Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Knicks
(On the game tonight): “I thought the biggest difference in the game for us was in the second quarter. We had eight turnovers for 17 points. It didn’t allow our defense to get set. That was a tough stretch for us but other than that, throughout the course of the game, defensively we were pretty good at times. Obviously, Kyrie (Irving) had a heck of a game for us. He shot the ball well. He found his teammates with 11 assists and one turnover. I thought he had a fantastic night for us, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Jarrett Jack came off the bench and gave us a big lift offensively with 17 points. I thought we got a lot of different point contributions from different guys on our bench. Between Dion (Waiters), Andy (Varejao) and Earl (Clark), that’s another 17 (points). Then we had another five (points), so that’s 39 points coming from your bench. That’s a pretty good night from our bench. I thought Anderson played an overall terrific game. He impacted the game a lot of ways defensively. Five assists for a big with zero turnovers is a terrific night. You talk about a guy like Alonzo Gee whose minutes have been sporadic. We kept him on the floor for big minutes to guard Luol Deng. We also kept him on the floor because Carmelo (Anthony) is a great player. He had 29 points on 12-of-19 from the field but we felt that Zo for most of the night did a nice job making him work.”
(On the difference in the second half): “The difference in the second half for us was we had five turnovers for five points. That was huge for us in the second half. We felt that if we didn’t turn the ball over, move (the ball) and space it very well, we’ll get some good looks, especially the way Kyrie had it going tonight. We felt we could get a good look with him playing pick and roll. We felt we could get a good look for any of our guys by moving the basketball anytime as long as we took care of it. We addressed it at halftime and we thought our guys came out and did a nice job in the second half.”
(On what the team needs to do to win on the road): “The biggest thing is we have to be physically and mentally tougher than what we are at home because anybody that plays in their building gets an extra boost of energy from the crowd. Not only that, there’s a comfort level playing at home. Your routine is a good one because you’re used to doing it all the time. For us to go to some of these courts and win a game, our mental and physical toughness from the beginning of the game until the end of the game has to be there. We have to compete at a higher level than we compete at home knowing that on the road there’s a good chance our shots are not going to fall. If it doesn’t fall, we can’t get discouraged. We have to understand that we can win a game by getting stops. We can win a game ugly. Sometimes that’s what you have to do on the road until you get a few (wins) under your belt. Then you’ll start believing.”
(On if playing New York brings something extra out of him): “For me, it’s just another game. No matter the opponent, I’m going to come out aggressive and get my team going early.”
(On what it feels like to have his shots falling): “It feels good. I have the confidence of the coaching staff and my teammates and I was making plays within our offense. I was trying to stay aggressive; that’s all I can do and just try to lead (the team).”
(On giving up the early lead, then building it back up): “It was really important. Obviously, we knew that (the Knicks) were going to continue to fight and we just wanted to come out and be aggressive on both ends of the floor and that’s what we did. Our bigs were playing well; we kept throwing it into (Andrew Bynum. We got a couple of offensive rebounds and a couple of baskets went our way in the third quarter.”
(On if he was frustrated before his put-back dunk in the third quarter): “No, that’s how the game goes sometimes. You’ll have ups and downs in a game and you’ll have times when you’re rolling or things aren’t going your way. You just have to stay the course and I did take (my frustration) out on the rim.”
(On if he thought the dunk gave the team some lift): “Yeah, whenever you can get big-time plays like my dunk and Kyrie (Irving) making all of those threes, it definitely gets us going again. It gets the crowd back into it and kind of gives us some extra life and we needed it in the second half.”(On what adjustments were made to build the lead back up): “Do what we did in the first quarter, which was move the ball, pass, cut, take open shots. Defensively, be aggressive and physical; getting the Knick out of their offense and make it tough for (Carmelo Anthony) and all of their other guys.”
(On a disappointing first quarter): “We were down and didn’t get anything going again. We fought back and I think we cut it to one, if not tied it, and then ended up down three at the half. The third quarter caught us again tonight. We’re playing back in spurts and that’s not good enough. There was a big difference in free throws tonight where we basically lived on the jump shot and they were making their way to the free throw line and I thought that was the big difference.”
