Notes & Quotes: Trail Blazers 90, Suns 89
November 13, 2013
• Robin Lopez registered his third consecutive double-double for the second time in his career, the other time coming during the final three games of the 2012-13 season.
• Thomas Robinson tied his career-high with 15 points (3/22/13, Houston vs. Cleveland), nine of which came in the fourth quarter. This is the first game in Robinson’s career that he has led a team in scoring.
• Portland won with its leading scorer totaling 15 points or fewer for the first time since Dec. 18, 2004 at Detroit (14 – Stoudamire, Van Exel).
• Along with a career-high tying 15 points, Robinson tied his career high of six field goals and set a new season high with eight rebounds.
• LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez have both recorded double-doubles in each of Portland’s last three games.
• Robin Lopez tallied new career-highs with 15 total rebounds and 10 defensive rebounds.
• In the first matchup against Phoenix this season, the Trail Blazers were outscored 52-24 in the paint, tonight Portland outscored Phoenix in the paint 44-42.
• Robin Lopez tied his previous season-high of 10 rebounds by halftime, the most rebounds grabbed by Lopez in the first half of any game in his career and the second highest in any half (12, vs. Dallas – 4/14/13).
• The Trail Blazers’ bench tied a season-high with 34 points on 14-for-22 shooting, 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.
• Every Trail Blazer that played in tonight’s game scored.
• Tonight marks the first game of the season that the Trail Blazers made less than eight 3-pointers in the game. Portland still has yet to give up more than six 3-pointers in a game this season.
On Key To Staying In The Game:
“We kept sticking with the defense. Both teams were cancelling each other out – they weren’t shooting that much better on offense than we were, so we knew if we kept getting stops, we’re too good of an offensive team for us to go the whole game without hitting any shots. So we stuck with it and then when the fourth quarter came, everything came together for us.”
On Best Game As A Blazer:
“It’s just a stepping stone. Just another step for me to keep getting better and keep bringing the same energy every night.”
On Free-Throw Shooting An Intentional Foul:
“Coming into tonight, I was actually shooting pretty good from the free throw line. So I don’t know what happened. I lost a little bit of my rhythm. I hit a few and missed a lot, but it’s over now.”
On Lillard Getting To Rim In Last Offensive Possession:
“That was a tough play. That’s a tough line-up for teams to guard, especially with how quick we got into the set. There was 11 seconds left and as soon as we inbounded it, we were attacking. They didn’t want to leave LA, they didn’t want to leave our shooters, so it opened up the sea for him and he made the right read."
On Phoenix's Last Possession
“That was a long six seconds. I think we had a foul to give too. I guess we earned it. We fought through not playing very well. They played well and we took a lot of their good punches. We just continued to play the right way, playing hard and the ball bounced our way.”
“We’ve got to give most of the credit to T-Rob. He came in and changed the complexion of the game, changed the speed and pace of the game. We still didn’t shoot it well, but the energy that they came in with got us going, got us easy buckets, got the crowd into it and we made the shots that we normally make.”
On Upcoming Road Trip:
“We’ve got a chance to really pull away from some teams out here in the West. We’re playing good basketball and we feel confident that we can beat any team that we play against. We feel confident on the road. We’ve got to take care of home.”
On Defending Bledsoe Better In Fourth Quarter:
“I think we switched the matchup on him to Nic. It was just a different look. He’s a good player and he learned well from CP in his time in LA and he’s strong, he’s athletic and he knows the game.”
On Tonight's Game:
“It wasn’t looking good for a long time. We didn’t have much going on offensively. Defensively, we were pretty solid except for the fast break points we gave up in the second quarter, mainly due to our turnovers. But obviously, Thomas Robinson came in and gave us a lot of energy and got us back into the game. That sparked the team, it sparked the crowd and got us back into it. On a night where the ball wasn’t going into the basket, it was good to get a win with our defense.”
On Last Offensive Possession:
“When you put shooters on the court, it opens up the middle. Dame was aggressive, LA set a good screen and the sea kind of parted.”
“Overall it was a good defensive night. The thing I’m most pleased with is the transition defense. For them, we made some great hustle plays getting back, but for them to have 20, five or six below their average and the fact that they had ten of them in the second quarter and didn’t have any in the first quarter - - there were a lot of good defensive plays, but that was probably the best part of our defense tonight.”
On Struggles Offensively:
“I give phoenix a lot of credit. They play hard. I don’t think anybody could watch that game and not come away with the feeling how hard Phoenix plays .They compete with you, they compete for the catches, they push out post ups, they’re physical in the paint, they go after the ball, they’re active with their hands. So I give Phoenix a lot of credit on their defense. Like a lot of games, you’re going to miss shots but I’ll give them credit. They’re a good defensive team.”
On His Injury:
“Mo (Williams) tried to get the ball and I tried to get him. We just bumped heads and he hit my eyebrow. That's just a part of basketball. It wasn't intentional for sure– everyone wants to win. I don't know what's going on. This last one month I have had a bad luck. I feel fine. Hopefully this is the last one! I know I already said it on the third one (injury) but I am done injuring myself. The head doesn't hurt and I am not dizzy. I Have thirteen stitches: five inside and eight outside. I tried to come back but the doc said it was going to take a while to stitch me up. They covered my face.”
“I think we played well especially in the first two quarters. We could make a shot and we were still close: four points, three points. I think this is a good team and when we play not so great we still are in the game. I didn't see what happened in the last five minutes, but I heard it was a close game.”
On The Loss:
“When you're on the losing end it's always tough. I thought Eric (Bledsoe) got fouled (…) too much riding in the end, they went for a shot but then we had some tip opportunities that were right there, point blank. We were talking about how it was just like the Minnesota game the other night, Kevin Love had a tip in from point blank range and didn't finish it. That's the way it goes – you're going to win some of those close games and lose some.”
On Damian Lillard:
“We picked him up too high. He's a fast guy, our bigs have to slow it down a little bit, and they just maybe worried too much about Aldridge, and they stayed right on Aldridge, and didn't really make Lillard slow down at all ... Our mistake.”
On The Trail Blazers' Offense:
“Their crowd got back into it because we didn't box out and we know it doesn't take a lot to turn the tide, and we try to tell that to our guys all the time that you can't just turn and go for rhythm. These guys are a great offensive rebounding team and we didn't do it.”
On The Positive Outcomes:
“Again, we're a young team. This is a very good team. They've been playing extremely well and for us to have a couple missed tips at the buzzer to win it, our guys are battling, and that's what we hope for at the start of the season, getting those chances.”