Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 111, Rockets 104

600rox.jpg


December 12, 2013

NOTES

• LaMarcus Aldridge has posted the first 30-point, 25-rebound game in Trail Blazers history.

• LaMarcus Aldridge set a career high with 25 rebounds (previous was 23 on Jan. 20, 2012 at Toronto).

• LaMarcus Aldridge now has four 30-point 20-rebound games in his career. No other Trail Blazer in team history has more than two.

• LaMarcus Aldridge’s four 30-point, 20-rebound games are the third-most in the NBA since he began his career in 2006-07 (Love -7, Howard-6).

• Portland’s 19-4 record marks its best 23-game start to a season since going 21-2 to open the 1990-91 season.

• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first NBA player with at least 30 points, 25 rebounds and two blocks in a game since Chris Webber (Jan. 5, 2001).

• This is the first time in LaMarcus Aldridge’s career that he has registered two 20-plus points and rebounds night in a single season. Aldridge is the only NBA player with two 20-point, 20-rebound games during the 2013-14 season.

• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first NBA player to record at least 30 points and 25 rebounds in a game since Kevin Love on Nov. 12, 2010.

• LaMarcus Aldridge has two of the three 30-point, 20-rebound games in the NBA this season (Nikola Vucevic has the other).

• LaMarcus Aldridge is just the fourth Trail Blazer to record four career games of at least 20 points and 20 rebounds (Thompson, Walton, Wicks).

• Robin Lopez registered his 10th double-double of the season with 16 points and 10 rebounds, the most double-doubles Lopez has recorded in any season.

• The Trail Blazers have made at least five 3-pointers in each of their first 23 games of a season for the first time in team history.

• Portland has scored 100 points in 10 straight games, the team’s longest single-season streak since March 29-April 24, 1994 (13 games).

• With nine rebounds in the third quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge set a career third quarter best.

• LaMarcus Aldridge’s nine rebounds were the most in the first quarter in any game of his career.

His eight defensive rebounds also marked a career-high in the first quarter.

• Nicolas Batum has made a 3-pointer in 23 consecutive games, his longest such streak in a single season in his career.

• Portland opened the fourth quarter on a 10-0 run.

• The Trail Blazers opened the first 3:45 minutes of the third quarter on a 13-3 run.

QUOTES

<roxdame.jpg


Damian Lillard

What Did You Like Most?:
“Watching LA. I mean, that type of game, that’s fun to watch. He played really well. We was able to make plays when we needed to, get stops when we needed to. We didn’t shoot the ball well. For us to beat a good team like them without shooting the ball well, that says a lot about us.”

What Does It Do To Have Aldridge Playing So Well?:
“It gives us more confidence because we know that we can give him the ball at any time and something good is going to come from it. It was better to see him rebounding the ball the way he has been. To me, it seems he’s getting every rebound. I’m getting outlets from him and it seems like it’s him every time.”

On Defense:
“We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we would have liked to. We needed to find a way to get stops so we would stick around because they’re an explosive offensive team. I think because we were able to get some stops, get it done defensively, we were able to stick around and then when shots did start to fall, we were able to pull away.”

On Holding On After Having Lead Cut To Two With Five Minutes Left:
“We just had to tighten up, execute our offense, get some good looks and tighten up on the defensive end also. We had a few big blocks from Robin and LA down low. They did a great job protecting the rim and guys made shots.”

On LA's 30 And 25 Game:
“That just says how high of a level he’s playing. I’ve seen him get 30 and 20 twice before. In a big game like this, for him to go out there when you have Dwight Howard guarding you and Terrance Jones is a tall, athletic, long defender also. So for him to go out there and rebound the ball like that and score over guys like that, that says a lot about how much better he is playing.”

knicksstotts.jpg


Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Game:
“The two halves were obviously a lot different. Neither team could really get it going offensively in the first half and the defense kind of held up for both teams. Everybody started and couldn’t find their groove offensively. We had a lot of good performances.”

