Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 91, Heat 93
March 24, 2014
• Trail Blazers hold their first opponent under 100 points in their last 10 games but lose for just the third time this season when doing.
• Trail Blazers started season 24-5 but have gone just 21-21 since the opening 29 games this season.
• Trail Blazers took 39 three-point field goal attempts tonight, the most by a HEAT opponent this season. They attempted 35 two-point field goals.
• Damian Lillard scored 19 points but made just three field goals, none after the 1:55 mark to play in the first quarter. He missed his last 10 field goal attempts. He is the first Blazers player to score at least 19 points on three or less made field goals since Travis Outlaw (20 points three field goals) December 9, 2007 vs. Milwaukee.
• Wesley Matthews (3-for-11) and Damian Lillard (1-for-8) have combined for 364 three-pointers this season but were just 4-for-19 from beyond the arc tonight
• Dorell Wright made his fourth career start against the HEAT and finished with seven points.
• HEAT is 18-33 all-time vs the Portland Trail Blazers, which includes a 7-18 record in Miami. Miami sweeps the 2013-14 season series against Portland, two games to none, for the first time since the 2006-07 season. They won the two games by a combined three points after the HEAT won by one point at Portland on December 28.
• The HEAT improves to 28-6 at home this season, the third best record in the league this season and the second best home record in the Eastern Conference (Indiana 32-4). The Los Angeles Clippers are 30-5 at STAPLES Center (not including 1-1 as the road team at STAPLES Center).
• HEAT improves to 20-8 this season against teams in the Western Conference (11-3 at home). Miami has two games remaining this season against Western Conference opponents, April 4 here against the Minnesota TimberWolves and a road game at Memphis on April 9.
• HEAT had seven of their 14 steals tonight in the first quarter.
• HEAT extends the franchise record with its 149thth consecutive home sellout (20,030). It is also the 188th straight home sellout, including the postseason, at the AmericanAirlines Arena. The previous mark of 125 straight regular season sellouts was from February 13, 2005 – February 23, 2008.
On Tonight's Game:
“I think you can look at that game-winner. I’m not trying to deflect blame for myself, I could have done a better job of contesting it. As far as things I could have done, I think back to other parts of the game. I know Birdman got that offensive rebound off the free throw. I could have been a little more receptive in the pick-and-rolls. I know (Damian Lillard) hit me with two great passes, blind passes, and I just wasn’t there on the other end. I just didn’t make myself available. They were pressuring the guards very effectively and I don’t think I was properly making myself an outlet. I could have helped out more with that. You usually look at that last play, but I think there were other factors at work there.”
On If He Was Close On Last Play:
“I don’t know. I’d have to go look back at the film. Something like that is so instantaneous. It is hard to register.”
On If The Team Took Anything Away From Near Victory:
“I don’t know if there’s a moral victory there. We won that one. We had that one. It was really (a) self-inflicted loss. Like I said earlier, we were pretty loose with the ball. We made a lot of turnovers early on that otherwise would have made it a much more competitive match. Whether it was the guards or myself on the other end of the pass. There were a lot of factors. A lot of easy mistakes.”
“You give them a little bit of credit. They are a very intense team on that end of the ball. I think we were a little loose on that end. I know that I was.”
On The Game:
“It’s hard to comeback when they are shooting 10 more shots than you did. They are getting dunks. It’s our own fault. We turned the ball over. We knew that they did that. We still should have won this game like the one back home.”
On Shooting A Lot Of Threes:
“They didn’t give up a lot of threes. It’s a different game if we make half of them. We got good looks. It’s not like they were forced threes or rushed threes. I could think of five threes that if you give me back now, I’m making. (Damian Lillard) makes a couple more, (Mo Williams) makes a couple more, (Dorell Wright) makes a couple more, (Nicolas Batum) makes one more, two more, it’s a total different game.”
On Shooting A Lot Of Threes:
“Whatever. He made a good play. We still should have won that game.”
On Tonight's Game:
“We competed and got back into the game. It was a frustrating night from the offensive standpoint. We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well; but we made shots in the end to kind of get us back into it. Turnovers in the first half hurt us. I don’t think we had a turnover in the fourth quarter. We did a good job [in the fourth quarter]. They [Miami HEAT] didn’t get any fast break points in the second half. That was big; but [the] Miami [HEAT] is a good team. We’re a three-point shooting team. Take LaMarcus [Aldridge] out, we have a lot of three-point shooters. That’s a part of what we do.”
