Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Hawks
(Opening statement): “I thought in the second half we just kept fighting. In the first half, Atlanta had nine offensive rebounds, and in the second half they had one. We just got more physical to match them. We played better defense and limited their field goal percentage. We still made a lot of mistakes throughout the game, such as missing switches and allowing offensive rebounds. These are things we can’t afford to let happen if we want to win more consistently.”
(On last play of game): “We were trying to clear things out on the last play for Dion (Waiters) to drive the basketball, but I guess I have to be a little more specific. We had a matchup that I thought was favorable, and we bailed them out by shooting a three that didn’t touch anything, but Alonzo (Gee) bailed us out. The players were really getting on Dion about taking the three instead of driving, but everything worked out for us.”
(On the rebounding): “It feels great to hit the game-winning shot. That was my first game-winning shot, and it’s a great feeling. I was just going to the boards on the last play. I didn’t see the ball on that play. I just went to the hoop thinking that Dion’s shot was going in. The next thing I knew the ball fell into my hands, and I just went up with it. This was a big game for us. We really needed this win, and hopefully we can move on tomorrow and get another one.”
Hawks Head Coach Larry Drew
(Opening statement): “One thing I tried to make perfectly clear to our guys this morning is that we had to totally disregard this team’s (Cleveland) record. This team has really competed at a high level. They’ve been in some ball games that they probably should have won. They had Miami beat down in Miami, and didn’t come up with some plays at the end, and lost the game.”
(Thoughts entering the game): “It was a game I really felt was going to be a tough game. Our mindset coming into this game had to be just to bring a blue-collar attitude, because to me, they’re a blue-collar team. They have guys in Varejao, Thompson and Gee, those guys really play hard. You can look at their stats and see how well they played. They (guards) did a really good job off the dribble. We had a tough time defending those guys off the dribble. They really penetrated us pretty much all game long. We tried to zone them a little bit, just to disrupt their rhythm a little bit. But the zone was not very effective tonight. They just broke us down off the dribble, and then they just beat us up off the glass.” “Maybe we needed a game like this. We’ve been home for a little while, and we’ve dodged a couple of bullets with some teams. Washington came in here and we were in a similar scenario. Charlotte came in here (and put us) in a similar scenario. I don’t know. We’ll go back and look at the film and break it down and see where we need to improve. Now that the streak is over, first of all, we need to heal physically and mentally. I think our guys are a little beat up right now.”
(On the style of play): “I think we got baited into playing that up-and-down, high-scoring game. We’ve been doing a better job defensively, and just playing with them at that pace…that’s us in a way, but we’re also a defensive team. We kind of got away from defending the ball.”
(On the loss):
“We felt like we had opportunities to win the game, and just didn’t close it out. The game just came down to
rebounding. I think they outrebounded us by 20-plus rebounds. Varejao did a good job of giving them extra possessions,
and it cost us at the end.”
“It was one of those nights when we would play hard, get comfortable, play hard, get comfortable, and like I said, at the end it cost us. It didn’t come down to the one offensive rebound where they lay it up. That’s the one that everybody will look at, but I think they did a good job of rebounding the ball all night.”
• Cleveland’s win snapped a seven-game losing streak against the Hawks and was the first Cavs victory at Philips Arena since 12/29/09.
• The Cavs out-rebounded the Hawks 49-28 and outscored Atlanta 27-14 in second chance points and 46-42 in the paint.
• Anderson Varejao scored 20 points (7-12 FGs, 6-6 FTs) and pulled down 18 rebounds (11 DRebs, 7 ORebs) to record his career-high seventh consecutive double-double … Tonight marked the seventh straight game Varejao had at least 15 rebounds.