Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 114, Lakers 108

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December 1, 2013

NOTES

• Los Angeles fell behind by 17 points 6:30 into the game, but came back to tie with 7:04 remaining in the second quarter. The Lakers took their first lead of the game on a Jodie Meeks triple at the 5:23 mark of the 2nd. After allowing an opponent season-high 41 third quarter points, the Lakers allowed the lead to grow to as many as 20 points, but were again able to shave the deficit to just a point before eventually succumbing. L.A. outscored Portland 34 to 20 in the final period.

• Xavier Henry scored a career-high 27 points on 9-12 shooting from the field with two triples and seven free throws.

• Robert Sacre set career-highs in points (12, previously 10, 1/8/13 at HOU) , rebounds (seven, previously four) and assists (four, previously one).

• The Lakers hit 10 three-pointers, the 12th time in 18 games they have hit double-digit triples this season.

• Jordan Farmar left the game with 4:34 remaining in the first quarter with a moderate strain of his left hamstring and did not return.

• Portland is the only team in the NBA with eight road wins already this season (8-2).

• The Trail Blazers are now tied with San Antonio for the best record in the Western Conference (14-3).

• Portland's 14-3 overall record and 8-2 road mark both represent the team's best start to a season since 1999-2000 (14-3, 8-2).

• Wesley Matthews has made multiple 3-pointers in 10 straight games, the longest single season streak of his NBA career.

QUOTES

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Damian Lillard

On Performance Of Team Tonight:
“I thought we could have done a better job holding on to our leads. I think we got up 20 two different times and both times we let them get back in the game. We weathered the storm and we found a way to win the game.”

On Intensity Of Team As They Held The Lead:
“We have to find a way to stay consistent, you know when things are going well we tend to kind of ease up and play a little bit looser instead of tightening up and putting teams away. Once teams get fired up and get back in the game our intensity rises again and we have to find a way to keep it at that high level.”

On It Not Being A Disappointing Win:
“No, I mean we have to do a better job of holding on to the leads but we won the game and now we have to try and focusing being better at it. Never sorry for a win, we won the game and now we go home to play against a tough team.”

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Wesley Matthews

On Left Hip Injury:
“It’s a different injury, I don’t think its anywhere near as serious as the last one. I’m not worried about it I was able to go out there tonight and anticipate I’ll do the same thing tomorrow.”

On Fighting To Come Out With Win:
“We are still learning. If your lesson is you need to learn to play with the lead its better than trying to fight back. We have to continue to get better, and to understand that we are hunted now. We are number one in the west right now, one of the top teams in the NBA and we are going to get every team’s best show. Whereas last year we were trying to give everyone our best shot.”

On Noticing When Teams Started Hunting Them:
“Midway through our streak I noticed we were being hunted. Every team wants to be the team to knock that team off, because we were like that. People are getting up to play us now and were demanding teams best and we have to have ours at all times. We are not a cool team, some teams are cool teams we don’t have cool players, we have dogs and you have to play like that.”

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Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Win:
“Getting wins on the road is important and one of the things we really wanted to improve on this year. L.A’s been playing great basketball, and no lead is safe with them. Obviously, we showed that in both halves. But, pulling out a win on the road is the most important thing.”

On What Lakers Did To Get Back Into The Game:
“In the first half, they [Lakers] got some threes. They went small and they got in transition. Some of our turnovers led to some of their baskets. Then, in the fourth quarter, they had a lot of momentum. Xavier Henry did a great job of shooting and driving and getting to the free throw line, and obviously he had a career game. They [Lakers] were all feeding off that, the crowd got into it, and there was a lot of emotion in the game.”

On Going Against Lakers' Lineup:
“We knew they [Lakers] would put a lot of shooters on the court. That’s the way they’ve been playing, and no matter whether Steve Blake or [Jordan] Farmar was in the game…I don’t think any of those guys could have played much better than Xavier [Henry] did. The bottom line is they played the same style no matter who was on the court. They opened up the court, they were playing loose and free, they were making shots, and gained momentum.”

On Closing Out The Game:
“We’ve played some close games, and what I like about our timeouts is that everybody’s stressing defense, knowing that we’ve got to get stops and trying to win it with defense instead of trying to outshoot them. I think the guys at the end of the game have done this before. They’ve shown the composure as far as executing, making the extra pass, making clutch shots and then getting stops when we needed them.”

On Damian Lillard Blocking Jodie Meek's Shot With 14.9 Seconds Left In The Game:
“A lot of teams run that play where they open up the gate and then close it, and he [Lillard] busted through, stayed with it, and timed the block well. That was, an understatement, a big play for us.”

