Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 109, Kings 105
October 20, 2013
• Portland has won four straight preseason games, the first time the team has done so since 1999 and the eight time overall in a single preseason.
• With the win, Portland snapped a three-game preseason win streak for Sacramento.
• The Trail Blazers hit their first five straight shots of the game, leading by as many as 11 points in the first quarter.
• Damian Lillard scored 28 points against the Kings, the most from any Trail Blazer this preseason.
• Nicolas Batum recorded his first double-double of the preseason with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
• This is the fourth straight game that Portland has out-rebounded their opponents by at least 14 rebounds.
• Portland scored 30 points in the first quarter against the Kings, the most scored in the first quarter and fourth-highest in a quarter by the team in the preseason. The 32 points scored in the fourth quarter ties the highest quarter total recorded by the Trail Blazers this preseason.
• The Trail Blazers held the Kings to 19 points in the first quarter, the second-lowest point total against the Trail Blazers in the first quarter this season.
• Portland’s 53 first half points mark the highest score recorded by the Trail Blazers in the first half of a game this season.
• Thomas Robinson surpassed his 2013-14 preseason-high of seven points in the first half of tonight’s game with eight points on 4-for-5 shooting. Robinson ended the night with 14 points.
• Portland connected on their first seven shots to open the second half, going until the 5:43 mark of the third quarter before missing their first shot.
• Damian Lillard scored 14 points before missing a shot to start the second half, going 6-for-6 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
• Sacramento went on a 13-0 run from 6:01 to 2:32 in the third quarter and ended the quarter on an 18-4 run.
• Kings guard Ben McLemore scored 11 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter.
On playing against former team:
“It was good. Like I said, I wasn’t taking anything personal. I was just trying to work on the stuff that coach has been preaching to me all preseason. Just the simple stuff that you guys probably don’t even notice like me kicking in once I catch a pick and roll or holding my screen hard. I did those things and everything else came. It helped that I hit my first three shots, so that had a lot to do with it. “It’s a good thing. I got better in some minutes as far as the offense and what coach wanted me to do.”
On feeling more comfortable:
“Coach Vanterpool was telling me I’m an average player when I think and above average when I’m just playing basketball. Wes had a talk with me also when we were in LA. So these guys, they’re helping me. I feel more comfortable. They pinpoint what I’m doing wrong and I just watch tape and get better.”
On difference vs first few games:
“I was thinking and not playing. When I think too much, it’s not a good sight.”
On being a playmaker:
“That’s what I did last year and that’s what I’ll try to do this year again, but even in a better way. I try to get less turnovers than last year but more assists and more rebounds. I try to get focused and rebound tonight. On offense, I can make some shots too. So that’s what I tried to do tonight.”
On getting big lead and losing it before holding on at the end:
“We had a good run, especially in the first quarter. We stepped back a little bit then we got a good one again in the third quarter. We went up 20 or something like that, and we just let down and let them back. McLemore had a great run too and made some points. They got some confidence. Thomas had a good game. Patterson made some big shots. We scared ourselves a little bit but at the end Damian made some big shots. I tried to get some shots at the end too. T-Rob and Robin, they contributed rebounds and made some big plays in the paint.”
On the win:
“I was pleased with the way we started the game. In general, the first half we wanted to take care of our turnovers and defense in transition. We did that in the first half. Building the lead was good in the second half, but I was disappointed in the way we let it get away from us that quickly. But then in the end, we made a lot of good plays, got stops when we needed to. I know this isn’t a regular season game but it had kind of a regular season feel to it. Both teams were trying to win with their guys. There was good and bad to be taken away from it. "
On the magnitude of the game with season a week away:
“It was a great opportunity for me. Coach gave me a chance to go out there and show my talent, show what I can do. I give a lot of credit to my teammates for looking for me, creating for me. I was just out there playing my game and letting the game come to me.”
On the improvement he’s seen in his game defensively:
“It improved a lot, especially from summer league. I progress a lot each and every day. The whole coaching staff knows that and I know myself that I got better each and every day. I’ve just been working in different ways on my game, defensively and offensively, and it’s turning out good for me. I’m just going out there and performing.”
On the change seen with the team halfway through the third after being down 19:
“We changed up personnel. When you look at the box score, we won the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter. But we were nowhere near ready to play to start the first quarter and to start the third quarter. You look at the fact that they shot roughly 95% in the first six minutes of the first quarter and the third quarter. After that, they shot in the low thirties. When I made that change, it wasn’t to embarrass anybody, but the effort that we were giving forth in that destructive third quarter was just unacceptable. Give Isaiah, give Jimmer, give Ben, give Travis, give Patrick, give (Truck) a ton of credit because they came out and played the way we have to play for 48 minutes. We cannot try to outscore anybody, we cannot think that we’re just going to trade baskets and have success. That’s not who we are, that’s not who we’re going to be, and that’s not going to be accepted.”