Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 111, Thunder 104

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December 4, 2013

NOTES

• LaMarcus Aldridge recorded a career-high 17 field goals, previous was 16 (Feb. 1, 2011 vs. San Antonio). The 17 field goals ties the most by any NBA player this season (Carmelo Anthony)

• With the win, the Trail Blazers ended an eight game Thunder win-streak, what was the longest active win streak in the NBA. Portland also snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Thunder, previously their longest active losing streak against any NBA team.

• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first NBA player with at least 38 points and 13 rebounds in a game this season and only the third Trail Blazer to ever record 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists in a game (Drexler – 2, Randolph).

• At 16-3, Portland is tied for the second-best record through 19 games in team history (18-1, 1990-91; 16-3, 1977-78).

• On a two-point shot at the 2:14 mark of the third quarter, LaMarcus Aldridge passed Geoff Petrie sixth on the Trail Blazers’ all-time points list. Aldridge ended the night with points 38, bringing his career total to 9,745 points.

• Portland’s 16-3 record is the best in the Northwest Division, best in the Western Conference, and second-best in the NBA and includes wins over the No. 1 team in the league (Indiana), the second-best team in the Western Conference (San Antonio), and the second-best team in the Northwest Division (Oklahoma City).

• With his third field goal, LaMarcus Aldridge tied Jerome Kersey for fourth on the Trail Blazers all-time made field goal list (3,981). Aldridge solidified the fourth spot by finishing the game with 17 field goals, bringing his career total to 3,995.

• LaMarcus Aldridge has made 10-plus field goals in four straight games, becoming only the second NBA player this year to do so (Blake Griffin).

• Tonight marked LaMarcus Aldridge’s 15th 20-point game of the season, tied for the most in the NBA.

• The Trail Blazers are now 4-0 when LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez both record double-doubles on the same night.

• LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 38 points tonight, his previous high this season was 30 points. It is Aldridge’s fourth-highest point total of his career and the most since Feb. 6, 2012 (39, vs. Oklahoma City).

• LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 38 points and 13 rebounds.

• Robin Lopez recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 boards.

• The Trail Blazers opened the third quarter on a 22-10 run to regain the lead, 70-69.

QUOTES

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Robin Lopez

On Aldridge's Play:
“I don’t want to forecast any wins or anything, but when he plays like that and he’s been playing like that for a few weeks now, we’re going to be tough to beat.”

On Individual Performance:
“I’m playing with four excellent offensive weapons on the floor. So I’m going to have my opportunities because people have to guard them, people have to respect them. I just have to make smart plays, not do anything stupid.”

On Offense Running Through Aldridge At Times:
“First of all, that’s huge for us. That’s what we’re looking for. Our team recognized that. Did you see them stop him? No, they never stopped him out there, so that’s what we’re looking for.”

On Coming Back From Down 11 At The Half:
“We just realized we weren’t coming up with a lot of 50-50 balls. They were outhustling us to those, they were bounding the other way. We realized that if we secured those, we would have been up. I think we would have been up seven or so had we secured those in the first half.”

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Wesley Matthews

On Tonight's Game:
“We played two different styles of teams – a rugged one with Indiana and then a more up the pace team with OKC. We were able to rise to the occasion. They brought it to us a little bit in that second quarter, we bounced back in the second half and turned our defense up like we’ve been doing all year.”

On Aldridge:
“I’ve been saying it from the start – he’s the best power forward in the game. He’s got to be getting MVP votes with the way we’re playing, with the level he’s playing at. He’s just willing us right now. He’s awesome right now.”

What's Different With Aldridge Now?:
“We’re just winning. That’s the thing, we’re just winning. He’s taking more ownership of this team. He’s always a staple of this team, he was always the centerpiece and everything. Now, he’s embracing it – this is him and he’s coming into his own. He’s had great games before, but now it’s the fact that we had an 11-game winning streak and we’re number one in the west.”

