Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Bobcats
(On the game tonight): “I thought in the first half, we played pretty good basketball. Offensively, our shots weren’t going down but I thought we had some good instances of us moving the ball, moving bodies and trying to play the right way. Again, coming out in the second half, I thought we were good too. About the halfway point of that third quarter and going into the fourth quarter there was about a 10-minute, 12-minute stretch in between quarters where we didn’t play with a sense of urgency at all. Defensively, we didn’t do anything we were supposed to do with any type of intensity and Charlotte got everything that they wanted. They got into rhythm and from there it snowballed.”
(On the middle of the third quarter): “Defensively, we were real bad in that stretch in between the third and fourth quarters and that was a big portion of the game for us. That gave Charlotte confidence and that made it tough on us because we dropped our heads a little bit at that time. We didn’t execute, we didn’t move the ball, we didn’t’ set screens for one another and it wasn’t good basketball in that time period.”
(On playing different lineups): “I’m going to keep searching through lineups, players and trying to play different guys at different times to see what I can get in terms of trying to play with a sense of urgency. This is something that we’re going to keep trying to fight together with as a team and see if we can get some wins while we’re doing it.”
(On the team’s struggles down the stretch): “I think we just became complacent with the lead. We stopped being aggressive and kind of got away from the things that got us the lead in the first place.”
(On how the team can start to get easier baskets): “Both groups, no matter who’s playing, have to keep that aggressiveness. We just have to cut harder and do the things that got us the lead in the first place; just continue to buckle down on the defensive end.”
(On if he can tell that teams are playing him differently this season): “Yeah, but right now it’s just about continuing to get extra shots up and finding my rhythm. I would be frustrated if I wasn’t getting the shots I wanted and some of the shots I took out there were tough, but most of them were in-and-out or right there. I just have to keep getting shots up on my off days and be as well prepared as I can be, going game to game.”
(On what happened in the third quarter): “(Charlotte) turned it up defensively. On offense, they made harder cuts and their bigs split screens and rolled. Their wings came off screens tight and we didn’t bring that physical defensive approach in the third quarter, so they got the lead.”
(On why the team continues to have mental lapses): “I don’t know. Maybe we just have to dig in deep. When it gets tough, you can’t take steps back and when they’re throwing punches at you, you have to punch back.”
(On tonight’s game): “It was a great win. It’s a win on the road against a physical team that plays good defense and we really struggled to find ways to not just score, but to get shots. Then, in the 3rd and 4th quarters, we just had guys step up and do a good job. The biggest thing is that when the offense is going bad, we keep playing defense. It comes down to the quality of guys in your locker room, which is why I feel good about this team. This is our fourth game this week, three in four nights there won’t be any “magic words or pep talks” to do to win the game or have a chance to win the game. I feel good. Our guys are professional and they want to win badly.”
(On what was said at halftime): “They (Cavaliers) are so disciplined defensively that you have to get the ball to the weak side of the floor. We had too many possessions early in the game where we’re trying to drive the ball or score on the first side. That’s where the turnovers came. In the second half, we played more to the second side of the floor. They’re still hard to score against, but it gave us a better chance.”
(On MKG’s game and him playing aggressively): “I think the more he experiences success, the more he’ll do it. He is in watching tape every day, he’s working hard. He is a young guy who is learning what this league is about. He has made great strides.”
(On tonight’s game): “None of us really shot the ball that well tonight. Jeff Taylor shot it pretty well. We just scrapped this one out. No matter what with Kemba, he’s always going to fight. He’s got Kyrie on the other end so he can’t be moping around or worried. He’s got to play that kid. We’re all helping each other, but he’s got him right in front of him so he’s really got to lock in and win it. We wanted to win. We came into the 4th I think down by one, so you got to have a chance to win. You have to put everything into it.”
(On tonight’s game compared to last year’s): “I don’t want to talk about last year. This is a new season with new guys and new staff. But I’ll take this win. We have to take it one step at a time this season, on to the next game. We have our game tomorrow against the Heat so we have to be ready to focus on that.”
• Cleveland put together a strong defensive performance in the first half as the Cavs led 37-33 while holding the Bobcats to 14-40 (.350) shooting. The 33 points by the Bobcats were a season low total in a half by a Cavaliers opponent. Cleveland also led 18-12 after the first quarter, holding Charlotte to 5-19 (.263) shooting from the field. The 12 points by the Bobcats were a season low quarter total by a Cavaliers opponent.
• Tristan Thompson posted a double-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and two steals in 40 minutes. This was Thompson’s sixth double-double on the season (46th career) and his second in as many games against the Bobcats. Thompson has recorded four double-doubles in the past five games. In two games against the Bobcats, Thompson is averaging 18.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 37.5 minutes per game.
• Kyrie Irving recorded his second double-double on the season (7th career) with a game-high 18 points, including a perfect 7-7 (1.000) from the free-throw line, a game-high 10 assists and two steals in 38 minutes.
• Earl Clark tallied a season-high 15 points on 6-7 (.857) shooting, including 3-3 (1.000) from deep, to go along with five rebounds and one block in 25 minutes.
• Anderson Varejao finished with a season-high 13 rebounds and one block in 33 minutes. This was Varejao’s second game this season with 10 or more rebounds.