Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 116, Wizards 103
March 20th, 2014
• With his second 3-pointer of the night, Damian Lillard tied his own franchise record for 3-pointers made in a season with 185 (set in 2012-13). Lillard finished the night with three 3-pointers, bringing the new franchise record to 186.
• Portland is now 21-4 (.840) against the Eastern Conference this season, the best mark of any Western Conference team.
• Portland recorded 32 assists on 41 field goals.
• The Trail Blazers have finished their home schedule against Eastern Conference teams, recording a 13-2 record.
• The Trail Blazers have made at least 12 3-pointers in four straight games for the first time in franchise history.
• With the win, the Trail Blazers snapped a three-game losing streak against the Wizards. Portland had not won a game against Washington since March 10, 2012 (110-99 in Washington).
• Wesley Matthews’ fourth 3-pointer tonight gives him a new career-high of 170 3-pointers this season, the fifth-most by a Trail Blazer all-time.
• Nicolas Batum has recorded 14+ rebounds for the eighth time in his career, seven of those games have come this month.
• Nicolas Batum’s 14 rebounds tonight give him 143 in March, 23 more rebounds than any other NBA player this month (D. Cousins, 120).
• Wesley Matthews has scored 26+ points in back-to-back games for the second time in his career, both this year (March 7-9).
• Nicolas Batum is the first Trail Blazer with four straight games of 9+ rebounds and 5+ assists since Clyde Drexler (four, Feb. 24-March 2, 1989).
• Damian Lillard recorded his fifth double-double of the season while Nicolas Batum registered his 12th double-double of the season.
• Wesley Matthews has matched his season high with 28 points (Nov. 22 vs. Chicago).
• Dorell Wright tied his season high of 15 points (twice) and matched his season high of seven rebounds, five of which came in the first quarter (seven, Feb. 21 vs. Utah).
• Portland ended the second quarter on an 8-0 run to take the lead, 53-51. The Trail Blazers carried on the streak and started the third quarter on an 11-2 run.
• The Trail Blazers converted on their first three 3-point attempts, each by a different player (Batum, Lillard, Wright).
On Building On Halftime Lead:
“We were more ready to start the second half. More intensity and more energy to start the second half. We got stops, we started running and we got more rhythm. When we got in a rhythm, we started making shots. So we started on defense and then we got open shots. Damian got some good assists and Wes made shots. Very good second half tonight.”
On Defense Picking Up:
“That’s the way we won the game tonight. We started to control John Wall and Bradley Beal, those two guys. We got rebounds and started running, got easy shots, easy layups so yeah it was easy for us when we played defense.”
On Ball Movement:
“Anytime we have 32 assists in a game, we’ve got to imagine it’s going to be in our favor and we’ve got to imagine the ball is going to be going in the basket from anybody. The ball was finding guys. We played with energy. We kind of did that the end of the second quarter. We kind of moseyed around through the first three quarters of the first half. We picked it up defensively. We had a little bit more urgency and when that ball is flying around, we have a lot of guys who can make plays.”
On Third Quarter Run:
“The ball was moving. It was a lot of fun to be out there. That’s how we play. That’s how we got on a roll. That’s how we got to be one of the hottest teams – because that ball was flying and we caused a problem either in pick and roll or in isolation situation where two are looking at one and we kick that ball out and we move it and the ball finds energy. We were all moving tonight.”
On Tonight's Game:
“I was really pleased with the way we played. The first quarter was a little slow, but offensively, we were really moving the ball. There was a nice rhythm to it. Dorell Wright was terrific. I thought his two hustle plays really energized us in the second half, especially the one where he makes a three and goes back and makes a great play at the other end. Victor Claver was very solid for us in the minutes that he played. Wes kind of fought through a little contusion and continued to compete and make shots. It was a game we needed before this road trip. I liked the way we played.”
On Sticking With Claver In Second Half:
“The lineup was playing well and had good energy. He was playing well. The unit was clicking. It was an opportunity to get our guys rest on the bench. I try not to run up Nic’s minutes and it’s easy to because I play him the first and third quarter so I want to make sure I take the opportunity to rest him when I can.”
On Success In Third Quarter:
“Make shots – there really wasn’t much to it other than I thought the ball found our shooters and they shot it with confidence. It wasn’t necessarily anything that we ran. I just felt like shooters were shooting with confidence. The thing that I’m pleased about is that our spacing lineup is kind of getting a rhythm, whether Mo is in the game or Mo is not in the game. It’s kind of working the way it should as far as opening up the court and opening up three point opportunities and we’re still able to defend and rebound with that group.”