(On what happened in the third quarter): “We’re basing everything on making shots. We had a lot of good looks tonight – (Andrea) Bargnani had a hell of a lot of good looks and just didn’t make shots. But again, we’re not getting the stops on the other end. We’re either fouling or their scoring and that’s a bad combination.”
(On guarding Kyrie): “He’s tough. One-on-one he’s tough and he’s tough when you’re keeping the ball in the middle of the floor. He causes havoc on anybody and tonight he was making shots all over the place.”
(On what needs to change): “You just have to have to play the way we’ve been playing the two games that we won. We have to go out and play hard and start playing rougher with a certain intensity and go from there. We’re playing cool basketball right now. It’s not working for us. We have to get our hands dirty and do what it takes to win it.”
(On if the guys are playing with their heads down): “It feels like the same old song again. But, we have to be more mentally tough to get out of it, opposed to just putting our heads down and going about the game and letting them do what they want to do. We have to be able to be mentally tough and say we aren’t going to let this happen and we’re going to do everything we can do and everything possible to win.”
(On where the intensity is lost after powerful runs): “Third quarter. I think we did a hell of a job during the second quarter. The defense and the offense flowed. Third quarter came around and it’s been a nightmare for us. Third quarter is where we really break down and those guys just started to do what they do. Kyrie had a hell of a second half. It’s just like kicking a man when he’s down, that’s what it felt like.”
(On tonight’s game): “We got off to a slow start in the first quarter, fought back in the second quarter and got back in the game. Third quarter came out sluggish, and then they just took it from there. We constantly started off slow in the first and third quarters, which is something we have to change. We have to make sure we find a way to start those halves.”
(On being down 18 after Sunday’s loss): “You know me, I’m always going to think positive. I look at the glass as half full. I know that we can get back into it, we just have to move the ball a little bit. We did that, and we got back in the game there in the second quarter and we thought we had a great chance to win it, but then in the third quarter they pulled away.”
- The Cavaliers won their fourth straight home game with a 109-94 victory over the Knicks and improved to 7-3 at The Q this season. This is the first four game home win streak since the 2009-10 season. Cleveland has also won four of its last five games overall. During the four game home win streak, the Cavs are holding opponents to .411 shooting from the field including .279 from the three-point line. They are also outscoring opponents 98.0-89.3 during that stretch. At The Q, the Cavs have held each of its last seven opponents under 100 points and nine of 10 overall.
- Cleveland has won 11 of its last 13 home games over the Knicks dating back to 2007.
- The Cavs shot a season-high 42-74 (.568) from the field. The last time Cleveland shot at least .568 from the field was December 28, 2011 at the Detroit Pistons (.571).
- Kyrie Irving posted his third double-double of the season (eighth career) with a game-high 37 points on 14-23 (.609) shooting, including 4-7 (.571) from three-point range, to go along with a game-high 11 assists, one steal and one turnover in 36 minutes. The last player to finish with at least 37 points, 11 assists and one or fewer turnover was Kobe Bryant on December 29, 2009 against the Golden State Warriors (44 points, 11 assists, one turnover). Tonight was Irving’s second career game with at least 30 points and 10 assists (11/9/13 vs. PHI) as well as the third time with 30-plus points this season. Only three times in 2013-14 has a player tallied at least 37 points and 11 assists in a single game. Kyrie Irving has accomplished two of those and Chris Paul has done it once. Irving has scored at least 21 points in six straight games against the Knicks.
- Tristan Thompson tallied a near double-double with 12 points on 5-8 (.625) shooting and a game-high nine rebounds (four offensive) in 30 minutes. Over the past five games, Thompson is averaging 14.4 points on .500 shooting and 13.6 rebounds in 35.2 minutes per game.
- Jarrett Jack recorded 17 points on 6-8 (.750) shooting, including 3-5 (.600) from three-point range in 24 minutes off the bench. Jack has tallied double figures in points off the bench 11 times this season.
- Anderson Varejao finished with nine points on 3-4 (.750) shooting, seven rebounds and five assists in 31 minutes off the bench.