Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 110, Pelicans 107
December 21, 2013
• Portland has won 23 of its first 28 games for the fourth time in team history (25-2, 1990-91; 24-4, 1977-78; 23-5, 1998-99).
• The Trail Blazers lead the NBA in total wins this season with 23, to go along with their league-high tying 12 road victories (San Antonio).
• Damian Lillard joins Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant as the only NBA players with three straight games of 29+ points and 5+ assists this season.
• The Trail Blazers have scored 105+ points in 13 straight games, the longest streak in the NBA since Denver went 16 straight games in 2008.
• Damian Lillard has scored at least 25 points in three straight games for the first time in his career.
• Portland’s seven turnovers are tied for the fewest the team has committed in a game this season (Nov. 1 at Denver).
• The Trail Blazers recorded their second-lowest 3-point percentage of the season, shooting 27.6 percent (8-for-29) tonight.
• Portland opened the third quarter on a 17-6 run. Overall, Portland went on a 33-10 run from 3:41 in the second to 6:33 in the third (9:08 minutes).
• The Trail Blazers finished the final 3:41 minutes of the second quarter on a 16-4 run, shooting 70.0 percent (7-for-10) during that time and giving the Trail Blazers their first lead of the night at the 0:29 mark on a 3-pointer by Damian Lillard.
Thoughts On 23-5 Record Going Into Christmas:
“That’s great. I didn’t know that this would happen going in to Christmas, but it feels good, especially to get this last win going into the small Christmas break that we have. But it could be worse, so we’ve got to be thankful for how well we’ve done and keep working so we don’t fall from this.”
On Coach Stotts And Success Of Plays Coming Out Of Timeouts
“He’s watching the game. He’s a great coach, so he sees what’s working for us. He sees what’s giving the other team trouble. Coming out of those timeouts, he knows what to go to and it’s up to us to go out there and execute it.”
On Importance Of Limiting Turnovers Tonight:
“We’ve won a few games like that now. I don’t know how we do it, but I’ll take it. I’m just doing my job. I’m going out there playing hard, hustling for rebounds, running the floor and trying to play good defense. I’m just trying to focus on that stuff.”
On Third Quarter Success:
“I think it’s urgency more than anything else. We get to come in here at halftime and we talk about adjustments and we look at the screen and we see the mistakes that we made. I think we’re smart enough basketball players to figure out in our mind what we need to do to change it. A lot of times we’re able to go out there and execute better.”
On Winning Close Games Lately:
“It feels great. We just had a long road trip and were able to get all of them except for one. We wanted to come back and protect home court. We were able to find a way to get it done again. So it’s exciting when you can keep winning these close games.”
Is This As Good You've Felt With Your Shot:
“It is. So far this season, I think this has been, over the past few games, my game overall has felt the best. It might be because I’m starting to get a few more naps in. Honestly, I always tell our staff and my teammates that I never take naps. Like, I just couldn’t do it. But lately, I’ve been taking naps. So I guess that might be the difference.”
On Tonight's Game:
“Slow start, but one thing about our team is that we keep competing. As a coach, that’s all you want your team to do is keep competing. I thought we got good contributions from everybody who played. We keep finding ways to win and we get stops when we need them. We make big shots when we need them. New Orleans is a tough team to guard. Their record is deceiving. When Ryan Anderson – they were without Davis for a while, they were without Anderson for a while - now they have both those guys on the court. They’re a very potent offensive team with those three guys who can penetrate.”
On Getting Intro Transition Game Offensively:
“Well it coincides with getting stops. It’s more difficult to run when you’re taking the ball out of the net and their defense is set, so those go hand in hand. It’s like that for every team, you get stops, you get out and that’s how there are swings in the game. Both teams experienced that and it’s probably the team that gets more of them usually wins.”
“Damian is Damian. He understands what needs to be done. He takes it upon himself when he needs to. He’s fearless taking the ball to the basket. He makes big shots, competes defensively. Damian kind of speaks for himself. It’s not like we should even be surprised by it anymore.”
“To me, there were a lot of ebb and flows to the game. We would make a little run and they would make a little run. Other than the first six minutes of the game when they scored 20 points in the first six minutes, I thought the game just kind of went back and forth. For us, basically we got back in the game when we held them to six points for the last six minutes of the first quarter. Then it was just kind of back and forth.”
On The Ending Of The Road Trip In Portland Tonight:
"This is a great team we played tonight. They are a tough team to guard and I think we put ourselves in a position to win tonight. Obviously, they hit some really tough shots, but I'm proud of the effort we gave. There's always things we can do better in the games and tonight, like I said, they just hit some really tough shots to clinch the game. So, I wouldn't say it was the toughest, but makes us want to go out and play even harder than that. It shows, tonight, how good we can be when we're focused in. We could have played defense a lot better. We could have stuck to the game plan a lot better and that's just the little things we can work on."
On The Toughness Of This Road Trip:
"Coming out here, all the time, is hard. It's a lot of days away from home, it's a long trip and especially this one is a really long trip. But, I mean, there's no excuses. We just want to get focused on next game and win next game."
On His Look At The End Of The Game:
"It wasn't the cleanest look. That last play that we drew up was a great play. I think the timing was a little bit off but, that's something that we will definitely fix up. At the same time, I thought I got a pretty clean look and I was comfortable taking that shot. I felt like it wasn't going in, but it didn't."
On The Fight Of The Team Tonight:
"I do feel like we fought hard enough to win. There's a lot of things that I'd like to say that wouldn't be appropriate because I thought our guys battled and some things didn't go our way tonight. Like I told them, I have nothing bad to say about that game because of the way we competed. We just gave up a bad run the second to the third quarter, I think it was 33-10. We were up 13 maybe, and never recovered from that. When you have a team like that down, you have to keep them down. We just made a few mistakes tonight, but that's part of the game. I thought we had our chances, [Tyreke Evans] had a shot and it just rolled in and out. Even at the end, [Ryan Anderson] got a look for a three. We had our shot, but they just did more than we could tonight."
On The Level Of Shooting Tonight:
"I thought we had a bit of a rhythm, obviously, when shooting like that, you certainly can't afford to have mishaps on defense on the road. We had a couple of them tonight. [LaMarcus Aldridge] didn't really go off like he's been going off. We kept him under wraps. Lillard had 29. The shots he hit at the end were daggers. But I thought Matthews, in the third quarter, he went on a bit of a run and that hurts. That was part of that stretch I talked about."