Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Lakers
(On the game tonight): “I thought the game got away from us in the first quarter. We came out and couldn’t make a shot nor could we get a stop. To be outscored 36-17 to put us in a hole made it a tough uphill climb the rest of the game. I thought our last group that was out on the floor, those guys strung together some stops. They strung together some offense in terms of moving the ball, spacing the floor and attacking the rim the right way to get us back in the game. They gave us a chance to win going down the stretch and brought it to a two-possession game so I applaud the last group of guys that were out there in Delly (Matthew Dellavedova), C.J. (Miles), Dion (Waiters), AB (Anthony Bennett) and Anderson (Varejao). Maybe we can learn something from what that group did out on the floor. That group played hard. They played the right way. We didn’t change anything, any coverages, and they gave us a chance.”
(On his team’s defense): “Right now, we’re just getting inconsistencies, especially on our weak side. We didn’t change anything defensively from the first group to the last group that was out there. Those guys were on a string with one another. They were helping one another and they were making it a little bit tougher on the Lakers than what the first group did. Just basic stuff that we’ve been going over quite a few times, we have to do a better job of getting more consistent with.”
(On Matthew Dellavedova’s play tonight): “Delly played well. He played tough. He was a presence on both ends of the floor. Give him credit. He tried to run the team, tried to get guys in spots and pushed the ball. He stepped up and took the right shots. He was a big part of us having a chance to get back into the game.”
(On Anthony Bennett’s play as of late): “I just like his assertiveness. The one thing that he’s not doing anymore is getting down on himself. He used to get down on himself very easily. I like that he’s not doing that. He’s just playing the game. When he just plays the game, he can do a lot of things. He’s still just barely scratching the surface of what he’s going to be capable of doing in this league. Once he gets used to the speed of the game and the rest of the opposing players, and gets a little bit more comfortable offensively, he’ll be able to do some things out there that will wow people.”
(On what happened in the first half): “We just weren’t getting stops, that’s what it boiled down to. Our rotations were a step behind. My pressure on the ball just wasn’t there in that first half and we just gave (Los Angeles) whatever they wanted. They got into a rhythm in that first quarter and it’s hard to stop them when they’re making shots and they’re in a rhythm and playing so comfortably out there. We just made it tough on ourselves.”
(On the bench’s play): “They definitely deserved to be on the floor. They did a heck of a job fighting until the end. We took the starters out, put the second group in and they did a heck of a job getting stops and passed the ball well and trusted one another. They did the little things to get us back into the game.”
(On the starters sitting during the final stretch of the game): “If I were the coach as well, I would’ve played that second group. They deserved to be in and fought until the end. They deserved to be in the game at that particular moment in the game.”
(On what happened in the first half): “(The Lakers) just played harder than us, in every phase of the game. We put ourselves in a tremendously deep hole in the first half as we all saw. I tip my hat to those guys who came in and fought and got us back into the ballgame, but that shouldn’t be on them. That’s on the guys that were out there, who allowed that deficit to be created. It’s unacceptable.”
(On what the bench did to get the team back into the game): “They were just playing hard; nothing tricky, no crazy recipes that we haven’t heard of before. They were just going out there and playing hard, no matter if that possession went their way or not. They went out there and played hard and it led to positive things for us.”
(On finishing the game without five eligible players): “It was interesting, to say the least. We were going to leave (Robert Sacre) in. I knew they would attack him. I didn’t think he would foul that many times to where it would kill us. We had a big enough lead to where I thought we were OK. I wasn’t going to go to (Steve Nash), that wouldn’t be fair to him and Jordan Farmar could have just stood out there somewhere, but that wouldn’t have been the best thing.”
(On playing through adversity): “We’re playing well. They are playing with the right spirit. Again, it’s getting guys back and getting guys healthy. We can make a push to where we’re playing entertaining basketball. I know where we are and I know the hole we are in. We can finish the year out on a high note and that is what we’re going to do.”
(On Steve Blake’s impact): “When Steve Blake comes back, the whole atmosphere changes. Last year, that was the guy that came back that got us on our run last year. He comes back now, and makes the two daggers at the end of the game. He makes a big difference. He plays hard, with grit, determination and he doesn’t back down on anybody.”
(On playing after fouling out): “That was the first time (that’s happened). I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if we had enough guys. It was crazy. In my mind, I’m just like dang, here we go again. I’m just glad our team fought through the adversity and we got this win.”
(On playing through adversity): “Our guys have a lot of heart. We wanted to win this and we really came out with a great mindset that we weren’t going to lose. It showed.”
(On finishing the game without five eligible players): “I’ve never seen anything like that. I asked (Kurt Rambis) and (Gary Vitti), they’ve been around 30 years and neither one of them have seen anything like that. It was interesting. I don’t think you’ll ever see anything like that again.”
• The Cavaliers outrebounded the Lakers 57-40, including 27-6 on the offensive glass leading to a 32-12 second chance points advantage. The 27 offensive boards and 32 second chance points are both season-highs. The 27 offensive rebounds are also a Quicken Loans Arena record and one shy of the franchise record for offensive rebounds in regulation (28 three other times - 3/17/74 vs. PHI, 1/1/77 at NYK, 12/25/79 vs. DET). Since the 2014 calendar year, the Cavs are pulling down 14.0 offensive rebounds per game and scoring 15.8 second chance points. On the season, the Cavs are averaging 12.6 offensive rebounds per game.
• The Cavs dished out 24 assists and committed 11 turnovers tonight. Over the last 15 games (since Jan. 7), the Cavs are averaging 22.3 assists and 12.5 turnovers.
• Cleveland swiped 10 steals tonight, which is the ninth time this season they have recorded 10-plus steals in a game this season.
• Anderson Varejao posted his 12th double-double of the season (84th career) with 15 points, a game-high 13 rebounds (seven offensive), a team-high tying five assists and two steals in 35 minutes. He has recorded 10-plus rebounds 23 times this season.
• C.J. Miles tallied a game-high 27 points, including 9-10 from the free throw line, three rebounds and three assists in 29 minutes off the bench. Miles has scored 20-plus points four times this season.
• Anthony Bennett registered 14 points, including a career-high 6-6 from the free throw line, a career-high tying eight rebounds and a career-high tying two steals in 22 minutes off the bench. Bennett has finished in double figures in scoring in three of the past five contests.