Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Magic
(On the game tonight): “Good win on the defensive end. I thought our guys did a lot of good things just like we did in Boston and that’s basically why we got the win tonight. I thought, defensively, we were okay all night long. We had a couple breakdowns but the effort was great. Offensively, we just couldn’t seem to get in a good rhythm, but defensively, I thought we were pretty much all over the place. In the fourth quarter, we just buckled down…I thought we did a real good job on making sure we didn’t give them anything easy and we got some big time plays from a couple of guys.”
(On Tristan’s performance over the past two games): “Overall, I think it is his energy. He has been playing with a lot of energy these last few games. I don’t know what it is total, but he has been killing on the glass. He didn’t score as much tonight obviously, but he is just playing really good solid basketball…I am not looking for him to average 22 and 16, but I think that double doubles are something that is definitely very possible for Tristan.”
(On Kyrie’s performance over the last few games): “He is in a bad shooting slump right now. He will be fine. He’s just got to keep playing. What I’m proud of is the way he has been playing on the defensive end the last two nights. He keeps doing that and we keep winning games. We won the last two games without him playing really well. So, that right there is big time for the growth of this team. I’m not worried about Kyrie’s shooting, Kyrie will be fine…He is doing a real good job of finding people as well. He is still being aggressive which is what I want him to do…I want him to be aggressive, but he is just not knocking them down on a consistent basis, but being aggressive like he is, he is also finding people as well and that is the happy-medium I was looking for.”
(On back-to-back wins): “I think the biggest thing it says is, they haven’t given up. They haven’t quit. Like we have been saying, they are going to play it out. We are going to keep playing as hard as we can and keep trying to learn and keep trying to develop as a team.”
(On tonight’s fourth quarter): “Our intensity. We were all focused and brought it in together. We fought together and that’s what we need on a night to night basis.”
(On his game tonight): “I’m probably in the worst shooting slump ever in my short career. I’m not really worried about that. I’m just going to anything I need to do in order to get the win. I’m going to fight for these guys. Obviously, my shot isn’t going to fall every night. It’s the law of averages. As long as I can contribute on the defensive end, that’s my job.”
(On if he likes the shots he’s getting): “I do. I feel like I’m worrying a little too much about the bigs in the paint as well. For example, my floaters; I’m shooting them a little too high. I’m worried about the bigs instead of going in and finishing. I’m conscious of it. I just need to go back in the gym and continue to get shots up. They’re going to eventually fall. As long as we’re winning, I’m ok with it.”
(On if he’s looking to pass more with his shot not falling): “I try to do that even when my shot is falling. I get it going a little bit. Now I’m seeing a lot more open spaces. Defenses are honing in on me a lot more. Our bigs are rolling to the rim a lot better than they were at the beginning of the year and I’m finding them. I’m finding shooters a lot better too and they’re knocking it down. That always helps.”
(On his game tonight): “I’m just playing with energy…As bigs, our responsibility is to come and rebound, play hard and that’s what I did the last two nights. I’m just going to try to keep it up the rest of the year.”
(On him being a leader lately): “It’s just being myself. Being natural and speaking up if I see something wrong. Like anyone on our team, if they think something is wrong and they have an opinion to say about something, they have to speak up. Just recently you have been coming to me and I’ve been speaking, so I guess you can say I’ve been a leader.”
(On the difference in their defense between the defense in the first and second half): “It was our rotations in the first half. We kind of didn’t help each other…It was kind of just miscommunication. Coach told us to talk in the second half and that’s what we did. We tightened up on the defensive end.”
Magic Head Coach Jacque Vaughn
(On losing the lead): “I think you just have to be more selfish and want more than just a four or six-point lead going into the fourth (quarter). We had good defensive possessions throughout the course of the night. We got into a couple of opportunities where we were good until the end and then we bailed them out with a bad foul or something of that nature, but we continue to get better and want more.”
