Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 90, Wizards 100

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February 3rd, 2014

NOTES

• Damian Lillard now has 324 career 3-pointers, most ever by a player in his first two NBA seasons (Klay Thompson, 322).

• LaMarcus Aldridge has recorded a new season-high six assists (5, 4 times).

• The Wizards are now 24-23 this season and move above .500 for the first time since October 31, 2009 when they were 2-1.

• Tonight win marks the Wizards’ third straight victory over the Trail Blazers. The Wizards last loss to Portland came on 3/12/12 at Washington. The final game of the 2013-14 series will be played on 3/20 at Portland.

• The Wizards have now won four of their last six games, all of which were against Western Conference opponents. The Wizards are now 7-10 against the West this season.

• The Wizards recorded a season-low six turnovers tonight. Washington’s previous low of seven turnovers came on 11/10/13 at OKC.

• The Wizards held Portland, who was the NBA’s #1 ranked team in scoring (108.3 ppg) coming into tonight, to just 90 points tonight.

• Kevin Seraphin recorded a season-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench tonight. His previous season-high of 18 points came on 1/11 at Houston.

QUOTES

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LaMarcus Aldridge

On Portland's Defense:
“I haven’t watched film so I don’t know. I thought guys had shots, we definitely had turnovers in the pick and roll. They [Wizards] did a really good job in having their guys rotating and having that guard come over and be there early, but other than that, I thought guys got shots.”

On Losing On The Road:
“It’s always a concern when you lose games; whether it is one or two on the road. It’s definitely a concern for us. I think it is something you have to focus on no matter what.”

On First Quarter Double Double:
On Team's Performance In Previous Games And Tonight: “It has been up and down. We definitely have to be more consistent, offensively and defensively. Tonight, I think we had moments where we were good on both sides of the ball and we had moments where we just played bad.”

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Damian Lillard

On Third Quarter And Wizards Offense:
“We didn’t make a lot of shots in the second half. They did a great job, offensively, and in getting to the things that they wanted to get to. But I think it came down to us not making shots. When you aren’t having a great night, defensively, you have to find a way to at least make shots. When you are making shots, you have to find a way to get it done, defensively. Especially on the road, and they [Wizards] played a better game.”

On Not Forcing Turnovers:
“We aren’t a team to force a lot of turnovers to begin with. But if they are going to have six turnovers and we can’t turn it over as many times as we did and we allowed them to get out and get some fast break points, get themselves energized, and get the crowd into it. If they have six turnovers, we can’t have however many we had.”

On Nicolas Batum And John Wall:
“He [John Wall] played great. It wasn’t a one-on-one match up. John played a great game. He controlled his team like he has all season. He’s knocking down that pull-up jumper, finding those guys and getting them easy buckets. So he is doing his job for his team.”

On The Difference On The Wizards From Last Season:
“Last year we weren’t the team we are now, and neither were they. They’ve had a year to grow together and you see that growth in John, Brad [Bradley Beal], and [Kevin] Seraphin had a great game. Trevor [Ariza], I think he scored 20. They are playing really well together and you can see that they are a better team from last year.”

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Terry Stotts

On Why Portland Lost:
“Our turnovers in the third quarter obviously hurt us, and gave them momentum. Turnovers hurt us in the first half as well, but we have to be a little more consistent. Give Washington credit, they are playing well, they have beaten some good teams, and they are playing with a lot of confidence. ”

On Bench Play:
“The bench, they need to take advantage of the opportunities that are there, but it is a team thing, and when their shots are there, hopefully they will contribute, but it is not like we do not have go-to guys coming off the bench. They have to just take advantage of the opportunities when they are there.”

On Nicolas Batum/John Wall Matchup:
“I thought it was OK. Wall made some jump shots. For the most part, we did a nice job of forcing mid-range shots. They made a decent percentage of them, but I thought Nick (Nicolas Batum) did a solid job on him, but the X-Factor was Kevin Seraphin. Seraphin had a terrific game. He did a little bit of everything. He made jump shots, he made post-ups, he drew fouls and that kind of put us in a bind for a while.”

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Trevor Ariza

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.”

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Kevin Seraphin

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.”

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John Wall

On Being Over .500:
“It's great. A humbling experience. You give credit to the young guys that have been here for a while for how hard they work and trying to get better. You give a great job to our coaching staff and our organization, the people up top for doing the right thing and trying to make this team better. It also starts with being here as a family. We all trust each other. We all hold each other accountable on the basketball court, everything we do as a team.”

On Moving Over .500 Continued:
“It's only one game over, but yea, it's a big relief. The main thing is we got a bigger goal of trying to keep winning games, trying to keep getting better, and trying to not go back down so we won't have to have this talk again.”

On The Keys To Tonight's Win:
“We didn't let them get into transition, we didn't let them get too many easy passes, just taking care of the ball and making sure we get a shot up every time. Even if it's a good shot or a bad shot. It's better that they have to rebound the ball instead of just getting out into the open court.”

On Season So Far:
“I think all the games we were losing at home were the [close] ones we couldn't find a way to win early in the season. Then that one stretch we got blew out three, four games in a row and that was tough on us. The main thing is we're doing a better job on the road. We're doing good on the road, we got to find a way to be better at home.”

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Randy Wittman

On Tonight's Game:
“We changed a few things at halftime that got us more aggressive. And I just thought our effort, we were flying all over the place the last couple minutes of the game. To hold them [Portland] to 35 in the second half was a big accomplishment by our guys. It was a team effort. We had different guys guarding different people. John [Wall] was on Batum, Nicolas a lot. Trev [Ariza] was caught on [Damian] Lillard a lot. So it was a lot of different matchups and they were focused in doing what we had to do with that certain matchup.”

On Kevin Seraphin:
“Kevin [Seraphin] came in and gave us a big lift. Not only offense, that might be his best alertness from a defensive standpoint that he’s had since he’s been here. That’s moving along in the right direction.”

On Moving The Ball As A Team:
“When we’re moving the ball, that’s when we’re at our best. We had I think three or four different guys down the stretch who made a basket. It wasn’t one guy that took over the game that got us those big baskets. Nene hits one, Brad [Beal] hits one, John [Wall].”

On Season-Low Six Turnovers:
“That’s huge for us. They [Portland] lead the league in not turning the ball over. So we were able to flip it tonight, which is big.”

On Defensive Improvements:
“[It’s] nothing new that we’re doing. Our philosophies and concepts are the same it’s just we’re communicating more. There’s no surprises. Guys are talking ahead of time. I think that’s the biggest thing.”

On Competitiveness Of The NBA:
“It’s hard winning in this league, I don’t care who you’re playing. And once you figure that out, and then understand that you come with an effort and energy every night you’re gonna win a majority of your games, that’s how you get over the hump.”

On Not Focusing On The Record:
“I don’t want them to focus on a number, I want them to focus on the act of why you’re 24-23. And that’s where you keep it going. That’s where you get on a run. I want this team to get on a run. They’ve never been on a run where you run off games. That’s how you do it, each and every night the same way. We’re not changing. We’re playing one way. This way’s the way we’ve got to play. And that’s when you get to be able to really take off. That’s what I want.”

On Ariza's Defensive Instincts:
“Uncanny. Can’t teach it. I wish I could say I taught him everything he knows. I can’t. He’s got that quality of reading eyes is really what it looks like to me. I just watch him. He reads eyes. A lot of times the eyes will tell you where the ball is going. And he’s got long arms, he’s long bodied and it fools you sometimes when actually those arms do come out… it’s uncanny. It’s been great. He’s been fabulous.”