Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Trail Blazers
On the overall thoughts of tonight's game:
"You give Portland credit. Obviously, it was a back and forth game. We told our guys at halftime - hey look, at any time, any team can go on a run. Any team can go on an 8-0 run, be up by four, be up by six, we just have to make sure we sustain what we're trying to do because if they go on a run, we felt that we'd have a chance to go on a run ourselves and be back in it. We thought it was going to be a back and forth game, which it was. Obviously, they were go on the last bit of run. You have to give LaMarcus Aldridge credit. He hit some tough shots down the stretch, they came up with a couple of tough rebounds, for kick-out threes and it kind of discombobulated us a little bit when they scored. We missed some shots, and there was the ball game. The thing I like about what our guys did, I thought our guys competed and that's something that we've been harping on. I thought they competed and then I also thought that our pace was really good throughout most of the game. So, hopefully we can continue with those two things, as well as passing the basketball, we had pretty good stretches of it at times, going into Denver."
On LaMarcus Aldridge's performance tonight:
"I thought he made some tough shots because we felt like we had him not under control, but he had to work for his shots and we were doing a pretty good job. We had talked about going to double team him. They have such great shooters. We felt like since we were making them work most of the game with [Tristan Thompson] and [Anderson Varejao], we did good but if he got deep, then we'd go hit him. He made a couple of real quick moves. One to the baseline that they called a foul on [Varejao], another one to the middle of the floor and we didn't have time to get to him before he went to the move and got too deep. So, you give him credit. You give him credit, you give them credit because they kept going to him and he delivered down the stretch."
On the energy level towards the end of the game:
"We looked like we were tired, we were gassed a little bit. But, Portland had something to do with it. They kept attacking, kept attacking, kept attacking and, you know, when they hit a bucket and then they hit that big three, that took a lot of wind out of us."
On the impact of big shots made by Portland late in the game:
"I mean, very deflating, but big time players make big time shots and they were just playing off the momentum and just made shots, especially at the end."
On Portland using its best plays to win the game tonight:
"Yeah, you could take some positives from the game, but obviously you want to come out with a win regardless. We competed for the full 48 minutes, but especially in the last three minutes, I felt like they just got away from us. We'll probably go over film tomorrow - we'll definitely go over film tomorrow and look at the things we can improve on and just learn from it. We're playing Denver on Friday, so it's just on to the next game."
On fatigue tonight from back-to-back road games:
"We're not going to use that as an excuse. They just played better than us in the last three minutes or last four minutes. They just made shots, made the plays that needed to be made. A few shots that we normally make at the end of the game or, you know, throughout the game just didn't fall for us and it's just one of those nights."
On limiting Irving and Waiters in the second half:
“I really thought it was very good individual defense – whether it was Mo or Damian or Wes and Nic. I thought in the second half, really were in a stance and really were taking the individual challenge of guarding Waiters and Irving in particular.”
On contributions of Mo Williams despite tough shooting night:
“Mo – his energy is obviously, but his gamesmanship, his understanding of how the game is going, getting people shots – and like I said, defensively, they were trying to go at him with Waiters and he really took that challenge as well. I thought that gave our team some energy.”
On forcing outside shots only in the last few minutes:
“I thought everybody took an individual challenge. On their pick and rolls, our bigs were good at containing the ball and not giving them an alley to the basket. With the one on one defense, our stances were good and taking away angles to drive. The help defense was there. So I just think it was a combination of good individual defense and good especially pick and roll defense.”
On Aldridge’s play down the stretch:
“The two plays that he made going to the basket were aggressive, strong moves. He knew it was winning time and I just felt like you could see him with the determination of making a play at the rim. Both plays paid off for us.”
On close game coming down to fourth quarter:
“That was a similar game to a lot of other games so far this season. It all came down to us. We had a choice to make and that was to get some buckets and get some stops. We got it done.”
“It’s been going on and on this whole season. We get in that position where it’s gut-check time and it’s time to win the game and we’ve done a great job of doing that.”
Did you improve with the time off and for practices lately?
“We did. Tonight, I thought we had a much better presence defensively. We were physical, we protected the rim. We might have had some fouls, but I think a lot of the things that we worked on, that we talked about, we did a better job today.”