Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 120, Bucks 115
March 18, 2014
• The Trail Blazers improve to 8-1 this season against the Eastern Conference Central Division, including a 5-0 sweep at home.
• Portland’s 20-4 record (83.3%) against the Eastern Conference is the best mark of any West team against the East this season.
• Damian Lillard’s 18th point tonight is the 3,000th of his career in 150 games (20.0 points per game).
• Damian Lillard is the 7th NBA player since 2002 with 3,000 points in his first 150 career games (Irving, Griffin, Durant, James, Wade, Anthony).
• Damian Lillard is the first NBA player with at least 3,000 points and 900 assists in his first 150 career games since LeBron James.
• Damian Lillard joins Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks as the only Trail Blazers to score 3,000 points in their first 150 career games.
• Portland and Milwaukee have now played in 10 overtime games against each other all-time, with Portland tying the series tonight 5-5.
• With the overtime win, Portland improves to 4-2 this season in overtime games and 9-3 over the past two seasons.
• Wesley Matthews has scored 15+ points for the 45th time this year, already tied for his most in any season (2010-11).
• Damian Lillard became the only player to start 150 consecutive games with the Trail Blazers to begin his NBA career.
• Robin Lopez has 12 career games with at least 14 rebounds, 11 of which came this season.
• Mo Williams set a new season high with 23 points (21, Feb. 26 vs. Brooklyn).
• The Trail Blazers are now 22-5 when Mo Williams scores in double figures.
• Portland is 9-3 when Thomas Robinson grabs at least six rebounds.
• Robin Lopez recorded his 26th double-double of the season and the 41st of his career.
• Nicolas Batum’s 16 points are a new career high for the first quarter (15, three times).
• With 23 points, Milwaukee guard Ramon Sessions tied his season high (with Charlotte) and set his season high with Milwaukee.
“You know what? Tonight we were happy with the win – we’re always going to take a win, ugly, pretty, it doesn’t matter. But we’re not happy with the way that we played. Credit them, they played hard. We knew they were going to do that. Since the trade deadline, they’ve been a pretty good offensive team but that doesn’t excuse our performance. We’ve got to come out with urgency because every game matters for us and that’s how we’ve got to play going into the post season.”
On Good Shooting Night After Recent Struggles:
“Just playing basketball. I’m taking the same shots I’ve been shooting, they just happened to fall tonight. Just continue to attack, get to the free throw line and put pressure on the defense that way. I’m not going to change anything I’m doing. I still feel like every shot that I shoot is supposed to go in and I’m going to continue to play that way.”
On Scoring 21 Second Half Points:
“Just the flow of the game kind of changed a little bit. Opportunities were there more so than they were in the first half and like you said, shots were falling. But we shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position. I continue to credit Milwaukee – they played hard, they played with a lot of heart –but we need to be able to not put ourselves in a positions like that against anybody.”
On Contributions From Mo Williams, Others:
“Mo was big time. Offensively, he gave us a spark. He shot the ball well. But everybody – T-Rob was big for us. He had 9 and 9 in 16 minutes. Will came out with some energy and that’s what we need. We need everybody to chip in, everybody to maximize their time. When we get to the post season, you never know who is going to shine.”
On Getting A Close Win:
“I think was important for us to do all the little things down the stretch to secure that win. It would have been nice to see that the whole game long, but we knew what we had to do to win that game.”
On What Changed Late:
“Shots were falling. We became a little more aggressive. At that point, we just kind of turned to each other and said we weren’t losing this game.”
Is It Confidence Boost To Win A Close Game?:
“Any time you win, it’s a confidence boost. I mean, if we had won the last game, that was a close game, that would have been a good win for us. It happens and we came out on top this time.”
On Tonight's Game:
“I’m glad I’m standing here after a win instead of a loss. Give Milwaukee a lot of credit. They’ve had a long season. Larry’s done a great job of keeping them competing and playing hard. They played a great game and certainly don’t want to take anything away from what they did. They played hard the whole game. That being said, we didn’t come out with the urgency that we needed. Our bench did a very good job in the first half of giving us a spark. We struggled to shoot the ball from three. Obviously a couple of guys struggled to shoot. We understand that we were very fortunate to win the game tonight.”
On Batum's Game:
“Nic kept us afloat in the first half. We didn’t have a lot of offense really going in the first half. He was making his jump shots, he was looking to be aggressive. I hope that makes everybody happy since everybody wants Nic to be aggressive. We needed his offense in the first half. He continues to fill in the gaps. The second half, his shot wasn’t going but he rebounded and he assisted. Nic did a little bit of everything.”
On Going To Lillard Late In Regulation:
“They were trapping pick and rolls and I thought he could get to the rim. We had good spacing. Robin, if he missed, Robin was active on the offensive glass. He came close the first time and I thought Damian is good in those situations. I trust him.”
On Tonight's Game:
"It's our fault. We can't start looking around, it's our fault. We have to realize one thing, little things that if we had done a little bit better, I'm sure we would have won the game tonight because the effort was there and we fought all the way through even though it's midnight in Milwaukee, we fight for 52 minutes. But again, we have to learn. It's a young team, we have a lot of young players and little things matter especially when you're trying to play and compete in a high level like this and play against a great team like the Portland Trail Blazers. The little things matter."
On Ramon's Foul Shots At The End Of The Game:
"He can't look at that. I mean, we can't be talking about Ramon's free throws. I'm sure there were some mistakes in the beginning of the game too. I'm proud of the guys and we really put effort in in this game."
On The Overall Effort Of The Team Tonight And Ramon's End Of The Game Free Throws:
"I mean, he missed them, but we had other opportunities to win that game. Certainly you can look at the free throws and say that, but there were other plays that happened that put us in position where we could have won the game, not just those free throws. The guys played hard, they played really hard for four quarters and then I thought even in overtime we did some really good things and, as I told them after the game, I was very proud of their effort and I wanted those guys to know because this Portland team is a good basketball team even without Aldridge. They got some guys that can really score the basketball. They've been putting a lot of numbers on the board and I was really proud of the effort from my guys."
On Portland's 39 Three Point Shots Taken And Milwaukee's Efforts To Defend Them:
"Well, we knew coming into this game that we were going to have to defend that three point line. They spread you out and they let it go and we had to defend the three point line. They had some good looks where they just missed shots, but that was one of the things that we really had to defend coming into this game was to get to that three point line and with a lot of long shots we knew there would be a lot of long rebounds. Our other concern was just to try to control the glass, but we knew they were going to let it go."
On Individual Efforts Within The Team Tonight And Positives To Takes From The Game:
"Yeah, there are. I think if you look at [Chris Wright] who struggled the first half, I thought he came back and did a better job offensively the second half and he did a better job defensively the second half. I thought [Ersan Ilyasova] played well the second half, [Zaza Pachulia], I think he finished with 17 and 13, he played well. [Ramon Sessions] came in off the bench and gave us a big lift. I thought [Giannis Antetokounmpo] did well while he was in there, Jeff Adrien, but we had some guys that played well, you know, just unfortunate that we didn't finish the game the way we hoped that we could, but hopefully we'll build off the effort and learn how to finish games moving on to Golden State."