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Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Game:
“Needless to say, it was a good win for us. Especially after we really didn’t have much going on in the first half, we couldn’t quite come up with loose balls, offensive rebounds, hustle plays. It seemed like that had a lot of momentum in the first half. But I really liked the way we came out at the beginning of the third quarter obviously. Offense and defense a lot of times go hand in hand. Our defense picked up and our offense picked up. The crowd got into it and everybody contributed, so the second half was great.”

Describe Aldridge's Performance:
“I don’t know if I have the words to be honest. Offensively, obviously he can score. But I liked his toughness, I liked his leadership, I liked his competitive fire. As much as he played very well, it was a lot of the intangibles that I really appreciated from him tonight.”

On Batum's Three In Final Moments:
“To be honest, the play was he was going to dump it down into LaMarcus. The play was for him to get it and throw it in, but he was so open that – you can’t make shots if you don’t believe you’re going to make them. Nic’s too good a shooter. We had two or three good looks before that, wide open threes that didn’t go, so those things work themselves out.”

On Difference In Second Half/Third Quarter:
“Our biggest thing was not giving them easy baskets, by easy baskets I mean put-backs. In the first half I think they were 7 for 9 in second chance points. They were just getting them and putting them back in. I thought we limited their easy baskets, their easy points more than anything. It was so deflating for everybody in the first half – we had a number of good defensive possessions and then somehow the ball bounces around and they came up with it. We could have had a lead. It just takes a lot of wind out of you when you have a possession and you don’t come up with it.”

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Kevin Durant

On What Changed In The Second Half:
"They hit a lot of tough two's on us. Shots we can live with, but they made enough of them to beat us. We couldn't get anything to fall, they played great defense and forced us some tough shots. But on the other end, they were clicking on all cylinders. With a team like that, hitting shots, it's kind of tough to stop. I messed the game up at the end of the game. I got lost and he hit a three and I can't do that to my team. So, unfortunate loss for us, I'm pissed right now because we had that game and it felt like we were coming down to the end and were doing some things to try to take it over, but have to give them credit in the end."

On A Nice String Of Wins Prior To Tonight's Battle:
"We want to win every game. We expect to win. So, that's the best part about our team. We have guys that hate losing. No matter who it is, we try to come out and play our best game. Some nights we have it and some nights we don't. Tonight is one of the nights we battled all the way to the end, we just couldn't close it out."

On LaMarcus Aldridge Tonight:
"He was shooting turn-arounds from almost the three-point line on top of our bigs and knocking them down. That's what great players do. They come through in the clutch and make shots and he's a shot maker. I'm sure he practices those shots all the time. It looked like it was great defense on our part but better offense. And like you say, you have to give him credit because he made him. That's what our defense is kind of predicating on is making guys shoot tough two's and he definitely got them to fall tonight."

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Scott Brooks

On Changed In Intensity In Second Half:
"They came out, they picked it up with their intensity and they were making some tough shots. We didn't come out with the defensive mindset that we had during that first half. We still made it a game down the stretch in the fourth quarter. We have to come out better. The third quarter has been a problem that we need to address. Tonight it came back and bit us again."

On Message To Team After A Game Like This:
"Well, we had a nice run. We won eight in a row, came and played one of the best teams in their building and played them down to the wire. I felt that we gave ourselves a chance to win. We had a bad third quarter. On top of not stopping it, we had trouble scoring - only 21 points. We're in a good place. We have to come back and regroup tomorrow for Friday's game."

On Aldridge:
"He's a tough matchup. He's an all-star having an all-star night. He made 17 or 18 field goals that were all contested."

On Playing A Tough Western Conference Team Tonight:
"I mean, there's the West. The West is all top teams. You're not going to have an easy game at home or on the road against the Western teams. But even take it a step further, the NBA has good players and good teams and you still have to execute and play harder than your opponent and make shots and do all the good things to get a game. But they're a good team. They beat us tonight. We have to come back the next night and come back and play better."