Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Bucks
(On tonight’s game): “We went through the second quarter turning the basketball over. We did a better job of it in the second half and overtime. We had three turnovers for four points. Something else I’m a little concerned with is our inability to keep people off the offensive glass. That’s tough. Our turnovers and our opponent rebounding has hurt us in the last few games and it hurt us tonight. We found a way to get a win. Kyrie (Irving) had a big scoring night for us. He scored 39 points and (had) six assists in 42 minutes. That’s a heckuva night from him. I thought Earl (Clark) made some shots for us off the bench that were big shots. We needed every single one of his 14 points. We gotta do a better job of finding ways to keep our opponent off the offensive glass and take care of the basketball. Those two areas are really big for us.”
(On Jarrett Jack): “I thought Jarrett was big for us, especially with missing a guy like Dion (Waiters). Jarrett was a guy who was the secondary ball handler for us on the backside of pick-and-roll action. I thought he hit some big shots. You’re not going to stop a scorer like O.J. Mayo. O.J. can shoot the ball. He can score the basketball at a really high level but I thought the times that Jarrett was on him, he made him work.
(On the bench): “Our bench got 38 points. That’s not bad to get from your bench. I thought our bench did a solid job minus Dion and AB (Anthony Bennett).”
(On if he’s feeling any better): “Yeah, I’m feeling a little better; just the best I can feel and it’s on to the next game. We did a great job of closing out this game and now we play against a good Chicago team.”
(On how difficult it was for him physically to get up for this game): “My teammates were picking me up, so it made the game that much easier. They were just giving me confidence and we were clicking. It was a tough game; it went into overtime, but I was excited just to be out there.”
(On why the Bucks continue to give the team trouble): “I’m not too sure. I think it’s just the start of games and how they come out with a great rhythm throughout the entire game. They have solid players on their team. At times, they go on runs and we just can’t stop them and we go on our runs and it comes down to the wire with the Bucks. That’s a divisional game and we expect it to be like that; hard fought. I’m just glad we could close it out this time.”
(On his last-second tip-in): “Kyrie (Irving) got to the basket, down the right side of the floor, went up, missed the layup that he usually makes; acrobatic in the air, but he attacked the glass and I was able to squeeze the ball into the rim.”
(On if he was worried that the ball was still in the cylinder): “No, not at all. I knew it came off the rim. I was more nervous that I pushed a little bit too hard and caused it to come off the rim. I was lucky that the basketball gods were on my side.”
(On if he gets a clearer path to the ball because of the attention Kyrie demands): “Yeah, I think that play showed that they’re going to collapse on him. If he has the airspace, he’s going to go up and take the layup. If not, he misses, we can get the offensive rebound and we can kick it to one of our open shooters in the corner.”
(On tonight’s game): “We just haven’t been able to get over the hump. I thought our guys played really hard and were very, very competitive and as short-handed as we were, we still fought. We put ourselves in a good position, but we just couldn’t get over that hump. It was a really hard fought game. I just thought we had some defensive breakdowns going down towards the stretch. Our inability to capitalize and transition, I thought that was a big key. The guys played hard, they fought hard but we just came up short.”
(On Mayo in the final minutes): “We got the looks we wanted. Needed three, he got two good looks – one off a designed play, the second one off the offensive rebound. I think it was big that we got the rebound and had the awareness to throw it back out. He had a good look at it, just couldn’t get it to drop.”
(On Kyrie’s performance): “He’s a special guard. He practically carried them. He turned it up when he felt that he needed to. They put a lot of pressure on us, particularly on the interior, with him penetrating and causing us to collapse. He’s a good guard.”
(On the final shot): “That second one, man. I didn’t know I had that much time. I kind of rushed it. I would take them (shots) any time of day. I should have made that.”
(On how it felt coming back): “I felt good, a little tired with four days off. No big training, just got a couple shots up in the neighborhood. I felt a little bit winded, but I think tomorrow will be a little better.”
(On two overtime game losses in a row): “Clearly, two overtime games in a row that we could have or should have won both. Frustrating, but we just have to keep with the same habits and just know that we’re still a fairly new group. We’re missing how many guys, not to have excuses, but just to know what the factors are. We just have to continue to work with what we have.”
(On what next): “Keep working. (There were) a lot of positives to take from this and also some learning things. Like I said, we just have to continue to fight and make sure to remember not to put our heads down and realize what we’re facing as a team.”
- After tonight’s 114-111 victory over the Bucks, the Cavs are 5-1 in the last six games at The Q. Over that stretch, they are outscoring opponents 103.7 to 97.8.
- Cleveland is 6-3 over their last nine contests (Nov. 30-Dec. 20). Offensively, Cleveland is averaging 103.0 points over the last nine games, including 111.0 points over the last five contests. Cleveland has scored at least 107 points in five straight games for the first time since December 19-28, 1993.
- The Cavaliers blocked 12 shots, including seven in the first quarter. The seven blocks in a quarter are the most since January 11, 2010 against Golden State (seven blocks, 3rd Q). The Cavs have blocked 10-plus shots in a game five times this season.
- Cleveland shot 25-27 (.926) from the free-throw line. This is the third time this season that the Cavs have shot at least .900 from the free-throw line.
- Kyrie Irving tallied a game-high 39 points on 13-25 (.520) shooting, three rebounds, a team-high six assists and a career-high four blocks in 42 minutes. He is the only player in the NBA this season to record at least 39 points and four blocks in a single game. The last NBA player to have at least 39 points and four blocks was Kobe Bryant (4/10/13). Irving is the only guard in Cavaliers history to record those numbers. This was Irving’s fifth 30-plus point performance of the season and the Cavs are 5-0 in those games. Over the past five games, he is averaging 30.2 points on .491 (54-110) shooting, 2.0 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.6 steals in 35.8 minutes per game. Irving has scored at least 26 points in seven of his eight career games against Milwaukee, averaging 28.5 points on .543 (82-151) shooting, including .528 (19-36) from three-point range, 3.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 34.6 minutes per game.
- Tristan Thompson posted his team-leading 11th double-double on the season (51st career) with 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds (season-high tying nine offensive) in 29 minutes.
- C.J. Miles tallied 15 points on 4-8 (.500) shooting, including 3-4 (.750) from three-point range, two rebounds, three assists and one block in 30 minutes. In two games against the Bucks this season, Miles is averaging 14.5 points on .500 (7-14) from the three-point line, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 27.0 minutes per game.
- Earl Clark recorded 14 points on 5-8 (.625) shooting, including a season-high four three-pointers, three rebounds and one steal in 19 minutes off the bench.
- Jarrett Jack finished with 17 points, four rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes off the bench. Jack has scored in double figures in six of the last seven contests with averages of 12.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 27.4 minutes per game.
- Anderson Varejao tallied five points, 13 rebounds (season-high six offensive) and a season-high tying three blocks in 34 minutes off the bench. Varejao has recorded 10-plus rebounds eight times this season. Varejao is averaging 9.4 rebounds as a reserve this season which leads all bench players in the NBA.