(On what his team learned from the loss): “We still had a chance to win the game. We were 1-13 from three, but defensively we were pretty solid tonight in giving ourselves a chance. You have to continue to increase your focus as the game goes along. We can’t have blown assignments. That’s a part of the game where you have to lock in mentally as the game goes on…We’re going in the right direction and that’s a great thing. I think the guys see it and feel it throughout the course of the game. There’s been multiple games, even on this trip, where we’re in ball games and have the opportunity to win. As we continue to grow and learn, we’ll win those games.”
(On committing too many fouls in the fourth quarter): “That’s what the game boiled down to. We’ll continue to learn. What I do love is Kyle (O’Quinn) taking a charge and (the opponent) scores. That’s okay. That’s the effort we want. We’ll leave it up to the referees to call a block or charge, but we have to get in the position where we don’t have to foul. That’s where we’ll continue to grow as a team…We’ve been better at it. Andrew (Nicholson) drew a charge last game. We had guys step up tonight and try to take charges. We see it, but when you’re not in the position to take a charge doesn’t mean you have to foul.”
(On Nikola Vucevic): “He was really good. In the scouting report, we talked about how (the Cavs) bigs were pretty good over the series with us, offensive rebounding and being pretty physical. Nik really stepped up and tried to set the tone for our bigs tonight which was great to see.”
(On the fourth quarter): “They made their run and came back. We just didn’t make enough plays towards the end of the game. That kind of hurt us. We just have to learn from it, get better from it and go onto the next game.”
(On if youth is a concern down the stretch): “I think it’s a matter of experience, but at the same time it’s a great opportunity for us young guys to be out there in the fourth quarter to learn and start to experience a loss and gain the value that’s at stake for us.”
(On what his team needs to do late in the game): “We obviously have to get stops towards the end of the game. We have to be smart on the offensive end towards the end of the game during stretches…We got some clean looks and it didn’t fall for us, but we have to know that we can’t foul at the end of the game. We just have to play our defense. If we get the stops, we go back on offense to score.”
• With the victory tonight, the Cavaliers have won three straight contests against the Magic and finish the season series 3-1.
• Cleveland’s bench outscored Orlando’s reserves 34-10. Since Wayne Ellington and Marreese Speights played their first game as Cavaliers on January 25th, the bench has contributed at least 30 points in 25 of 33 games. The Cavs reserves are averaging 36.6 points per game over that span.
• The Cavaliers connected on 7-17 (.412) from the three-point line tonight. Cleveland has shot at least .400 from long range 28 times this season.
• The Cavs held the Magic to .077 (1-13) shooting from behind the arc. The last time the Cavaliers held an opponent to .077 shooting or under from the three-point line was on December 17, 2008 when Cleveland held Minnesota to .071 (1-14) shooting.
• Cleveland shot 20-24 (.833) from the foul line. The Cavs have shot at least .800 from the charity stripe 28 times this season. Over the last three games the Cavs are shooting .855 (65-76) from the free throw line.
• Alonzo Gee recorded a team-high 19 points on 7-12 (.583) shooting from the field and seven rebounds in 32 minutes. Gee has scored in double figures in three of his last four games and is averaging 13.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 31.5 minutes per game during that stretch.
• Tristan Thompson tallied his second straight double-double (28th of the season) with 15 points, 16 rebounds and three blocks in 37 minutes. Over his last two contests, Thompson is averaging 22.0 points, 16.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 39.0 minutes per game.
• Shaun Livingston had a solid all-around game with 12 points, a season-high six rebounds, a season-high tying six assists, two steals and two blocks in 25 minutes off the bench. Livingston has scored in double figures in eight of his last nine games and is averaging 10.9 points, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 27.1 minutes per game during that stretch.
• Kyrie Irving recorded a near double-double with nine points, four rebounds, 10 assists and two steals in 36 minutes. The Cavs are a perfect 4-0 this season when Irving has at least 10 assists.