Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Jazz
(On the game tonight):
“There were a lot of good things, especially in that second half. I thought the second half was a carry-over from what happened a couple of nights ago in Oklahoma City. I thought the ball moved, bodies moved. I thought the spacing was really good. We did some nice things offensively as a group in that second half. I applaud our guys for continuing to try to play the right way. Having 28 assists was a big night for us. On top of that, we shot a high percentage from the floor and we still came up with 13 offensive rebounds. (Utah) is a big team. They’re athletic. They’re big. They’re tough inside. To outrebound those guys 56 to 31 and have 48 points in the paint compared to their 22 is a testament to how hard our guys are trying to work in the interior and protect the paint. Huge night in those two areas.”
(On receiving solid efforts from multiple players):
“We had a big night from a lot of guys. I thought Luol (Deng) was very, very efficient from the offensive end of the floor. Going 8-for-12 for 16 points in 30 minutes was a great night. Tristan (Thompson) was 9-for-13 but more importantly he had a double-double. Same with Spence (Hawes). Spence played 37 minutes and had 16 rebounds. Most people don’t necessarily look at him as a rebounder. He’s just an effort guy. He understands how to use his length and he goes after it. He’s got a good nose and for him to get a double-double was a big night from him. Our bench was good. We had 26 points off of our bench which was a good night for those guys, as well as the seven assists.”
(On Kyrie Irving’s first career triple-double):
“I’m excited for Kyrie (Irving). For him to go out there and get his first triple-double, that was very fun to watch. As his coach, it was fun to be a part of. I’m happy for him, his dad and the rest of his family because that was well-earned and well-deserved. I’m fired up for him and for the organization and city. It was big for a young guy to step up and come up with his first triple-double in a game that we needed, especially in a win.”
(On what changed in the second half):
“It was just our pace picked up. (We were) a step quicker. We started getting defensive stops and being able to play in transition, I feel like that’s when we’re at our best. Me and Jack just running the show. Guys were just making shots and making our jobs a lot easier. We were executing on both ends of the floor and just getting stops.”
(On the crowd’s ovations):
“It felt good. It felt really good. A couple fans were yelling at me ‘I need three more rebounds to get a triple double.’ I was like ‘I got you guys, I got you. Don’t worry.’ They were giving me a lot of support out there which I really appreciate. To have my first triple-double, especially at home, it makes it that much more special.”
(On if the team is talking about the playoffs):
“No. We’re just taking it one game at a time and that’s it. All we can do right now is compete. Living in the moment. Every time we’re in the huddle, I tell these guys, including myself in my head, ‘Just live in the moment, just take advantage of what’s in front of us right now and the future will happen by itself.’ Right now, we can control what we control in the moment and we live with the results.”
(On bouncing back from two losses):
“It’s a true testament to our will. Those games that we lost, they were close games. Whether it was just a couple bad minutes here and there, when we were watching film, it didn’t look as bad as we thought it was. You take what you can learn from those games, process it and move on. Like we’re going to do tomorrow, learn what we can from this game. Whether it’s a win or loss, you just take what you can and move on.”
(On if he thought he would make an impact right away with the team):
“Absolutely. I knew coming into this situation, coming in at the deadline, there was no time to waste. We’ve kind of continued to emphasize that since I’ve been here. There’s no time to waste trying to get acclimated and get comfortable. You kind of jump right in and see what you can get out of it. The guys have been great. They’ve really helped me out, on and off the court, welcoming me here and getting me adjusted. Hopefully it continues to play dividends.”
(On playing with Kyrie Irving):
“He occupies so much of the defense. So much of their scouting report goes towards him. When the game starts, if you freeze the tape, a lot of times there are two or three guys guarding him or reading his way which just makes things so much easier on the back side.”
(On the game):
“(The Cavaliers) were the aggressive team. I thought our defense held us in there in the first half. We didn’t shoot our best, but I thought our defense held us in there. In the second half, they got their hands on us a little more and got us off our spots. We couldn’t get the ball inside like we normally do and we settled for some jump shots and we couldn’t match (the Cavaliers) intensity on the defensive end.”
(On Kyrie Irving):
“He’s a great player. We talked about him before the game. He’s having a great year. He showed why he is who he is in this league. He’s becoming a better player in this league. He had a great game.”
