Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Kings

January 12, 2014.

Cavaliers Head Coach Mike Brown

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(On the game):
“I give Sacramento credit. They came out and they just stuck with whatever they were trying to do at the beginning of the game, in terms of their assertiveness defensively. They had the ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter offensively. I thought that our guys weren’t good defensively to start the game. We just aren’t in the competitive spirit to defend on the road. It just wasn’t there. That’s something that we have to understand—when you’re on the road you have to defend. If you don’t come into the building thinking ‘defense first’ then you can be in trouble. I thought that Sacramento jumped on us in the third quarter and the competitive spirit that we normally have, especially when we’re at home, just wasn’t there. We kept trying to get back offensively instead of trying to get back defensively. Then, when our jump shot wasn’t falling, we kept taking them instead of trying to get to the rim to see if we could get to the free throw line. I’m very disappointed. This is a tough road loss for us, but hopefully we can learn from it and grow from it.”

“It doesn’t have to do with being a second late. We just didn’t do a good job on the ball and we gave up middle drives at the wrong time. Our effort wasn’t there. If you’re not thinking ‘defense first’ and that we’re going to win games by getting stops, then that is what happens to you. If you think that you’re just going to come into someone’s building and outscore them, especially based on their effort and defensive rankings, it’s not going to work because a team like that can get hot. They have NBA players on their team too.”

Kyrie Irving

(On tonight’s loss):
“They were just the better team. We didn’t compete from the jump ball. We got up to the lead then they held us to 11 points in the third quarter. That was one of the biggest differences in the game—they played harder than us.”

(On what changed in the second half):
“The tempo started to change and they were making their runs and we just needed to settle down more. This is going to come but we’re sticking with one another. That’s all that matters right now. We need to continue to get better game-to-game.”

Luol Deng

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(What went wrong):
“We weren’t making shots today. We have to be better and we need to understand the way the game is going. We got whatever we wanted in that first half, but in the second half we should’ve recognized what was going on. We should’ve focused on our defense a lot more. We weren’t making shots and they started making them. They switched their game plan and started playing defense—that’s what we should’ve done too.”

(On what he said to the team after the loss):
“The first thing I said was, it’s not the last time we’re going to have a bad day. If you’re trying to be in this league for a long time, then you’re going to have many days where you don’t play your best. I just asked everyone to have each other’s back.”

Mike Malone

(Positivity heading into the road trip…)
“Definitely, very happy that we won three in a row obviously, but more importantly, I think it’s the way that we won. I told our guys we didn’t play the right type of basketball against Philadelphia and Charlotte but I thought against Portland we held that team to 43 percent, Orlando we held them to 33 percent and this team tonight we held them to 39 percent and the low 80’s (points). I realize that the defense is not going to happen overnight and when you make trades and you bring all these new guys in you have to constantly hit the reset button. They bought in in the last three games. We defended at a high level and we protected our home court three times in a row so that’s great going on the road for a very daunting six-game road trip.”

(Team’s rebounding…)
“That’s two games in a row where I think we’ve dominated the glass. I thought Jason Thompson tonight, his effort on the glass was outstanding. For a while in that second half it seemed like every time they shot and missed JT was the guy getting the rebound. That is finishing off your possession. You can play great defense but if you don’t finish it off with a defensive rebound all that hard work goes out the window. To defend at a high level and to finish it off with a defensive rebound that allowed us to get out and run where we scored 17 fastbreak points tonight.”

(Jason Thompson…)
“He didn’t shoot the ball well tonight. I think he was 4 for 11. Prior to tonight he had been shooting the ball at a very, very high level, being very efficient, finishing around the basket. We posted him up against smaller guys depending on the matchup. His energy, his rebounding, his defensive communication has been great for us. Jason has really stepped up as our starting power forward and going on this road trip starting against David West and the Indiana Pacers he’s going to have to continue to do that.”

(Team’s communication…)
“Obviously consistency has been a word that we’ve used a lot but something we have not shown that we can be most of the season. But now the last three games I think that the defense has been consistent, the efforts have been there, the communications have been there. Do we have breakdowns? Without a doubt but our breakdowns are happening a little bit less often at the moment and that’s a step in the right direction for us. We’re going to keep pounding that rock, try to get better everyday and not just be satisfied with winning three in a row at home but let’s take this on the road and see what we can do.”

Rudy Gay

(When asked if he thinks everything has come together since the team meeting):
“Yeah, it was good for us. We had some things we had to hash out. Of course us being the new guys it really wasn’t really about us, we didn’t really have anything. But we realize what we need to do coming in and how we need to affect this team. So for us, that’s what helped us.”

(When asked how impressed he is with the defensive effort):
“I’m impressed because this team, we’ve come a long way in such short time. We’ve become more of a team. We’re talking, we’re helping each other and as you can see we’ve gotten a lot better.”

(On his mindset to prepare for a six-game road trip):
“Don’t forget anything. I always do – I end up forgetting a pair of socks or underwear or something. But other than that, it was good we got this win before we go out. It’s a long road trip, it’s a long flight and in the back of our minds we know we have momentum going into games. So it was good to get these games going into it.”

DeMarcus Cousins

(When asked what’s been most impressive during this three-game win streak):
“I would probably say our consistency. We’re playing some very good basketball right now. We let them shoot a high percentage in the first quarter I believe but we came back the second quarter and played better defense. So just our consistency through these three games, defensively and offensively.”

(On not having to score as much and still getting the win):
“It felt weird sitting out the whole fourth – unless I fouled out, I don’t think I’ve ever been in that situation. It felt good to see some of the guys play a lot of minutes and get out there and have good games. It was a good win all around.”

(When asked how they carry the momentum from these three wins on the road):
“Staying focused – still got a long way to go. So just try to take the momentum from these games, carry it to the next, but at the same time just staying focused on the goal and that’s being a consistent team defensively, offensively playing together, communicating. Hopefully we can come back with a good record off this road trip.”