Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Celtics
(On not using any remaining timeouts in the last offensive possession): “Just because of the fact that I knew what they were going to do. They were going to switch up everything anyway. It was going to be pretty much the same (play) we ended up with. Shaun was going to have the ball or Wayne was going to have the ball. They were going to have to try and make a play and I thought Shaun got a good look. He got it right into the paint, about a 10-footer. He just missed it.”
(On the last 2.1 seconds of the game): “We talked about in the huddle to just switch everything. Luke got a little too far down the floor. Wayne ended up having his back turned when J.T. (Jason Terry) set the screen on Luke and basically just gave Jeff Green a great angle to the basket. So, we didn’t switch it like we wanted to. You have to give (Boston) some credit. It was a good play but we were a little lackadaisical. Luke was too far down the floor and so was Wayne. We had to be a little bit more aggressive in that instance.”
(On losing the lead in the fourth quarter): “I thought we stopped being aggressive. We were looking at the clock, playing not to lose the game instead of win the game. With 5:40 left in the game, we get one field goal for the rest of the game. Again, you have to be aggressive. You have to look to win. You can’t hope the clock runs out and I thought that’s what we kind of did.”
(On the final minutes of the game): “They turned up the pressure defensively and we just got a little stagnant. We stopped doing what was working for us. We kind of started holding the ball a little bit and we weren’t moving around, so they made a run at us.”
(On if the team was trying more to hang on to the lead than extend it): “I guess you could say that. I guess we were trying to hang on to the lead and nobody wanted to make a mistake or miss a shot, but that’s part of the game. We stopped being as aggressive as we had been and we kind of got stagnant.”
(On why the team continues to struggle with communication): “I’m not sure. I feel like at this point, we have to hold ourselves accountable. We’re all professionals here and should all be communicating with each other and helping each other on the defensive end of the floor. I think that’s something we have to take on ourselves and we have to get better at it.”
(On losing another double-digit lead late): “A couple of possessions down the stretch, they made shots and we didn’t. We turned over the ball, they made some buckets. They had a chance to win it at the end and they did.”
(On if the team is playing not to lose rather than playing to win): “I think that happened a little bit, but I also think we’ve gotten better at that. Tonight, it was just a point of execution and just not doing what we need to do; making the right plays, playing the plays right.”
Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers
(On the game): “It was a good win for us. We played great in the first quarter and a half. Our turnovers and sloppy play got them in the game. Once you wake this team up, they’re hard. They played hard and I thought they executed. Down the stretch we went with a quirky lineup and it paid off for us.”
(On the final play of the game): “It was a misdirection. We wanted to make the action look like it was for Paul, then for Jet (Terry). The whole time it was for Jeff (Green) to pop off a (Terry) screen.”
(On going with Green during the final stretch of the game): “I thought he was our best advantage. Paul is our best offensive player but there are certain nights where your team has a better advantage. I though Jeff at the four was a matchup advantage for us. I figured I’m gonna go with the advantage.”
(On how much this victory meant to the team): “It was huge. We didn’t play well tonight, especially from the second quarter on. We found a way. Sometimes it takes games like this to get you out of a rut. I’m happy with the way we fought back. Back-to-back, we could have taped it in mentally. We were physically and mentally fatigued. We just somehow found a way. Regardless of Cleveland’s win, these type of wins can bring you together.”
(On Green’s performance): “It’s huge for us. Now we have another guy that’s gaining confidence at the end of games and knows that he can get it done.”
• Cleveland outrebounded Boston 46-37, including a 9-2 advantage on the offensive glass. The two offensive rebounds allowed by the Cavaliers ties their opponent season-low. Cleveland also held Boston to two offensive boards on December 19th.
• The Cavs bench outscored the Celtics reserves 39-22. Since Marreese Speights and Wayne Ellington played their first game as Cavaliers on January 25th, the bench is averaging 37.1 points per game.
• The Cavaliers swiped 10 steals tonight and are averaging 9.5 steals over their last six games.
• Wayne Ellington recorded a team-high 16 points, three rebounds and a career-high tying three steals 33 minutes. Ellington has scored in double figures in four of five starts as a Cavalier and is averaging 14.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 32.0 minutes per game over that stretch.
• Shaun Livingston finished with 12 points, five assists, one steal and one block in 29 minutes. Livingston has scored in double figures in nine of 10 of his starts as a Cavalier and is averaging 12.9 points on .510 shooting, 3.0 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 32.3 minutes per game during that span.
• Alonzo Gee recorded 12 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 29 minutes. Over his last seven contests, Gee is averaging 11.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 30.6 minutes per game.
• Tyler Zeller tallied a near double-double with 11 points on 5-6 (.833) shooting from the field and nine rebounds in 24 minutes. In three career contests against the Celtics, Zeller is averaging 12.3 points on .516 shooting and 7.3 rebounds in 32.7 minutes per game.
• C.J. Miles finished with 13 points, four rebounds, a career-high six assists, one steal and one block in 28 minutes off the bench. Miles made three triples tonight and has connected on at least one three-pointer in 16 consecutive games. Over his last 18 games, Miles is averaging 12.2 points, including shooting .418 (41-98) from the three-point line, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 20.9 minutes per game.
• Marreese Speights added 13 points on 6-9 (.667) shooting, six rebounds, one steal and one block in 17 minutes off the bench.