Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Kings
(On the game tonight): “I think our guys competed. They played hard, but it’s like I told them after the game. The only problem I had was I don’t think we played hard enough for long enough. We came out in the third quarter and were not into it, and they kind of got it going again. They were more aggressive and more physical. Then we got back into it. The only thing with that is we can’t afford to do that. We can’t take a play off. We can’t take a quarter off. We can’t take half a quarter off. We just can’t do that right now, and I think our guys have to understand that. For the most part, we compete, we play hard, but we can’t take a second off. That’s the biggest thing. We have to come every night, be focused and have that energy and that effort every single night.”
(On tonight’s lineup change): “It started off pretty well. The third quarter didn’t go as well as I wanted it to. C.J. struggled a little bit in the second half, but all-in-all, I thought it was okay. I think it’s one of those situations where we have to see how it goes in the next week or so to see how it works out.”
(On Shaun Livingston’s first game): “I thought he did pretty well. He was able to run the offense. He took advantage of mismatches when he had them and made some good passes. He looked pretty comfortable. I think another day of practice and then next week he’ll look even more comfortable and be a little more effective.”
(On losing close games): “It’s just a learning process. (Sacramento) did a great job of executing in the fourth quarter and got stops when they needed to.”
(On the losing control of the game in the third quarter): “(Sacramento) started executing; they started to get stops on the defensive end. Dion and I came down and missed easy shots and they just came back and scored.”
(On Dion Waiters coming off the bench): “It was a very different look. Coach thought it was best for Dion to come off the bench and we’ll see how it goes in future games.”
(On coming off the bench): “I’m just here to do whatever the team needs me to do. That’s what it was tonight. Coach made a change and I just have to go out there and play.”
(On his mindset and early shots upon entering the game): “I just put up shots; my teammates found me when I was open. I should have knocked down a couple that I missed, but I was just being aggressive.”
(On losing games in the fourth quarter): “We always come down to these kinds of situations and we just have to find a way to close it out, especially at home. That’s where it really hurts us, not getting a win that we knew we had.”
KINGS HEAD COACH KEITH SMART
(On the game): “We played a good game considering we were coming off a back-to-back and had to try to get ourselves going. We had to make a ton of plays to close this basketball game. “
(On Kings’ guard play): “The trio of little guards I have are a good partnership. One minute it’s Aaron (Brooks) starting some games then it’s Isaiah (Thomas) then it’s Jimmer (Fredette) coming in. They form a nice little partnership and they are pulling for each other. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be working. Those guys have done a great job and tonight was Aaron’s night.”
(On importance of Kings’ depth): “We have to have it. We don’t have that deliberate, 100% every night guy. We have to have everyone being 100% productive at all times on the floor. When we don’t have that, we’re going to struggle. I don’t have the luxury of a team that was a playoff team or had stars in place. We are in a developmental stage of trying to get these guys to be consistent players and winners.”
(On the game): “It feels good. We shouldn’t have let the game get that close. We definitely should have pulled away but we broke down towards the end of the game. We gave up some easy buckets that got them (Cavaliers) going but we got the “W” and it feels good to get our second win on the road.”
(On displaying his passing skills): “I want to win games. If the team needs me to pass then that’s what I’m going to do. I know every time I touch the ball that I’m going to draw two or three defenders and I’m going to find someone open.”
(On his recent play): “I’ve been trying to keep out the negativity. Trying not to bring anymore negativity to the team and trying to have a positive mind. I have a fresh start for the New Year so we’ll put that behind us and bring some positivity to Sacramento.”
(On made free throws down the stretch): “You just got to not think about it and rely on your muscle memory at that point. Don’t think about it and downplay the moment. That will make it easier but you have to just do what you do. Fortunately, I made both free throws and that helped us out.”
The Cavs shot 21-24 (.875) from the charity stripe and 50-57 (.877) from the foul line in their last three games.
Cleveland held Sacramento to an opponent season-low 3-16 (.188) shooting from the three-point line. The last time the Cavs held an opponent to .188 shooting or less was on April 4, 2012 when Cleveland held Milwaukee to 2-11 (.182) shooting from beyond the arc.
Kyrie Irving recorded a game-high 22 points, five rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes of action. In two career contests against the Kings, Irving is averaging 22.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 37.0 minutes.
In his fifth start of the season, C.J. Miles tallied 12 points and two rebounds in 29 minutes. Miles has scored in double figures in 13 of his last 15 games and is averaging 15.2 points, including shooting 41-87 (.471) from beyond the arc, and 3.1 rebounds in 24.9 minutes during that stretch.
Alonzo Gee posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points on 5-10 (.500) shooting from the field, a season-high 10 rebounds and a career-high tying six assists in 39 minutes.
Dion Waiters recorded 20 points and three assists in 29 minutes off the bench and is averaging 14.4 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 36.0 minutes per game this season.
Tristan Thompson tallied a near double-double with nine points and 13 rebounds in 35 minutes of action. In two career games against Sacramento, Thompson is averaging 12.0 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 32.5 minutes per game.