Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Bucks
(On the game tonight): “Good performance by our team, especially after the two losses. I thought our guys stepped up. We looked a little tired since we’ve got back from this West Coast trip. We were a little tired tonight but I thought our guys stepped up. We had a lot of very good individual performances that turned into a good team performance. Tristan (Thompson) had a double-double. Andy (Anderson Varejao) with the 16 points, he shot the ball very well from the elbows. Kyrie (Irving) with the double-double, ten assists and ten points, but just as importantly he had zero turnovers. He’s got the ball in his hands a lot and had zero turnovers. He was making pretty good decisions with the basketball, and then our bench stepped up. Our bench had 40 points. When you’re talking between Earl (Clark), Tyler (Zeller), Jarrett (Jack) and Dion (Waiters), that was a pretty good production from our bench. Dion with eight rebounds I thought was big. That all accumulated into a good team performance. Defensively, I don’t care who you are, you play a team and they score 78 points and shoot 40 percent from the field in a 48-minute game, that’s a pretty good job.”
(On his team’s communication): “It was great just listening to our guys talking on the bench. Jack, Kyrie and Luol (Deng), those guys were saying the right things to the rest of the team in the huddles. ‘Hey keep taking care of business, hey keep getting stops and playing the right way.’ All of our guys did.”
(On his team’s defense): “I thought we were a little more aggressive defensively. I thought Kyrie did a good job at the point of our defense. I thought he made Brandon Knight work tonight. He did a nice job of trying to stay up into him. Our bigs in their pick and roll game did a very nice job showing. We put Andy on (John) Henson who has given us problems in the past. I thought Andy tried to make him work. Overall, we stuck to our rules. We didn’t do anything tricky or anything fancy. We did what we normally do but our guys did a nice job of executing the stuff with effort, trying to communicate and doing it the right way.”
(On how much easier the game is when the ball is moving): “It makes the rhythm of the game that much better, especially when we get good shots every possession. We can get back and load up and set up our half-court defense. (We were) pretty good in the half court. We don’t want to take any forced or bad shots. I think we did a great job of taking what was there and playing off one another.”
(On if he felt he set the pressure for the team defensively): “Absolutely. That’s always in play when you go against a great point guard such as Brandon (Knight). Every time I just want to pressure him and make it tough on him. If we can contain him, we can contain the Milwaukee Bucks. They kind of play off of his aggression and I just wanted to pick him up a little higher than I usually do against other guards.”
(On how nice it was to take care of business early tonight): “It definitely felt good. I feel like we competed for the full 48 minutes. (We) started off a little bit sluggish, but I feel like we definitely picked it up and we forced (Milwaukee) into some tough shots and (we) got on our run and contained them the best we could.”
(On how good it feels to put a team away early): “It was a good feeling. The last two home games, I felt that we didn’t come out with the competitiveness and the competitive nature and the intensity to get the job done. Coach (Brown) challenged us tonight to come out and play 48 minutes of hard basketball and compete and that’s what we did from the beginning.”
(On the bench’s role in games): “We need our bench to win games; everyone has to play well. We can’t rely on the starting group to rely on the reserves to play well. We have to start collectively like we did tonight. Tyler (Zeller) was huge for us off the bench, with his defensive presence around the rim.”
(On tonight’s game): “Not taking anything away from this Cleveland Cavaliers team, they’re a good team, and we’ve had some good games and battles against them. I was expecting our guys to come out here with a little more firepower particularly after an impressive win against Detroit. (The Cavaliers) were clearly the aggressor from start to finish. I think they finished with 21 offensive rebounds and you’re not going to win many games giving up that many offensive rebounds.”
(On Bucks’ second half performance): “We didn’t play with a sense of urgency and that’s clearly on me. That’s my responsibility – to get these guys to play with a sense of urgency. We got off to a pretty good start, particularly in the first half. We went through a stretch where they manhandled us in the paint. We talk about it a lot. At the start of the third quarter, coming out playing with energy, playing with fire and playing with intensity. We didn’t do that and I have to do a better job of getting these guys ready to start a third quarter.”
(On tonight’s game): “It was tough. We started pretty well. It’s about energy and we couldn’t keep up. When you play against a team like this and they build a lead, it’s hard to close that lead. In the NBA, everybody plays at a high level. We have to fight through it and learn from our mistakes.”
(On the rebound battle versus Cleveland): “They really crash the offensive glass. Thompson and Varejao, that’s their strengths. It’s all about finding guys and boxing them out. It’s all about effort.”
(On Luol Deng): “Obviously, Luol Deng is a good player. Overall, he’s a really good team player. He’s playing at a high level right now. He stretches the floor and has a post-up game. You always have to play big against him.”
- Cleveland held Milwaukee to 78 points on 30-74 (.405) shooting from the field, including 7-24 (.292) from the three-point line. The 78 points are a season-low by a Cavaliers opponent this season.
- The Cavaliers outrebounded the Bucks 52-34, including 21-8 on the offensive glass leading to 19-10 second chance points advantage. The 21 offensive rebounds are a season-high. In 12 January games, Cleveland is averaging 14.3 offensive rebounds and 15.3 second chance points. On the season, the Cavs are averaging 12.5 offensive rebounds per game.
- The Cavs have outrebounded its 12 opponents in 2014 by an average margin of 6.7 rebounds per game (47.2 to 40.5). Cleveland has held at least a +10 advantage on the glass in 6 of 12 games this month.
- Cleveland scored 40 points off the bench tonight. The Cavs have outscored the opponent’s bench in 32 of 43 contests and have scored at least 40 points 19 times.
- Anderson Varejao tallied 16 points on 8-11 (.727) shooting, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 26 minutes. Varejao is averaging a double-double over the past 14 contests (since Dec. 29) with 11.3 points on .508 (67-132) shooting, 13.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 32.7 minutes per game.
- Tristan Thompson recorded his 21st double-double of the season (2nd-most in East) with 14 points on 6-12 (.500) shooting and 10 rebounds (five offensive) in 24 minutes. He has posted a double-double in 10 of the last 14 games (since Dec. 29), including double-doubles in eight of the last 10 contests (since Jan. 5). Thompson is averaging a double-double over his last 27 contests (since Nov. 30) with 13.2 points and 10.1 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game.
- Kyrie Irving posted his fifth double-double of the season (10th career) with 10 points, three rebounds, a game-high ten assists and zero turnovers in 28 minutes. Irving dished out seven assists in the third quarter which ties his career high for assists in a single quarter (4/17/13 at CHA, 2nd Q). Tonight was the second time this season that Irving had at least 10 assists and zero turnovers in a game (vs. POR 12/17/13).
- Dion Waiters finished with 13 points, a career-high tying eight rebounds, three assists and two steals in 28 minutes off the bench. Waiters is averaging 14.7 points in 29.3 minutes per game as a reserve this season and has scored in double figures in 22 of 29 appearances as a substitute.