Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 117, Timberwolves 110
February 8, 2014
• LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 26 points and nine rebounds, including connecting on a perfect 8-of-8 from the floor for 16 points in the second half. Entering the night shooting .381 over his last six games, Aldridge finished 12-of-16 (.750) from the floor tonight.
• After being held scoreless in the third quarter and limited to just eight points over the first three frames combined, Wesley Matthews got hot in the fourth, scoring 13 points while hitting a pair of pivotal three-pointers down the stretch. Matthews finished with 21 points, his 15th 20+ point outing of the season.
• A night after connecting on a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor, C.J. McCollum recorded season highs in both points (19) and made three-pointers (3) in 28 minutes off the bench.
• Joel Freeland finished with 11 points off the bench for Portland tonight, his third career double-digit scoring outing and first of the season.
• The Trail Blazers improve to 8-2 against Northwest Division opponents this season (4-0 home, 4-2 road).
• Ricky Rubio finished with a career-high 25 points tonight, including scoring 11 in the first quarter, matching his single-quarter high this season. Tonight was his seventh career 20-point outing and second of the season. Rubio has now recorded three straight double-digit scoring outings, his second-longest such streak of the season (4 between Dec. 10-15).
• Ronny Turiaf grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds, his third double-digit rebounding game of the season and his most rebounds in a game since grabbing 13 against Sacramento on Apr. 1, 2009. Turiaf added eight points, three assists and three blocked shots, his career-best fifth straight game with 2+ blocks (previously 3/28-4/5 of 2009).
• Dante Cunningham recorded his first double-double of the season and fourth in his Wolves career, tallying 14 points and 10 rebounds tonight. Cunningham was part of a Wolves starting frontcourt that held even with their Portland’s counterparts (48 points each), despite missing an average of nearly 45 points from the injuried Love and Pekovic.
• Corey Brewer scored 26 points, his third 20+ point game of the season and most points since tallying 27 vs. Cleveland on Nov. 13. Brewer had 18 points in the second half alone while grabbing six rebounds.
• Making his first start of the season, Chase Budinger scored a season-high 19 points tonight on 6-of-12 shooting (a season-high 3-of-6 from three-point range). Tonight was Budinger’s second game this season with multiple three-pointers and just the second time in his Wolves career he’s connected on 3+ three-pointers.
• Shabazz Muhammad tallied a season-high 12 points off the bench tonight for Minnesota, his first career double-digit scoring outing. He played a season-high 16:45 tonight and scored nine points in the second quarter on 4-of-5 shooting.
• The Wolves dominated the paint tonight, outscoring Portland 52-28 despite missing both of the ‘Bruise Brothers’ (Love, Pekovic). Minnesota also held a 24-15 advantage in second chance points, grabbing 17 offensive rebounds compared to Portland’s nine.
On Tonight's Game:
“It’s different. Not what I’m used to, but at the same time coming into the NBA with a good team effort and all the things I’ve been through, getting hurt and coming in and getting back into the rotation, I’m ready for anything. I’ve put myself in a position to succeed by doing the extra stuff in practice, studying film and really making sure I’m focused.”
On Feeling More Comfortable:
“I feel more comfortable every game. Obviously I’m a confident person and I put a lot of work in and trust myself. But it’s more about game trust, team trust and coach trust. They know what I’m capable of obviously from practice but it’s about translating it into the game.”
“It was tough in the beginning but I felt like, yesterday’s game as well, we just came in and gave a lot of energy. That’s what we’ve got to do. It’s not really about the points with us, it’s about the aspect of the game… running the floor, setting the pick and offensive rebounds. That kind of stuff”
On Bench Scoring:
“We haven’t been doing it all year. it’s not what we do, Mo (Williams) is pretty much the only one that comes in and scores. Everyone else, it’s all about the hustle players.”
On Tonight's Game:
“That’s the first time that has happened to me. I barely got any time to be on the court in the first half and its foul trouble but it is what it is and we won the game.”
“They all did a great job; they did a great job last night. CJ (McCollum) did a great job scoring the ball tonight and making some good plays. Joel (Freeland) came in and made some good plays both offensively and defensively. He was rebounding the ball really well for us. (Thomas Robinson) didn’t show up on the stat sheets but he came out and really impacted the game also. “
On Minnesota Without Love:
“We knew they would make this an energy game. We knew they were a little short handed with Kevin Love out and Kevin Martin and we had to make sure that we stayed focused and made sure we don’t tell ourselves ‘well, Kevin Martin and Kevin Love aren’t playing so it’s going to be easy,’ It’s an NBA team and they got guys out there that are capable of putting something together and that’s what they did tonight.”
On Tonight's Game:
“It was a quality win for us but it was a quality game for him. It’s easy to look at the stats and see that he scored well. But I thought he did a nice job overall.”
