points tonight. George is the first Pacer to record at least 40 points and seven 3-pointers since Reggie Miller (NBA Stats).

QUOTES

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Damian Lillard

On Tonight's Game:
“They defend well, they execute on offense, and they play a slow paced game so it was one of those games we just had to grind out.”

On Hanging In Game:
“We just stayed in the game. We didn’t have lead or we didn’t get behind too far, so it was up to us to turn it up. We got to that point where we sped up the game and we got a few threes and LA got going on the block and momentum started going in our direction and we just closed it out.”

On George:
“He got hot. That’s what that level of players do. He’s an MVP caliber player. His team is doing great. He was trying to win the game for his team. I wouldn’t expect anything less from him.”

Was This As Good A Win As You've Had?:
“It was a tough one. We knew it was going to be a tough one coming in. They only had one loss and we wanted to show that we’re a good team too. We wanted to compete with them. We knew it was going to be a slugfest and we just stayed the course.”

On Bench Play To Start The Fourth Quarter:
“There was a lot of energy. We played scrappy. That’s what we said when we came out of the timeout, that we have to be scrappy and we have to keep the pace up. We did a good job of that.”

On Getting To The Free Throw Line Tonight:
“It was big. I knew going in that the bigs like to kind of sag off and protect the paint, but we ended up getting into the penalty early. So I just wanted to force it in there, make contact with the bigs and kind of force the issue at the rim. I was able to get some calls.”

On Interior Defense Tonight:
“It was a lot better. The guards and wings, we did a better job of not letting them come off screens clean and have an easy path. The bigs had enough time to come over and alter shots and box out. As a group, we did a good job on the defensive end.”

On Mental Toughness As George Hit Tough Shots Down The Stretch:
“We just have to control what we can control. When Paul is hitting threes with two hands in his face and fading away, that just shows how good of a player he is. That was out of our control at that point. Guys are defending to the best of their ability, and he’s still making shots. We had to do a good job of what we can control, execute on offense and get good shots. Everything that he got, he worked for so we did our job.”

Batum Said Aldridge Is Getting To A Point Here He's Unstoppable. Do You Agree?:
“I think he is. You’ve got a guy that can score over both shoulders. You can’t get to his fade-away – high release, too tall. Great shoulders and it’s hard to stop. I haven’t seen anybody stop it yet. Anytime I throw it to him on the block I feel like if he’s not going to score, you can guarantee he’s going to get a good shot. So I feel the same way.”

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Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Game:
“That was a terrific basketball game. I thought both teams really played at a high level. They kind of mirrored each other as far as style of play, particularly defensively. Neither team really caved in and Paul George put on a performance that was extremely impressive. I was very proud of our team and very proud of everybody that played. They did a lot of good things and beat a quality team.”

On Playing Tough Team, Own Toughness:
“You don’t win in this league without being tough. I think toughness goes well past physical toughness – mental toughness to fight through. The third quarter, we got down, kind of a slow start, didn’t look like it was going much, but I think we’ve shown some mental toughness throughout the season so far. I think mental toughness in this league is as important or more important than physical toughness.”

On Bench Play In Fourth:
“The bench play at the beginning of the fourth – Joel, T-Rob, Mo, Dorrell, that group was playing in flow, getting stops. I thought it got the crowd into the game. I thought the crowd really showed their appreciation when each guy came out. In a physical, draining game like this, to give our starters an extra breather on the bench was really valuable. ”

On Team Responding To George's Play:
“You know when you play good defense and a guy makes a great shot. When guys do that, you tip your hat. You did what you’re supposed to do and great players in this league do those type of things. He did that at the outset when he made his first 10, 12 points. I thought those were equally as tough shots. When you’re playing great scorers, great shooters like that, you’ve just got to keep competing knowing that they’re going to make some of those and you have to get back up and the next time they come down, do the same thing.”

On Aldridge:
“LaMarcus was LaMarcus. I can say that most nights. He’s the anchor on offense. He creates a problem, he creates opportunities scoring. I liked the way he took the ball to the basket down the stretch and got to the free throw line. Defensively, I’ve said this for a long time, he’s extremely underrated as a defender. He executes all our schemes. He talks, he’s long, he protects the paint. I thought he did all those things tonight.”

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Paul George

On What He Was Able To Do Offensively In The Fourth Quarter:
"I was just trying to keep us in there. My number was called upon. In the fourth quarter I was just trying to be there for my teammates. They did a great job getting me open to get some good looks and I was fortunate to knock some shots down."

On A Tough Blazer Team And Atmosphere To Beat Tonight:
"We played phenomenal defense. Sometimes guys can just make tough shots that were contested with hands in their face. That was the case for tonight. We have to give those guys credit for having that shot making ability."

On The Quick Start Tonight In The First Quarter:
"Just being aggressive. I was trying to get out of the gates early. I knew that they were going to try to take me out of the game early, but I just started the game off being aggressive."

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Roy Hibbert

On The Piece Missing In The Game Tonight:
"We didn't close out quarters well, myself included. This crowd just gets so pumped that the team felt it and they were hitting shots and LaMarcus Aldridge hit some really tough shots and Damien Lillard hit some real tough shots. But we sent them to the line way too many times."

On The First Quarter Deficit Tonight:
"Just came out playing harder and got a lot of lay-ups. They made it tough for us to score."

On His Connection With Paul George Tonight:
"We checked in at, I think, nine minutes into the fourth, Paul was just like hey big dog, let's me and you let's do this. So, I was trying to get some stops, get some rebounds. Whenever I got an offensive rebound, I always looked for him on the perimeter and he hit some threes. So, we got that connection and we just came up short."

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Frank Vogel

On Tonight's Game:
"The Blazers played a great basketball game, particularly Aldridge and Lillard just knocking down really big shots. We took away their two biggest strengths, their 3-point shot, they only made five 3's, and the offensive glass, only six offensive rebounds. We didn't do a good enough job keeping them off the free throw line, particularly in the fourth quarter. Have to credit those two guys for making big shots and obviously Paul George had a beast of a game."

On The Change In The Fourth Quarter To Put The Blazers Ahead:
"They made some big shots. Those two guys made well-guarded, contested shots and you have to tip your hat to a team like that that's going to make them. The only thing is we didn't keep them off the free throw line. We marched them to the free throw line in the fourth quarter and if you do that against a team that's third in the league in free throw percentage, they're going to get easy points. So, we didn't do a good enough job with our defensive discipline."

On The Blazer Defense Tonight:
"They're a good offensive team. They're fifth in the league in scoring and those two guys make big shots all night long. That's what they do. They're very, very difficult to guard one on one, the pick and roll game, all that stuff. So, they're a good offensive team."

On The Offensive Production Of The Team To Set Up Paul George:
"[George Hill] had 11 assists, so I was happy with his production and [Lance Stephenson] is playing too unselfishly. There were three or four times he was at the rim and looking to pass. He just had a poor shooting night. If our problems are that we're too unselfish or that guys can't make shots like that on the road, we'll be alright."