Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Heat
(On the game tonight):
“I thought it was a great effort. Our guys played hard. They played about as hard as they can play. The third and fourth quarter, I thought Miami did a heck of a job of switching everything. We got a little stagnant and stuck with the ball until we figured it out. I think we got down about eight points (in the fourth quarter) and figured out what we had to do. I kept trying to tell them in the huddle that we have to drive it because they have a tendency as a team defensively to sink in there. When we started doing that, we started getting some open shots. You have to give (Miami) a lot of credit. They don’t panic. You get them down 26, 27 points and they know they’ve got plenty of time and they’re going to make a run, and that’s what they did tonight…I thought we played hard. All I asked them to do was go out there and compete, and I thought we did that. We just didn’t get the job done like I wanted us to, and I’m sure everyone in that locker room wanted to get it done. Again, you have to give (the Heat) credit. That’s why they’re the defending NBA champions.”
(On what to take away from tonight’s game):
“Defensively, we did some very good things. I thought in the third quarter we gave (Shane) Battier and Ray (Allen) way too many good looks. That kind of kept their run going. In the fourth quarter, especially the last five minutes, I thought we buckled down again. We started to get some stops and we started to rebound the ball a little bit better. Overall, defensively, I thought we played a pretty solid game. Our game plan was pretty good. Offensively, we did some very good things. So for an overall game, I thought we played well. I think we could have played better on both ends of the floor, but we played pretty well.”
(On Tyler Zeller’s play tonight):
“I was extremely happy with the way Tyler bounced back. I thought Tyler and Tristan played great. I wish I could have played Tyler more but because of some of the lineups that they had out there, it’s hard to keep him out there at times against some of those smaller guys.”
(On how tough tonight’s loss was):
“It’s very tough. Being up by 27 in the early third quarter and then (Miami) went on their run; making threes, knocking down shots. It’s tough to swallow. We competed tonight and our effort was there, but we had mental lapses in the third quarter. They’re a championship ball team and you can’t afford that to happen.”
(On if he could feel Miami’s intensity pick up):
“You knew that was coming. You knew they were going to put extra pressure on, so we knew as a ballclub that we had to come out and be more patient and try to not make too many turnovers. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. We threw the ball away, myself included. It’s tough, but stuff we can control and I think we beat ourselves tonight.”
(On if tonight’s game was one of the weirdest he’s ever played in):
“It had a lot of things go on, but both teams were locked in and were trying to win. All in all, we were just focused on the game and we couldn’t bring it home.”
(On losing big leads in games this season):
“There are definitely no excuses and we’ve talked plenty of times about our third quarters and being able to finish games. I think that as a team for us to take that next step and become a playoff team, we have to understand that the game is 48 minutes long; not 24, not 36. You have to put a full game together if you want to win.”
Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra
(On the game):
“At first I didn’t know what to say to our guys. I’ve been in games like that on the other side of it where teams have come back from 20 point deficits...Down 27, none of us were happy about it. We caught lightning in a bottle. What happened there in the third quarter wasn’t necessarily a designed offense, it was just those guys being great and making big shots...Shane (Battier), LeBron (James) and Ray (Allen) just made big shots.”
(On the Heat’s comeback):
“We started off sluggish. It’s been two games in a row where we got off to the type of start that we didn’t want to. That’s because we’ve been playing on our heels and catching teams (who are playing) more aggressive. (There were) some embarrassing minutes and down 27 for us to change our position. We had to take big homerun plays to get us back in (the game) and that’s part of (the team’s) greatness.”
(On the crowd’s reception):
“Like I said at shootaround, it can’t get no worse than Decemeber 2, 2010.”
(On the Heat’s comeback):
“The only we way we were going to win was if we got stop after stop after stop. They played extremely well and pushed the tempo all game…In order for us to win, we had to get stops. Once we did that, our offense started to click as well.”
(On the game):
“We felt it. We knew we had to make shots. Obviously, we knew we had to get stops. Once Shane (Battier) made those two three’s, we were kind of like, this is where it gets fun…We know we can come back from a deficit.”
(On being down 27 points):
“It’s still a ballgame. All we have to do is get a couple of stops. Get a couple of buckets. The mentality changes on both sides.
- The Cavs out rebounded the Heat 42-34, including a 15-11 advantage on the offensive glass. Cleveland has pulled down at least 15 offensive rebounds 20 times this season. The Cavaliers also outscored the Heat 46-34 in the paint.
- The Cavs shot 14-17 (.824) from the free throw line tonight. Cleveland has shot at least .800 from the foul line 24 times this season.
- In his third start as a Cavalier, Wayne Ellington recorded a team-high 20 points, including connecting on 3-7 (.428) three-pointers, a career-high tying seven rebounds and four assists in a career-high 41 minutes. Ellington is averaging 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds in 35.3 minutes in those starts.
- Tristan Thompson tallied a near double-double with 18 points on 8-15 (.533) shooting from the field, eight rebounds and three steals in 37 minutes. Since December 19th, Thompson is averaging 13.6 points on .503 shooting, 10.3 rebounds and 1.0 block in 32.8 minutes per game.
- Shaun Livingston recorded 14 points on 6-11 (.545) shooting, three rebounds, a season-high tying six assists and two steals in 37 minutes in his eighth start as a Cavalier. Livingston has scored in double figures in seven of his eight starts and is averaging 12.9 points on .531 shooting from the field, 3.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.1 steals in 33.1 minutes per game over that stretch.
- Tyler Zeller tallied his sixth double-double with 12 points on 4-6 (.667) shooting from the field, a team-high 11 rebounds, one steal and one block in 23 minutes. Tonight was Zeller’s second double-double in his last four games.
- C.J. Miles added 10 points, three rebounds and a career-high tying five assists in 24 minutes off the bench. Miles has scored in double figures in 13 of his last 16 games and is averaging 12.3 points, including shooting .425 (37-87) from beyond the arc, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 20.8 minutes per game over that stretch.