Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Magic
(On the game tonight): “I thought our guys came out the right way and tried to do a nice job defensively and it showed in the score and their (Orlando) shooting percentage. They missed some shots but you gotta applaud our guys for their effort and focus they came out with in the game. We talked about trying to come out in that third quarter and play the right way. We just weren’t quite getting to guys. A few guys hit some threes. We didn’t do a good job of contesting and next thing you know it was a ball game. But a lot of different guys stepped up.”
(On different guys stepping up): “I thought Jarrett Jack was extremely vocal the entire basketball game. He was really good on the floor. He was really good off the floor, on the bench and in the huddles. He kept the guys into it the right way. He had six rebounds, six assists and 10 points. That’s a big night for him. Same with Lu (Luol Deng). I thought Lu was really good with being vocal and being a veteran out there in the huddles and on the floor. He came up and hit that big three at the end of the game to give us a little bit of a separation. Kyrie (Irving) was terrific. Again, two guards out there in Kyrie and Jarrett combined for 13 rebounds and 13 assists. That’s a big night on top of that 32 points. That’s a big night for our backcourt. Anthony Bennett, again hitting the glass with nine rebounds in 16 minutes. Tristan, his double-double, I don’t know how many in a row he has, but it seems like that’s a standard for him. I can go up and down the list and talk about every guy but the last guy I want to hit is Tyler (Zeller). Tyler has been playing some good basketball for us. I thought his bucket late in the game was huge. He’s really starting to show that he can be a physical presence without a play called for him. He can be a physical presence on the glass. He can be a physical presence in the paint, especially when he rolls to the rim in pick and roll action. He’s a dual threat because he doesn’t have to roll all the time. He can pop and knock down that jump shot. He played very well for us. I am proud of our guys for finding a way to get a win.”
(On what he’s seeing from the team during the streak): “A little bit more comfort of what we’re trying to do down the stretch. We’re being a little more consistent with our defense, knowing that if we miss a shot or two we can get a stop and believe that somebody is going to make a play for us at the other end of the floor. Just the belief more than anything else.”
(On how important it is for the team to start games off strong): “It’s really important, from the team morale standpoint and continuing the streak. That was the most important thing and a couple of games after the All-Star break are tough sometimes. I know our guys were working really hard over the All-Star break coming in. I know we all had our focus hats on and we just wanted to come out and get these two wins.”
(On holding off the Magic’s late run): “No matter how tight the game is, or what the score is, or how much of a points spread it is, now that we’ve been on this winning streak, we know what it feels like to be on both sides; either down or up, or playing a tight game or playing with a lead. Obviously, teams are going to make their runs, but we kept our composure over the last few games and we bought into our defense and we relied heavily on it and that’s what it takes to win games in this league.”
(On what has impressed him the most over the current winning streak): “It’s been nothing specific. We’re just coming together as a team and we’re enjoying the game out there more. There are a lot more smiles and a higher level of competitiveness. We’re having fun, but we’re also competing. That’s what you want from everybody on the team.”
(On his late put-back layup): “I was just trying to be aggressive. I’m not totally sure how I ended up getting (the ball), but I was just trying to tip it and keep it alive. Somehow it ended up in my hands and I was pretty confident after I got it in my hands that I could make (the basket). I just went up strong with it and was able to draw the foul.”
(On if he’s starting to play aggressive without even thinking about it): “A little bit. It’s one of those things that my teammates have done a great job of too. (They’re) kind of keeping me up and trying to make sure I stay aggressive and just try to attack a little bit. It’s just playing with confidence too. You have to be confident that what you’re going to do is the right thing to do and you just have to go with it.”
(On Orlando’s slow start): “It’s tough, kind of fighting uphill. It’s tough to be on the road and have to dig out of that hole a little bit. It’s just tough to do with the amount of energy and mental stress you put on yourself just to get back into the game.”