“Obviously, LA was fantastic. He was just doing everything. The game was coming to him – big rebounds, big shots, kicked it out of the post when he needed to. He was terrific. Robin, even though Howard goes for 32 and 17, the fact that he took the challenge to guard him straight up and took threes out of the game. They really rely on the three a lot and we were able to kind of minimize what they did there. They’re a good transition team and they had their opportunities in the first half, but for the most part, for the game, we were able to minimize that as well. Obviously, it was a good home win.”

On The Third Quarter:
“I like the way we played in the third quarter. We stretched the lead, kept ourselves in the position where it wasn’t necessarily threatening. I didn’t think we were that out of it. In the first half, we didn’t shoot the ball well. We didn’t finish. Our offense was struggling a little bit, but we stayed in the game because of our defense. I was confident that at some point the offense would kick in and we’d start making some shots. I thought that’s what happened in the third quarter. Our defense was good in the third quarter. ”

What Was Different About The Offense In The Second Half:
“I don’t know if there was one thing in particular. I thought our passing was good. To be honest, I thought our offense was good in the first half, we just didn’t finish at the rim and we had some open looks. I thought we had a lot of really good opportunities in the first half that we didn’t finish. In the second half, the same opportunities were there and we were able to take advantage.”

On Aldridge Defending Perimeter Players On Switches:
“That’s a good point. It’s probably an understated part of his game tonight, was that he really took the challenge of when we switched on a lot of pick and rolls, he kept Harden and those guys in front of him. He made them shoot over the top of him. We didn’t get beat by penetration when he switched on to them, so he really communicated well. Our pick and roll coverage isn’t a straight switch, so it’s something that needs to be communicated… just the communication that enabled us to be effective with the switching as well.”

On Success:
“We’re growing in confidence. I think we go into games with a certain level of confidence, but at the same time, we realize that we’re playing hard and our success is because we’re playing hard. It’s not coming easy. Our record is what it is, but it’s not easy. You have to compete every night. So I think the combination of confidence and just competing is there every night.”

roxlin.jpg


Jeremy Lin

On What Happened In The Fourth Quarter And Aldridge's Influence On The Game:
"Yeah, they just made plays down the stretch. They executed and got a few loose balls and we were always just 7-8 away and couldn't really close it."

On The Offensive Execution During The Fourth Quarter:
"I thought we got some shots, we missed some shots, we didn't really shoot well from on the three-point line. But I think, I don't want to say we got terrible shots, we got good shots. Dwight did a great job scoring down low. So, it was just a tough one."

On Low Turnover Night For Rockets:
"We really took care of the ball tonight but I just think some defensive things, trying to figure out an effective coverage for some of their plays and trying to force the change midway through and then change it again. So, we just need to make sure we do a better job of executing our defensive plans."

On The Amount Of Weapons Portland Has:
"The tough part is, really, that all their guys can make plays. Wesley Matthews and Batum are great passers along with Lillard so they're a tough team to go at."

roxsamp.jpg


Kelvin Sampson

On Aldridge's Performance Tonight
"He's a load, he's a load. I don't think I can remember seeing someone who takes so many hard, contested, foul-away jump shots and consistently makes them. He's really, really good. They don't really have an inside presence but Aldridge is almost like throwing it to a big center inside who plays on the block. He's as consistent with his contested jump shots as the big guys are scoring in the paint."

On The Quality Of Portland's Shots, Especially Aldridge:
All of his blocks shots were contested. We got mixed up on a couple coverages but made pretty good adjustments off that. They made tough shots and then they made some timely, timely three's. [James Harden] did a great job contesting, I think it was Dorell Wright, the corner in front of our bench on a huge possession. He missed it and it bounced right back to him and they wound up getting another three. Portland is obviously really, really good. They're really, really good in this gym. They're playing with a lot of confidence. We get to the fourth quarter and we get a chance to win, but, you know, we move on.

On The Thought Of Double Teaming Aldridge:
"No, we were reading that. You have to pick your poison with this team. Giving up tough contested two's - or - they're a really good hockey-assist team. They keep that thing and spin it, and we were a little bit worried about the three. But when [Dwight Howard] got on him, I thought Dwight did a good job. We probably should have had Dwight on him a little bit more but [Terrance Jones], I thought, did a pretty good job making him take hard shots.”