Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 117, Clippers 122

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February 12, 2014

NOTES

• Portland's 36 wins are fourth most at the All-Star break in team history (1977-78, 40; 1990-91, 39; 1999-2000, 38).

QUOTES

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LaMarcus Aldridge

On Team's Attitude Heading Into The Break:
“It‟s definitely not the way we wanted to end it. We definitely wanted to be on better terms going into the break. But one thing about it is that we took care of business early. I knew there was going to be ups and downs this season, so luckily we put that cushion early where we‟re still number three or number four in the West.”

On Tonight's Game:
“They made plays, we made plays. And then they just made more plays down the stretch. They got some key steals down the stretch and they forced us to take some tough shots down the stretch.”

On First Half Assessment:
“Nobody put us even in the playoff race. And then even myself, I projected number seven. So, you know, we‟re not satisfied. But to be number five in the West right now, not shooting the ball well, and to come into the season with everybody not even thinking about us. We‟re not in a bad spot right now.”

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Damian Lillard

On Play Of The Clippers:
“I think they played well as a whole. I don‟t think there was one guy who did everything for them. Other guys had to make plays for Blake Griffin to get open jumpers and to get dunks. Guys set good screens for Chris Paul to come off of, to do what he does off pick-and-rolls. They got out in transition, so I don‟t think it was one person. They did well as a team.”

On Playing With Foul Trouble:
“It was kind of tough to find a rhythm when you‟re getting every single foul, every time you touch somebody or everything‟s being called against you. It‟s tough when you‟re not really on the floor, you‟re just playing in spurts.”

On Losing Back To Back Close Games:
“It‟s tough, especially going into the break. You want to go into it with some momentum and on a good note. We lost to two good games, we played two good games. And we just weren‟t able to pull either game out.”

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Terry Stotts

On Tonight's Game:
“Both teams played well again, obviously it was an offensive game. Both teams executed really well offensively, made passes, made shots. It‟s frustrating to play another good game against a top-tier team and come up short. The competition was great. It was a possession-by-possession game.”

On Offensive Style Of Play:
“I think we are capable of scoring points, and we‟ve played well on back-to-backs. It was a close game at our place, we match up well and they‟re competitive games.”

On Play Of Meyers Leonard:
“I was very pleased with Meyers [Leonard]. He contributed in a way that kept him on the court. We went with kind of a shooting lineup, he finished his opportunities. I thought he was good defensively, and he battled. We were a plus when he was on the court.”

On CJ McCollum's Growth:
“He continues to get better. I think being out there, I mean he‟s playing against some good veteran defenders, and he held his own. We know he can make shots, and that‟s kind of what he does. But I think this has been a really good growing experience for him.”

On Play Of The Clippers:
“I think they played well as a whole. I don‟t think there was one guy who did everything for them. Other guys had to make plays for Blake Griffin to get open jumpers and to get dunks. Guys set good screens for Chris Paul to come off of, to do what he does off pick-and-rolls. They got out in transition, so I don‟t think it was one person. They did well as a team.”

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Blake Griffin

On Offense Towards The End Of The Game:
“I think it makes us tough to defend. When you got CP [Chris Paul] and Jamal [Crawford] hitting shots all game long, it‟s tough to defend. You can‟t just key in on one guy so kind of my job [is] to get in the middle and give CP an outlet, somewhere he can pass and then you know, either make a play or give it to Jamal and let him make a play. So we got a lot different options which is nice.”

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Chris Paul

On Back And Forth Nature Of Tonight's Game:
“Yeah, I told them in the time out—I said 'Fellas, we need to get a score and a stop.‟ It was going back and forth—we‟re down one, we‟re up one, we‟re down one. I told Blake [Griffin] if we get a score and a stop, it changes the whole game. It‟s kind of frustrating because it‟s me that kept making mistakes on defense and they got shots, but all-in-all it was a good win for us.”

On Team's Focus:
“At the end of the day, your job is to win the game. It‟s a combination of both. We know they‟re a fast paced team, a lot of scoring. They made a lot of tough shots tonight. Damian Lillard hit some off balance threes, LaMarcus [Aldridge]—that‟s why both of them are All-Stars. When we needed to get the stops we needed, we did.”

On Midseason Assessment:
“I‟m happy. I‟m in a great place as far as our team going into the break-- One of the best feelings I‟ve had about a team since I‟ve been in the league. Just strictly because of defense. I think a lot of people see that [we] score 117 points a night, and are like, „What is he talking about?‟, but the mindset is there, and it‟s a work in progress, and hopefully we peak at the right time. For me, we‟re in a good place right now.”

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Doc Rivers

On Blake Griffin:
“Blake [Griffin]‟s been sensational. Blake is his own breed. There‟s nothing like him, really, that I know of and he just does so many things. He ran a pick-and-roll tonight, he ran on transition, he guarded guys in the post, he was terrific.”

On 40 Lead Changes:
“It was just one of those games. I think both coaches were probably really frustrated at the game. It just felt like nobody could get a handle on the game. It felt like for a minute there, you wandered on something offensively, and then they‟d take that away. Then you get a stop and they figure it out, and it was just one of those games where the whole game… and it‟s funny, I said this to the staff at half time, we scored 60 points… shooting 59% and I was upset offensively. I know we had nine wasted possessions where we just didn‟t get anything. This may be one of those games you‟re going to need those possessions. But it was a good win. It was frustrating for probably both coaches. You felt like, „we can get away from them,‟ and every time we thought we would, they would take the lead.”

On Intensity Of Game:
“We became disjointed. Down the stretch we started blitzing all their pick-and-rolls, and it was effective. But then we‟d come out and change and do something else. It‟s not one of those games, at least especially defensively, where they were icing and we scored four times and they came out and tried to trap. It‟s one of those games where after each time out, it seemed like each team came out with a new defense. I was waiting for someone to throw a zone. So you‟re thinking how to score, really. Out of the time outs, you knew the way they were shooting the ball; you knew you had to score against them tonight.”

On Chris Paul:
“He‟s been great. He loses rhythm a little bit, and that‟s just from not playing for a month or six weeks, that happens. I thought in the middle of the third he got tired. That‟s why I took him out in that one stretch, but other than that, he‟s playing very well.”

On LaMarcus Aldridge:
“LaMarcus [Aldridge] is one of the best players in the NBA, I mean, he‟s got almost everything. So he‟s a tough cover, tough matchup. I thought DJ [DeAndre Jordan] did a great job. You know, it was really our team defense but I was proud of the way we fought down the stretch and the way we kept ourselves in.”