Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Celtics
(On the second half): “I thought our guys came out with a little bit more sense of urgency in the second half. It didn’t start off that way. We were missing shots, turning the ball over and so were they. Overall, I really thought we hung in there and did the things we had to do on both ends of the floor to secure the victory. It’s something to build on.”
(On Kyrie Irving): “He was pretty good…I think he sets the tone. When he’s aggressive, everyone picks up on that. When he’s in the game and he’s kind of passive just trying to get everyone involved, which is a point guard’s job, I want him to be aggressive in trying to do that. I thought tonight he was pretty much aggressive the whole game. That’s the type of player that we need out there. He’s obviously capable of doing that every single night. When he’s aggressive, he makes us a better basketball team.”
(On the defense of Alonzo Gee and Shaun Livingston on Paul Pierce): “I thought they did a great job of just really challenging him and taking away his space….The one thing that we wanted to do was take away his space and make him put it on the floor. I thought Zo did a great job and I thought Shaun, in the fourth quarter, did a great job of using his length to affect his shot. So both of those guys took the challenge tonight and did a great job on a great player.”
(On the Cavs’ defense as a team): “We were just much more active on the defensive end. We stayed on most plays, didn’t lose our focus and that’s the one thing we’ve been talking about all season long; just be in the game for 48 minutes and keeping that focus and intensity. I thought tonight for 48 minutes we were pretty much doing that. We had a couple of breakdowns on the defensive end, but it wasn’t because of lack of effort and that’s the one thing we want to continue to get better at.”
(On if the team is getting the feel for how to close out games): “I just feel that we’re forming that camaraderie going into the third and fourth quarters. We’re starting to huddle up more, especially when it comes down to crunch time. I think that’s when we need to execute on both ends of the floor and that’s what we did tonight.”
(On his aggressiveness in the first quarter): “It just came with the flow of the game. I had the mindset to come out aggressive; I made shots and the guys kept feeding me. It was just right in the flow of the game.”
(On if he was trying to make a statement before the All Star game): “I was just trying to get a win. We desperately needed it. We just wanted to prove that we can get a win against a good team. Last time they kind of handed it to us in Boston, so it was more of a statement game for the Cavaliers than for me.”
(On if he’d vote for Kyrie for an All Star spot): “Of course. In my eyes he’s one of the top-five point guards in this league and is very talented and I know his capabilities. Doc Rivers found out ahead of time and voted for him and it was a good decision on his part.”
(On if plays are coming to him at an easier pace): “I’m just understanding the game more. The more games you play; the more minutes you’re on the floor; the more experience you gain. It’s just growing and understanding the game more.”
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers
(On the Celtics’ performance): “Well I thought we played in stretches, in spurts. I thought in the first quarter, offensively we were terrific and defensively we were bad. We gave up 31 points in the first quarter. I thought the third quarter probably set the game of basketball back 30 years, by both teams.”
(On Kryie’s performance): “In the fourth quarter, we didn’t get much better and then Kyrie Irving happened. He had 15 points I think.”
(On voting Kyrie into the All-Star Game): “Yes absolutely. It’s amazing how hard that was though. It’s a hard one for me but he’s just playing so well. I think it’s going to be close though.”
(On his individual performance): “I don’t know, I just want it so bad. I got to find a balance. I got to do better. I got be more effective for 48 minutes.”
(On the challenge of trying to do too much): “No. You just find yourself wanting it a lot to the point where you mess up and you make mistakes. I just got to be better period.”
(On the Celtics’ ability to perform better): “For us obviously we don’t like it. I can’t even imagine how Doc feels. All we have to do is keep working and keep grinding.”
- Cleveland held Boston to .381 (32-84) shooting from the field, including .217 (5-23) shooting in the fourth quarter. It is the sixth time this season the Cavs held their opponent to less than .400 shooting from the field. The Cavaliers also outscored the Celtics 25-17 in the final period.
- The Cavs shot 19-22 (.864) from the free-throw line tonight, marking the 15th time this season shooting at least .800 from the charity stripe. In 13 games since December 28th, the Cavs are shooting .806 (241-299) from the foul line.
- Cleveland dished out 28 assists and had just 13 turnovers tonight. Defensively, the Cavs forced 18 turnovers and scored 20 points off of Boston’s miscues.
- Kyrie Irving finished with a game-high 40 points, on 16-24 (.667) shooting from the field, three rebounds, five assists and two steals in 38 minutes. Irving scored 19 in the first quarter, which was his most scored in an opening period on his career (previous 16 points at LA Clippers on November 5, 2012). He also scored 15 in the fourth quarter. Irving recorded his second career 40-plus point game, and seventh 30-plus point game this season, including five in January.
- Tristan Thompson tallied a season-high 21 points on 9-18 (.500) shooting from the field, nine rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block in 40 minutes. Over his last 17 games, Thompson is averaging 14.1 points on .505 shooting, 11.9 rebounds in 35.4 minutes per game.
- Tyler Zeller finished with six points, a team-high 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 38 minutes, and is averaging 13.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.5 blocks in 37.0 minutes per game in two career contests against Boston.
- Alonzo Gee recorded 10 points and six rebounds in 31 minutes tonight, and is averaging 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 32.3 minutes per game against the Celtics this season.