Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 96, Kings 85
November 9, 2013
• The Trail Blazers improve to 4-2 overall, 2-1 on the road.
• Portland leads the season series against Sacramento, 2-0, after sweeping the back-to-back set.
• The Trail Blazers outrebounded the Kings, 52-33.
• LaMarcus Aldridge recorded his first double-double of the season with a team-high 22 points (10-19 FG, 2-4 FT) and a game-high 14 rebounds.
• Wesley Matthews tallied 21 points (8-11 FG, 3-5 3pt, 2-2 FT) in 35 minutes after scoring 18 points against the Kings in Portland last night.
• Wesley Matthews has now scored at least 18 points in five straight games, the longest such streak of his career.
• The Kings fall to 1-5 overall, 1-3 at home.
• Sacramento trailed by as many as 22 points (58-80) with 9:13 left in the fourth quarter but used a 22-7 spurt to close within seven (80-87) with 3:17 remaining.
• It’s the fifth game in a row in which the Kings allowed eight or more three-pointers.
• Including tonight, in five of the six games, the Kings have scored exactly 40 points in the paint. In the only game they didn’t (11/2 at Golden State), they scored 38.
• DeMarcus Cousins finished with a game-high 33 points (13-24 FG, 7-11 FT), a team-high 12 rebounds, one steal and one block in 31 minutes. It was Cousins’ third double-double of the season – he has recorded 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds in all three games. Cousins recorded his fourth 30-point game of the season and second in a row.
“Yesterday we had been harping offensive rebounding before the game. So it’s nice to see that continue and hopefully it will for the season.”
On Not Doubling:
“Obviously he’s a great player but I think you almost have to let him get his and he’s going to. I think by not doubling you’re don’t really let anybody else get off too much especially from the three-point line where that can really hurt you.”
On Tonight's Shooting:
“It will happen occasionally. Tonight was one of those nights where the shots didn’t go in but we came here to win the game. We played well defensively. We had some guys shoot the ball well. We got done what we wanted to get done. I’m happy about that.”
On Tonight's Game:
“It’s good to get a win. Back-to-back wins against the same team is not easy to do. The Kings are a good home team here. They’ve come back on everybody that they’ve played. It’s good to get out of here with a win. We played three good quarters of very good defense; they just made a strong run at the end.”
On LaMarcus Aldridge:
“He was aggressive taking the ball to the paint. He was rebounding the ball well. He is a stabilizing influence out there and defensively like I said as a group we’re all into it but I thought that he was very good defensively as well.”
On Wesley Matthews:
“Wes is playing at a high level particularly on the offensive end. Guarding that position generally you’re chasing a lot of guys around so you expend a lot of energy. He’s shooting the ball well. I think he’s picked up from where he left off last year before he got hurt. Don’t ever count Wes Matthews out.”
On DeMarcus Cousins:
“Same as last night he’s a load down there. I give Joel (Freeland) and Robin (Lopez) in particular a lot of credit. We didn’t double. They took the challenge. It’s tough guarding him. He’s very talented. He’s gets to the paint but by not doubling it didn’t open up three-point shooting and it didn’t open up some other things. It kept some of the other guys out of the game but Cousins is a talented big man. He’s as talented as they come.”
On Coming Into The Game:
“I just try to come in and help the team out by being an energy source. I try to make plays. I didn’t do a great job of that the first half and I missed some easy shots that I should have made. We had a good comeback in the fourth quarter, but it was too late. We didn’t play 48 minutes of basketball and we haven’t been able to do that yet. It’s disappointing.”
On Making Changes:
“Like Coach Malone said, we play bad during different stints in the game but we make an effort to come back and always fall short. We need to do a better job of not getting into that role and we need to fight through to come out with a win.”
On Being Aggressive:
“We were trying to have a comeback and sometimes things don’t go your way. You don’t like it in the heat of the moment, but you just have to keep going and keep playing. Obviously, when you get out there you try to do the best that you can and sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. We did a good job in the fourth quarter but we didn’t do so well in the third.”
On The Changes Coach Malone Is Making:
“You have to make changes. Coach Malone got here for a reason. I follow his career and he has been pretty successful as a coach. I don’t see why he shouldn’t be here. It’s going to take a little time, but I believe in his will and his knowledge of the game. We have to make changes. It’s depressing the way that we’re playing. It’s us; it’s not him. I think that we need to focus on our offense because we aren’t hitting shots. Our defense, as a team, needs to change. I hate losing. I have to do better, we all have to do better. I feel Coach Malone’s pain. You don’t want to be labeled as the soft team that everyone can win games against. It’s unacceptable and we can’t stay the way that we are. I’m looking forward to these changes.”
On What He Thinks Is Going Wrong:
“I think we play well for about eight minutes at a time and then we go right back down. There are too many good teams and Portland is one of them. You have to play like a pro for 48 minutes and, as a team, we have to get better at that. You have to hate losing. Even if you’re 1-5 you have to keep your effort up. I put myself as first on the list to do that. We have to be better than this. We have to play for pride. We won’t give up, ever, no matter what our record is. No one said this was going to be easy—it’s not easy for anybody. No one wants to be 1-5.”
When Asked How They're Going To Get Out Of The Rut Of Falling Behind 15-20 Points:
“Change the lineup.”
When Asked If He's Hoping His Team Got The Message With The Lineup Change:
“I’m not hoping anything with this team … we’ve got to work. I’m embarrassed – every night it’s the same thing. They dominated the glass; we finally get a night when we defend at a decent level but we can’t rebound, we get outworked on the glass. I think we have a lot of guys that just care about themselves on this team, and if their game is not going, they quit playing. Changes will be made before we play on Wednesday…we have four games at home coming up, and if we can defend like we did tonight, rebound much better, and play with energy – that’s the one thing I don’t get with our team. Every night, except in the Golden State game, we play around two and a half quarters. We get behind, we get behind, we make a great comeback but it’s way too late. That’s just losing basketball; it’s losing mentality. The question I have for our guys is, “Do you like to win or do you hate to lose?’ and right now I’m not so sure we’ve got guys that hate to lose on our team.”
On 19 Offensive Rebounds And Stretching The Defense:
“I told our guys, ‘The media is going to go out there and ask me well you played small a lot tonight, you got kicked on the glass,’ and the reality is we got kicked when we were big. At least in the end we were trying to fight, we gave up a lot of threes off offensive rebounds. You don’t need great skill to be a guy that rebounds; being a good rebounder is all about effort, determination, physicality – and we lacked all those tonight as a whole.”
On Transition Defense And Rebounding:
“I noticed very short into the season but going into tonight, one of the few positives that we had, we’re third in the league in paint points allowed and we’re fourth in offensive rebounds allowed. So going into tonight’s game we had been rebounding at a pretty good level. Tonight they just totally dominated the glass, got second shot after second shot, kicked out threes. We have to have much more of a physical mindset and hit people first and pursue the ball, all things that we did not do tonight.”