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Steve Blake

On What He'll Remember Most About This Game:
“More with how hard we fought to get back in the game. It’s not easy to do that but we’ve got guys that compete hard and have good character. It’s tough to overcome those things [deficits] but we did the best we could.”

On Portland's Scoring, Particularly In The Third Quarter And If It Was A Matter Of Their Good Offense, Or Lakers Poor Play
“It’s both. They shot the ball extremely well and we had some turnovers. Just a bunch of little things went wrong for us. At the same time you have to give them a lot of credit. They’re a very talented team.”

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Nick Young

On What It Says About The Bench And Their Ability To Come From Twenty Down:
“They played their heart out. Like I said any given night somebody is going to come out and spark and lead us. [Robert] Sacre just played great tonight, you got to give it up to Sacre and [Xavier Henry] those guys fought their hearts out there and Shawne Williams almost threw up out there the way he was running up and down and guarding everybody one through five. They just played great.”

On If The Team Got Off To A Slow Start:
“We started off a little sluggish coming back from the trip, you can say it was the plane ride, or days off, but we’ve got to just work hard. We fought through everything and in that fourth quarter the guys were playing great.”

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Wesley Johnson

On What Worked For The Team Tonight:
“It was really just the effort and the fight that we had to claw back and get into the game. I think it was nothing that we were doing in particular on offense; I just think it was the will and the fight within the group that was out there.”

On Team's Will To Fight Back Despite Trailing Late:
“We knew that if we wanted to try and come back and try to win this game, we had to play hard and I think everybody knew that so the group that was out there just buckled down and we started talking and really riling everybody up and we started fighting back.”

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Robert Sacre

On His Performance Tonight:
“I’ve just been waiting for my time and I’ve been waiting to seize the moment and it’s unfortunate that we couldn’t get the win tonight, but that’s what this team’s all about, you never know who’s going to come out and produce. I think that’s the whole essence of this team, we’re all about one another and we want each other to succeed.”

On The Game And Recording Career Highs In Points And Rebounds:
“It was a great effort again by the team. It was tremendous to see how we came back in the fourth quarter, but they hit some tough shots and that made it difficult.”

On Taking Advantage Of His Opportunity And How He's Able To Be Patient And Wait For His Turn To Contribute:
“It’s like my man Vic ‘the brick’ says, you’ve got to water the bamboo. Water the bamboo, it’s my motto and it’s what I’ve been going through. Eventually all the work will pay off and I just have to stay focused within my game. I knew my time would come.”

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Xavier Henry

On His Performance And The Loss:
“I felt like I played pretty good. I was aggressive and when I’m pretty aggressive things open up for me. I’m just happy we fought back. We were down early and we were down the whole game but we had some guys in that second unit that fought back and we came back and played hard.”

On Team's Resiliency:
“We’re fighters. We’ve got a lot of guys that really want to win. We turn up when we’re supposed to and we come in and we try to get the job done.”

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Jodie Meeks

On Tonight's Game
“I thought we did a really good job of coming back, we showed a lot of heart so we’ve just got to focus on the next game.”

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Mike D'Antoni

On Lakers Performance Tonight:
“Obviously we compromised the game at the beginning of the game… and second half. We just weren’t real good. The group that came in towards the end, [Robert] Sacre [and] that group, I thought was great. They played unbelievably hard, they played tough, and it was good.”

On What He Would Account For The Deficit At The Beginning And Middle Of The Game:
“I just think the energy wasn’t good. I didn’t think we fought through adversity. I didn’t think we talked enough, I didn’t think there was resistance defensively…They bordered on a day in the park [attitude]. I just didn’t think we had it.”

On How Jordan Farmar's Injury Affected Them:
“It hurts. He’s been playing well, and obviously that puts the Steve [in a tough position]. He had to play 23 minutes in the first half. It’s tough, he runs around all the time…We had to go with [Xavier Henry] at the point, or just without a point, and just play. It didn’t seem at the time like the greatest thing in the world, but it worked out OK. Maybe towards the end we could have set some things up better, but a lot of this game is heart and soul and how hard you fight, and I think that group did that.”

On How He Feels About How The Team Has Done Up To This Point Without Kobe Bryant:
“Again, I thought we could have done better, but we’re developing a nice group, and there are some good things that are happening. When [Kobe Bryant] comes back, and I don’t know if he’ll be back Friday, but whenever he comes back, we should be over .500. That’s our goal, and then we’ll see. There will be an adjustment period, and that’s why games like this you can’t just give them away.”

On Xavier Henry's Performance Throughout The Season:
“Well, it’s a bit of a roller coaster…He could be great, or he could struggle a bit. But at 22 years old, if he can do that, we just have to make sure the next game he does it. He can. It might not be this year, it might not be this month, but he’ll keep coming at you.