On Heat Defense:
“I thought that it was good. We had a lot of open looks. They [Miami HEAT] created turnovers in the first half which is kind of what they do. I liked the shots that we got in the second half.”
On Last Play
“I had two timeouts. Make or miss, we were going to go. We had been scoring in flow. I just wanted to push it up and create something like we did in the previous possessions.”
“I thought that his ‘juice’ was fine. I wouldn’t equate missing shots with not having ‘juice.’ I thought that he was aggressive going to the basket. He got a lot of free-throws.”
On Final Play:
“There’s a fine line. Robin [Lopez] came very close to blocking LeBron James’ shot. [Chris] Bosh came over and got a piece of Damian Lillard’s [shot]. He [Chris Bosh] made a good read and he made a good play.”
“We’re tired of losing close games, but you can’t help but be proud of the way that we competed. It would’ve been easy to fold things up but that’s not in our DNA.”
“They started to make some timely shots. We did a good job tonight.”
“We figured that he (Damian Lillard) was going to go for the win. Norris (Cole) did a good job of running him off and making sure he didn’t get the shot he wanted. I was able to follow the flight of the ball and be there for good defense.”
On Team's Focus:
“Moving forward it is all about wins and good defense and teamwork. We’re to the point now where we need to work on our mental toughness.”
“We should be really mad and upset if somebody scores on us. We just have to be held to our standards. We took a step tonight and we have to continue to show some progression from here to the end of the season.”
“I’m more proud of the defense and the rebounding. For us to climb that mountain again, defense is the most important thing. We’re going to have to hang our hat on that until our offense is clicking again.”
On Pacers Wednesday:
“I miss them. I miss the (Indiana) Pacers. It’s coming down to a photo-finish. We have a unique opportunity no matter what has happened this whole season. We’re within striking distance.”
On Playing Old Team:
“We won, that’s all that matters. I am on this team now, I can’t think about the past.”
“It is a team game, let’s put it like that. I missed a couple shots and couple free throws. I don’t feel like I did that good, but it doesn’t matter, we won.”
On Last Play:
“I was thinking that I could get a bucket after that late rally. I was able to get into the lane and finish.”
“If I didn’t turn the ball over the last two times and pass up three other opportunities, I felt like it was time for me to shoot one, I feel like it was my moment. I am always happy when I am able to come through for my team.”
On Last Play:
“We played until the end, CB (Chris Bosh) was right on time and right on target, that was a great block.”
“We had a sense of urgency from the start; we played well versus a very good team. They shoot the long ball, they are one of the best teams in the league with shooting and they took 40 of them. They gave themselves 40 opportunities tonight. We were in tune.”
On Coach Pushing Him:
“I saw him coming towards me but I didn’t know that he was going to shove me but, I loved it. I loved the enthusiasm. We had it (the enthusiasm) back tonight, we were flying around and playing Miami HEAT basketball. You get wins like that when you play true to who you are.”
On Tonight's Game:
“Until about four minutes left in the game that’s how we probably would have liked to have scripted it with a real defensive effort. [We were] not necessarily scoring the way we typically do, but our effort and intensity was great throughout the game. We made a couple mistakes, the momentum changed, and they’re a great shooting team. They really are. They got on a roll at the end and made it a harrowing finish. For the most part I liked the way our guys played tonight.”
“Our enthusiasm, our energy; that was contagious and guys were really feeding off each other with that energy and I wanted LeBron [James] to be aggressive and everybody else would follow.”
“That energy was terrific on both ends of the court. That last six minutes of the second quarter was what we were talking about the last 48 hours.”
On Bosh's Defensive Play:
“If you’re going to go out there and put it on your shoulders you have to make those plays and he did.”
“That’s what good defensive teams do, you have to make plays that are out of the box.”
“You have to go out of it and save a possession and he did. It was great to see C.B. step up like that.”
On Last Play:
“There were two other layers to it that we didn’t need to get to, but LeBron [James] made the right read. They were in a zone the last three minutes or so. That was a good call. It changed the momentum a little bit.”
“He gives us something we don’t have, so it’s encouraging. The minutes he gave us. The physicality. The size at the rim on both ends.”
“He would probably love to play 30 minutes right now. I love that bottled up energy right about where he is. He was sensational with his activity.”
“He gave us a real shot in the arm. That is about as productive as you can be in 23 minutes.”