On The Bench:
“We were really counting on our bench tonight because I really wanted to rest the starters. They all played a lot of minutes last night and the first half the bench really gave us a boost. We were able to make a little ground with them in the game.”
On Team's Confidence:
“You like to win. If you can go .500 on the road in hindsight that’s good but you always go into the road trip wanting to win them all but it’s a race in the West. You have to pick up the wins when you can, especially the road wins.”
On The Fouls:
“Well with Mo Willams not being here and Damian Lillard getting three quick ones and Earl getting his fourth, it was up to CJ to come in and basically your three point guards aren’t available in the first half that it was an important stretch for us. We haven’t really had a lot of foul trouble this season, we don’t foul much but I’ve said all along I have a lot of confidence in our bench if they have a lot of opportunity.”
On Having Love Out Of The Game:
“It takes a little edge off the game. We found out Kevin Martin wasn’t going to play early and then Love wasn’t going to play. I think that deflates the balloon a little bit, you kind of get yourself up for guys like that. I think it showed a little bit in the first half. I’ll give credit to Minnesota and the guys that played the first half, they hustled they made shots they kind of did what we thought they would and they battled hard.”
On Tonight's Game:
“We played our butts off tonight, we just had some tough breaks in the 4th quarter and we just couldn't win."
On His Quick Start:
“We have to look at it like as long as we play as hard as we can we have a chance to win and we gave ourselves a chance to win. We have two more games until the All-Star break before we get these guys back, but we have to try and win both of them."
On Other Guys Stepping Up:
"They have been staying ready, guys have been staying ready. Chase is still coming back from injury and isn't 100% but he's getting there and tonight proved that he's getting his stroke back and he played great. JJ always plays and does what he does, Dante's been great all year and we needed those guys to step up to have a chance to win. Especially in the 2nd half of the season."
On Having Guys Out:
“It's tough having all of those guys out. Those are huge impact guys for us and we're hoping Kevin was able to go but he was really struggling and hurting. He tried to get himself going but he just couldn't do it."
On Getting Back into Rhythm:
“It felt good, I felt more like myself today and hopefully this is a stepping stone for me and I can jsut keep improving."
What Was Different In The 4th?:
“We just couldn't get stops, it happened all game. If you let a team score around 120 points it's going to be tough to beat them so I just really think we couldn't get stops down the stretch."
On Tonight's Game:
“There was an opportunity out there and it was good opportunity for me. I got to play hard and we had a lot of fun out there and competed with a good team."
On Other Guys Having An opportunity:
"We just had to take the opportunity, as we said before, coach is saying its next man up. I think we did a great job of having a good spirit out there and playing hard. Obviously some calls didn't go our way but that happens. I think we played really hard and did things we had to do but came up short."
Was It A Surprise That Love Was Going To Sit?:
"Yeah it was, Love is a competitor and he always wants to get out and play. The trainers just said to go out and get some rest and get ready for Monday so that's something that we had to respond to and guys stepped up and played hard."
On Tonight's Game:
“Tough game, our guys played their butts off, they just took it over in the fourth quarter.”
“I don’t know how to answer that question. You hope so, he had a great game. He was on the attack, he was very aggressive. We had a lot of guys who stepped up tonight and when we had three guys out a lot of guys stepped up.”
On Being Without Love, Martin, And Pekovic:
“It doesn’t matter who's out. The next guy steps up, that’s how you have to approach it. You can’t worry about who’s not playing, worry about who is playing and make the best out of the situation. I thought we played well tonight.”
On Making Decision To Keep Love Out:
“I didn’t make the decision. I was told he wasn’t playing. They took him out worked him out and did treatment and they just said before the game he was too sore to play. I didn’t know about it until probably a half hour before game time.”
On If It's A One-Game Thing:
“I don’t have any idea.”
On Playing Together:
“Yea, I thought they played well. They played hard. That team is a great offensive team. They shoot the heck out of it. Aldridge inside and Lillard had an off game because of foul trouble, but they have a lot of weapons. It’s really hard to contain them.”
“He was good. He came off the bench he was ready to play. He had an opportunity, he was ready. That’s what you keep telling young guys when they aren’t playing, you never know when your time is going to come. He’s been working hard at it so I give him credit.”
On Chase Getting His Legs Back:
“I think it is also the same thing as Shabazz. That he got on the floor a little bit longer, got some opportunities because he is on the floor, he shot the ball pretty well tonight. That’s what we were hoping we would see. You look at a game like this and you’re hoping that it’s a catalyst for a lot of those guys, that they are going to keep moving forward and it’s only going to help us.”
“No, he’s a good player. I watched him play against Indiana last night and down the stretch in the fourth quarter they handed it to him about 4 or 5 times and he scored every time. They have a lot of guys who can hurt you in a lot of different ways. That’s why they are leading the league in points.”