Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 110, Nuggets 105

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January 23, 2013

NOTES

• LaMarcus Aldridge set a new career high of 44 points tonight, the third 40-plus point night of his career and the first since he scored 42 on Feb. 7, 2011 against Chicago (his previous career high).

• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first NBA player with at least 44 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks since Vince Carter (April 7, 2007).

• The final 15 points for the Trail Blazers were scored by LaMarcus Aldridge.

• LaMarcus Aldridge is the only Trail Blazer to ever record seven straight games of at least 20 points and 12 rebounds – six, Walton/Wicks (Elias).

• The 44 points scored by LaMarcus Aldridge marks the 15th highest point total recorded in franchise history.

• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first Trail Blazer to record at least 44 points and 13 rebounds since Maurice Lucas on Jan. 12, 1979 (46 points, 17 rebounds).

• LaMarcus Aldridge has recorded at least 12 rebounds in a career high seven straight games (previous high was five).

• Nicolas Batum has five games of 10 assists or more this year. He entered this season with four such games in his career, all in 2012-13.

• LaMarcus Aldridge has tied a franchise record with seven straight games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds – Sidney Wicks, three times (Elias).

• Tonight marks the seventh consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound night for LaMarcus Aldridge, tying him with Kevin Love for the longest streak in the NBA this season.

• LaMarcus Aldridge has 28 games with 10 field goals or more, the best in the NBA (K. Durant - 24, L. James – 19).

• LaMarcus Aldridge has scored at least 20 points in 10 consecutive games for the first time in his career (9 – March 7-22, 2008).

• LaMarcus Aldridge has tied a career high with six straight games of 25-plus points (Dec. 30, 2010 – Jan. 9, 2011).

• Wesley Matthews has made multiple 3-pointers for the 34th time this season, tying Kyle Lowry for the most in the NBA.

• Wesley Matthews tied a season high of 18 points in the first half (previously set on Dec. 28 against Miami).

• The Trail Blazers went on a 9-0 run from 4:41 to 2:11 in the third quarter.

• Denver tied a season high of 18 assists in the first half (previously set on Dec. 4 at Cleveland).

QUOTES

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Damian Lillard

Do You Think All-Star Announcement Motivated Aldridge?:
“I think he just did what we needed him to do for us to win the game. He had it going and they didn’t really have an answer for him, so he brought us home.”

On Giving Aldridge Opportunities Offensively With Denver Fronting:
“The play that we were running, they couldn’t really put anybody in position to help. So once they started fronting him, we ran a drop play and we were able to get him right at the top a lot of times, but most of the times he just worked to get in front of his man to get the ball.”

On What Aldridge Means To Team:
“He’s our best player and he’s been doing that every game. It’s been consistent so I don’t think anybody in this locker room is surprised by it.”

On Mindset After Losing Two In A Row:
“We try not to lose two in a row. I think we’ve only lost two in a row twice this year. Three in a row is definitely when it’s time to tighten up. Every time we’ve lost two in a row, guys get a little bit more quiet and lock in a little bit more. We’ve been able to handle our business every time.”

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Wesley Matthews

On First Half Performance:
“Not the best. We gave up too many runs. They were getting almost whatever they wanted. We didn’t take much away. They were hitting threes but they were making shots that we wanted them to shoot, so you have to give them credit. But we didn’t do enough to take away to make them feel uncomfortable like we did the second half.”

On Aldridge:
“What can you say, man? He’s an MVP candidate. Best power forward in the game, I’ve been saying that for two years now. He put it on display again tonight.”

On Fourth Quarter Defense:
“Nic really turned up the defense for us. He took that challenge of Ty Lawson, who had 13 and 9 in the first half and he finished with 13 and 11. That’s big time to shut down someone like that and we just fed off of that. T-Rob came in the game and changed the complexion and brought energy and we fed off that and our crowd of course.”

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Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Game:
“I was very pleased with our second half, particularly defensively. I thought Nic Batum did a terrific job on Lawson. I thought Lawson in the first half really directed their offense, scoring, passing and penetrating. Nic did a fantastic job controlling him in the second half.

“It goes without saying, LaMarcus just keeps impressing everybody with what he’s doing. He was aggressive to the basket, he made his jump shots, he made his free throws, he rebounded, he came up big when we needed him, he made passes out of the double teams when they doubled, he got blocked shots – he was fantastic.”

On Team Playing More "Angry" In The Second Half:
“I don’t know if we were playing angry. I thought we were playing hard, we were competing. We were determined. I don’t know if ‘angry’ is the right word but we played defensively with some emotion. I know it’s in us. We’re capable of doing those things. I thought the second unit when they came in the second half, Thomas in particular, were very active when LA was on the bench and it allowed him to get an extra couple minutes. That stretch in the fourth quarter was very important. To answer your question, I don’t know if ‘angry’ is the right word but I liked our disposition, no question.”

On Matthews Game And Big Shot Making Ability:
“He came out of the gate and made the first three. He was on a roll, particularly in the first half, but he had post up opportunities. He’s as good a competitor as I’ve been around at both ends of the floor. He wants to win, he wants to play well and he was into it. I liked the way he jumped into the game.”

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Kenneth Faried

On Tonight's Game:
"They got hot at the right time. We fought them off all the way to the fourth quarter, but they have an all-star player in [LaMarcus Aldridge] who's going to be on the post and get all the calls and with the players around him like Matthews, especially, keeping them in it when they went down and making big shots is tough. We kept fighting, but just couldn't pull it out."

On Swing Of Momentum Towards End Of The Third Quarter:
"I think guys were kind of like, we got the lead, let's preserve it instead of being in attack mode. In the third quarter, at the end of the third, the ball was kind of sticking instead of moving."

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Brian Shaw

On Tonight's Game:
"I think our offense, especially in the fourth quarter, failed us tonight. I thought we had played a pretty decent game for a good 40 minutes, 42 minutes, maybe even more than that, 44 minutes of the game, but didn't play a complete 48 minute game. Obviously, when you play a team of this caliber on their home floor, you cannot commit 22 turnovers for 28 points. You can't give up 16 offensive rebounds. You can't foul and send them to the free-throw line 34 times. Obviously, they made 30 free throws and that was one of the points of emphasis before the game started. We talked about the fact that this is one of the best free-throw, I think it's the second best free-throw shooting team in the league, and we have to play defense on them without fouling. We weren't able to do that. LaMarcus Aldridge - the buckets he made, I can live with that, but some of the fouls that we committed, just sending him to the line without him really having to work for it, I thought is what hurt us, especially in the fourth quarter."

On What Was The Big Change In The Fourth Quarter Of The Game:
"Obviously, they turned the defense up. They put Batum on [Ty Lawson] to have a bigger body on him and I thought that affected us with him not being able to get as free and make as many plays. So, a lot of the time we had to run the offense through [Randy Foye], Randy or Ty, Randy or [Nate Robinson]. The ball then just became stagnant. All the good movement that we had in the first half just left us in the second half."