On Ball Movement:
“When you make shots, everybody is involved and the ball has a tendency to move more. Part of it was the style of the game. Both teams were playing small so there was more opportunities to draw and kick and create the problems that were there. Obviously, it’s something you want to do as much as you can but sometimes the game doesn’t let you.”
“Our third quarter defense was as important as the shot making.”
On Win Before Road Trip
“It’s always tough on the road. This three game home stand, it would have been nice to get all three. But pulling out a tough one against Milwaukee, a tough, close win was good for our confidence and then having a game like this hopefully will give us some momentum.”
On If Win Felt Different Because It Pushed Team Over .500:
“Honestly, it feels the same way. I think that’s the approach that we should take with this win. Not get too high, not get too low, keep working, but stay confident and get ready for our next game.”
On If It's A Relief Being Over .500:
“No, I don’t think so. We have a goal that we need to reach and that’s getting to the playoffs. We will see what happens when we get there. It’s no relief. We got to keep pushing.”
On Past Two Games Versus Oklahoma City And Portland:
“I think we are playing defense closer to 48 minutes. I feel like earlier in the season we were playing half games, especially on the defensive end. We weren’t locked in. We weren’t following our game plan and we weren’t playing for each other defensively. Tonight, the night before, we’ve been doing it.”
On Holding Teams Below 100 Points:
“Just playing defense, playing for each other, rotating, and knowing, just wanting to win. The flat out will to want to win, that’s what you got to do. You got to play defense, you got to help each other out. You got to fly around and get stops and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
On What Going Over .500 Means To Younger Guys:
“I’m sure it feels good for them. I don’t want to take that feeling away from them. I also want them to know that you can’t be complacent and just want to stop here. It’s still a lot more out there to achieve. This team can achieve that, we just got to keep playing and not worry about we are one game over .500, if we do that, I feel like we will be OK.”
On What Defines This Team:
“When we play defense, when we really sit down, we are a good team. From the team’s that we have played that have really good records, when we sit down and play for each other, we can be a really good team. We’ve proven that we can do it. We need to do it more consistently.”
On Being Over .500:
“It feels great. It feels great with everything we have been through. We’ve had a lot of losing and stuff like that, and now we start winning. We start to really be a great team and now we are .500. It really feels great. This winning feeling feels great.”
On Having A Good Game Against Nicolas Batum:
“Always, every time I play against the French guy I always try to be the best. When I try to dunk and he fouled me, he said, ‘You know you can’t dunk.’ I said ‘You’re lucky,’ that’s all.”
On Finding Out Trevor Booker Would Be Out Tonight:
“When I knew he was out, I was just like, this is my opportunity. I was ready to really be ready tonight like him (Booker) and I did my job. I know it’s a tough time for him right now. I support him. We just have to support him when it’s the time of the game. At the game, I was just trying to play my game.”
On Wizards Defense:
“On defense. At first on the defensive end, they are the best offensive team in the league, the best on second chance [points] in the league. Our goal was to stop them and to keep them under 100 points. I said we would do our job.”
On Last Two Minutes Of First Half:
"The biggest part of the game for me started in the third quarter. We didn't make a shot and they came out very hot."
On What Portland Did Tonight To Set Them Apart:
"They just came out hitting shots. They're a team that gets hot from time to time and they made some contested shots. We rotated, did what we were supposed to and they made shots. You look at the stat sheets though and they look nothing like who would have won the game. There was just that third quarter, they hit most of their threes. They grind and they're already up six or eight."
On The Matchup With Lillard:
"I think it was great to have a young point guard, I mean we both support each other and give each other that respect. You know, when you're on the court, it's a match up. Your friends go out the window. You're both competing trying to win the game."
On Missing Marcin Gortat Tonight:
"I thought we responded well. We somehow have to learn. We're up 51-45 with 53 seconds and they go on an 8-0 run in 53 seconds. You cannot treat the game that way. We just play sometimes and you have to close that quarter out with a lead. To give up eight points in 53 seconds is hard to do. Even if we weren't even out on the floor, it'd be hard for them to score eight points in 53 seconds and that sucked a lot of our air out of us coming into half time. We're up six and then be down two and then, as you could tell, I thought the first couple minutes of the third quarter, we were still dragging from that, but we have to learn. Sacramento, again, a squander at the end. You can't squander. You work too hard in this league to get leads against good teams and to throw it away in 53 seconds hurts."
On Tonight's Effort:
"I thought all of us gave great effort. Again, we have to get dirtier. That's the term I like to use. We have to get dirty out there on the floor for 48 minutes. Sometimes we let ourselves get pushed around too much and then we react. So, we have to get back to reacting first and be the guys that are pushing people around."