Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 124, Lakers 112
April 1, 2014
• LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard are 1st Trail Blazers teammates with 30+ points in same game since Dec. 28, 2002 (R. Wallace/B. Wells).
• Portland now has six winning streaks of at least four games for the first season since 1999-2000 (six).
• LaMarcus Aldridge is the first Trail Blazer with 30+ points, 15+ rebounds and 6+ assists since Clyde Drexler on March 20, 1990.
• LaMarcus Aldridge has recorded his 8th career game of 30+ points and 15+ rebounds, and 5 of those games have come this season.
• This season, Damian Lillard (203) and Wesley Matthews (186) have posted the two highest single-season 3-point totals in franchise history.
• Damian Lillard joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James as the NBA's only players with 1600+ points and 400+ assists this year.
• With his first 3-pointer tonight, Damian Lillard becomes the first Trail Blazer and 25th NBA player to make 200+ 3-pointers in a season.
On Tonight's Game:
“I thought we played great team basketball. We talked coming into the game about making the extra pass, and if they loaded up on the defensive end, making the extra extra pass, and then we’d have wide-open shots. I thought guys did a good job of moving the ball tonight.”
On Difference Between First And Second Half:
“In the second half, I thought we guarded better. I thought we tried to take away tendencies, [and] we tried to give up less easy shots. I felt like Nick Young had a lot of easy shots in the first half. He’s a great scorer so he’s going to score, but I thought we did a better job of making his shots harder.”
On The Improved Ball Movement:
“At halftime, I brought it up again about moving the ball. I thought guys thought they had great one-on-one game, but with this team, if you move the ball, then we’ll go from having a really good shot to a really great shot. I thought guys really listened today. I thought guys made great reads in the second half.”
On His Game Tonight:
“I knew it was a big game for us. Coming in, some said it could be a trap game with a team not in the playoff race. We knew coming in that they [Lakers] were a dangerous team, since they came to our place and shocked us, so I just wanted to come out aggressive, and do whatever it took to help the team a win. A lot of guys put their best foot forward, and we were able to do it.”
On Aldridge's 31 Points:
“He’s been huge all season. Tonight was a better night, where we went to him down the stretch on the block, and he closed it out. Having that option to give him the ball on the pick-and-roll or the pick-and-pop, or throw it to him on the block balances our team out and it makes us the elite team that we’re capable of being.”
On What Changed In The Second Half:
“I think we stayed the course. In the first half, they [Lakers] hit a couple of contested threes. They hit a lot of tough shots. We wanted to stick with our coverages and keep making them make those tough shots, and eventually those shots started to rim out.”
On Nick Young:
“I would hardly call 40 a non-factor. He was terrific. In the first half, he missed one shot. He had 18 [points] in the second quarter, and it was two point game at half-time because he got it going. He kept [the Lakers] in the game.”
On What Went Well For Portland:
“Probably more than anything else I liked our defense in the third quarter. We got our hands on a lot of balls, and we were very active. They made a lot of shots in the first half, a lot of jump shots, but I thought our activity defensively was really important. It got us playing in transition a little bit.”
On Aldridge And Lillard:
“Obviously they scored their points, and LA was great on the block. Damian made his shots and was aggressive going to the basket, but I thought it was a lot of the other things [as well]. Defensively, Damian was very active throughout the whole game and got his hands on a lot of balls in transition. LaMarcus and Robin [Lopez] were really good defensively in protecting the paint. The other thing Damian did on LA’s post ups was setting some screens and occupying people. I thought that allowed for good spacing for LA’s post ups. We were able to make some threes, we got a back cut, then LA was able to go to work in the post ups as well.”
On If There Were Any Second Half Adjustments:
“Not particularly. The first half made a lot of mid-range shots. They didn’t have a lot of points in the paint, they made a lot of mid-range [shots], and I think that came back to us in the second half.”
On Being In The Zone
“It just felt good. I got into a rhythm kind of fast.”
On Making First Eight Shots:
“I didn’t know I made my first eight shots. I just got in the zone. I got out there and played my hardest and we still keep fighting.”
On What Changed After Halftime:
"They picked it up. They started knocking down shots. They are a big time team.”
On What Changed In The Second Half:
“They came out and made some big shots. [LaMarcus] Aldridge was hurting us, including myself. They tightened their defense up a little bit. Other than Nick [Young], we weren’t really making any shots. I think they took some shots away from Pau [Gasol], Jodie [Meeks], and it wasn’t the normal rhythm you normally have. I thought over all we didn’t have tonight, they were a better team than us.”
On Defending Aldridge:
“You try to get a little bit low to take the contact and then as soon as he hits you he turns the other way and shoots it way high and fades away. It’s just hard to get to. He is an exceptional shooter. Just one of those players that are unique and have a special gift that not a lot of players have.”
On Nash Still Being Able To Affect The Game:
“Nash it probably the hardest worker we have on this team. He is a professional and is very positive. He stayed positive all year even when he wasn’t able to play. He has battle through a lot and come to play now is special and speaks leaps and bounds about him. There won’t be a lot of players that come around that are like him.”
On What He Could Have Done Better In The Second Half:
“We could have got some more stops. We played hard. It was just that they turned it on in the fourth quarter. Once that happened it kind of got going a little bit and it was hard to catch up.”
On What The Lakers Need To Do Better Tomorrow:
“Just play better as a team. Sometimes I think we get a little stagnate so if we get out and transition it will be fine.”
On Playing Tonight:
“I am a little fatigued. I wasn’t feeling too well before the game so I’m glad I got through it. I talked to the doctor and hopefully it’s going to continue to get better.”
On His Confidence:
“I wasn’t confident out there and I wasn’t assertive enough. I didn’t feel confident enough to make aggressive moves or turns. When I turned my head a couple of times everything was still kind of shaking. It is still a little bit of a process unfortunately.”
On How The Lakers Can Improve
“If we go out there tomorrow, we’re going to try to do better than we did tonight. We need to be a little more dominant, we have to understand the pacing better, and we need to be effective ourselves to make our teammates better. When we’re on the floor we should make positive impact and have a positive point differential for our team.”
On Playing Gasol And Kaman Together:
“Well we were down 10 each time we did it so that’s kind of what you don’t like, but again Pau’s just coming off vertigo so it could just be a little bit of that and a little bit of this. But we’re a pretty slow afoot team out there and that was the thinking before and it probably doesn’t change much, but we’ll look at it.”
On The Effectiveness Of Said Lineup:
“It’s just a ripple effect. Again, we’ll look at it, but Jodie [Meeks] doesn’t get any shots up and it’s just a whole series of things and there’s not a flow that you’d like to have. In this league, contested twos just aren’t good, and that’s what we do when we play that lineup. We take a lot of contested twos and it’s just not good. Now we’ll see, I don’t want to get too far into it, so we’ll look at it.”
On Steve Nash Coming Back:
“I think that’s obviously a decision later on for him and Mitch [Kupchak] and everybody and Jim [Buss]. But he’s amazing. It’s funny, when he’s out there he’s playing well and I said, ‘Are you okay? Can we keep asking a lot?’ He turned is ankle and he said, my ankle, I don’t know about saying anything it just swells up at halftime and I go, well I guess when you just keel over we’ll just cart him off and then we’ll have to substitute. It’s hard to have a feel, but what’d he play 18 minutes, 10 assists, one turnover? You can see he’s got something.”