(On Gordon Hayward):
“Gordon is going to keep finding his way. He’s making the right plays. Gordon knows we need him to play well to have a chance on the road.”
(On the game):
“Shots didn’t fall for any of us. (The Cavaliers) were a better team down the stretch.”
(On playing in front of his family):
“It was great to see them come to the game and support me the way they have always supported me. They have seen me have sub-par and bad games before, so it doesn’t concern me too much. I was just glad for them to be here.”
(On Kyrie Irving):
“He’s a really good player. It’s tough to stop him in transition and I think that’s his strongest asset. He made some shots tonight in transition and got to the free throw line. He had a good game.”
(On facing opposing point guards every night):
“Every night, you have to be able to compete. That other guard is going to come at you just like you’re going to come at him. You have to be ready to compete.”
(On tonight’s game):
“You have to tip your hat to (the Cavaliers). It was a good game plan and we struggled. Our defense was not what it should have been. We had a bunch of defensive lapses. We got off to a good start in that first quarter and struggled a little bit in the second. We never really recovered.”
(On Kyrie Irving):
“He’s an all-star and I think the numbers are always going to be there for Kyrie. I think the next step and the next growth for him is obviously the team play and how many wins his play get for (the Cavaliers). That’s what they want to see from him. Numbers are not something that people are going to base around his career. He’s got so much talent and so much ability, but the win-loss column is something that is going to really dictate what people think of him.”
- With tonight’s 99-79 victory over the Jazz, the Cavs have won their last three meetings against Utah, including wins in eight of the last 10 games over Utah at The Q. Tonight also marks Cleveland’s fourth straight win over a Western Conference opponent.
- Cleveland is now 8-3 over its past 11 games. Over the last 11 games, the Cavs are outscoring their opponents 100.3 to 94.4, while also holding opponents to .421 shooting from the field.
- Over the last three quarters, the Cavs outscored the Jazz 79-52. Cleveland shot 33-65 (.508) from the field over that stretch while holding Utah to 18-61 (.295) shooting. For the game, Cleveland held Utah to 28-80 (.350) shooting from the field. The Cavs improved to 11-1, including 8-1 at The Q, when they hold their opponent to under .400 shooting from the field.
- Cleveland outrebounded Utah 56-31 (+25), including a 43-25 edge on the defensive glass and outscored the Jazz 48-22 in points in the paint. The last time the Cavs outrebounded their opponent by +25 was March 1, 2010 against New York (+29, 60-31).
- The Cavs dished out 28 assists and committed 12 turnovers. This is the sixth time this season the Cavs have dished out at least 28 assists.
- Kyrie Irving recorded his first triple-double of his career with a game-high 21 points, a career-high 10 rebounds and a career-high tying 12 assists in 39 minutes. The last Cavs player to record a triple-double was LeBron James on March 16, 2010 at Detroit (29 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists). Irving is the second player this season in the NBA to record at least 21 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists (Kevin Durant-12/1/13, 32 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists). Irving has dished out nine-plus assists in a career-high three straight games, averaging 25.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 10.0 assists and 2.0 steals in 42.3 minutes per game over that stretch.
- Spencer Hawes notched his 21st double-double of the season (second with Cavs) with 13 points on 6-12 (.500) shooting, to go along with a season-high tying 16 rebounds (13 defensive), two assists and two blocks in 37 minutes. Hawes has scored in double figures in four straight games. In five games with the Cavs, Hawes is averaging a double-double with 14.0 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 31.8 minutes per game.
- Tristan Thompson posted his team-leading 29th double-double of the season with 18 points on 9-13 (.692) shooting and 14 rebounds (six offensive) in 33 minutes. Thompson has registered a double-double in seven of the last nine games, averaging 15.0 points on .576 (53-92) shooting and 11.9 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game.
- Luol Deng finished with 16 points on 8-12 (.667) shooting and three rebounds in 30 minutes. In 24 games with the Cavaliers, Deng is averaging 14.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.2 steals in 33.7 minutes per game.
- Tyler Zeller registered a near double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench. Over the past seven games, Zeller is averaging 10.6 points on .510 (26-51) shooting, including .917 (22-24) from the free throw line, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 22.1 minutes per game.