(On third quarter success): “The ball was really moving. It was a noticeable difference between the first half and second half. Our activity level on the defensive end of the floor was great. That’s how we have to start games. That’s the challenge for us, especially on the road.”
(On the Cavaliers): “They really started out well and they’ve been playing well. They jumped on us pretty quickly and got to the bucket.”
(On curing Orlando’s first half struggles): “I have no secret formula. They can see how the second half transpired and that’s the formula right there. It’s being able to have that approach. Whatever it takes to muster that energy and mental toughness at the beginning of the game, that’s what it’s going to take.”
(On the game): “We just came out very slow and sloppy. Defensively, we weren’t doing the right things and offensively we were taking quick shots. We can’t start games off like that. It’s hard to come back when they have confidence like that.”
(On fighting back during the game): “It’s pretty difficult. (The Cavaliers) got their confidence going and they started feeling good about themselves. On the road, your margin of error is very slim.”
(On Orlando’s struggles early): “We came out flat. I don’t know the specific reason. I guess we weren’t tuned in and we weren’t doing the right things. We just came out sloppy and we weren’t ready.”
(On difference between the first and second half): “Our focus was a lot better in the second half. Being down, we knew that we just had to go out there and play. We had to play like we knew we really needed that game and that’s what we did. We have to start the games really focused.”
• With tonight’s 101-93 victory over the Magic, the Cavaliers are now on a six-game winning streak, their longest since winning eight straight contests from Mar. 8-24, 2010. During the win streak, the Cavs are outscoring opponents 103.8 to 93.7 (+10.1) and dishing out 23.5 assists. Defensively, the Cavs have held opponents to .415 (209-504) shooting from the field, including .291 (37-127) from the three-point line over the last six games.
• Cleveland has won six consecutive games against Orlando, dating back to Feb. 8, 2013. Over that stretch, the Cavs have outscored the Magic 104.2 to 93.5. They are also averaging 22.8 assists and 10.8 turnovers in the last six contests against Orlando. In the three matchups this season, the Cavs have held the Magic to a combined .403 (104-258) shooting from the field.
• The Cavs held the Magic to 35-89 (.393) shooting from the field, including 6-22 (.273) from the three-point line. Cleveland is 10-1 on the season when they hold opponents to under .400 shooting. The Cavs jumped out to a 26-11 lead after the first quarter, holding the Magic to 3-21 (.143) shooting, including 1-6 (.167) from the three-point line. The 11 points by the Magic are a season-low in a quarter by a Cavaliers opponent.
• Cleveland outrebounded Orlando 51-45. The Cavs are 19-9 on the season, including 14-5 at home when they tie or outrebound their opponent. The Cavs pulled down 10 offensive rebounds leading to 19 second chance points. Since the 2014 calendar year, the Cavs are pulling down 14.0 offensive rebounds per game and scoring 15.9 second chance points. Cleveland’s 18 straight games of at least 10 second chance points is tied with Detroit for the longest active streak in the NBA.
• Kyrie Irving tallied a team-high 22 points, seven rebounds and a team-high seven assists in 38 minutes. Irving has topped 20 points in 13 of the last 17 games (since Jan. 15). He is also shooting .918 (78-85) from the free throw line over the past 17 contests with averages of 21.1 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.4 steals in 35.2 minutes per game.
• Tristan Thompson posted his fourth straight double-double (26th this season) with 16 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting, a game-high 14 rebounds (career-high 13 defensive) in 39 minutes. Over the past four games, Thompson is averaging 17.3 points on .591 (26-44) shooting, 13.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 32.5 minutes per game.
• Tyler Zeller recorded 16 points on 4-5 (.800) shooting, including 8-9 (.889) from the free throw line, six rebounds, two assists and a season-high tying three blocks in 31 minutes. Zeller finished in double figures in points for the fifth time this season.
• Luol Deng finished with 17 points, three rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes. Deng posted double figures in points for the 14th time in 19 contests with the Cavaliers.
• Jarrett Jack had a solid all-around game with 10 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks in 34 minutes. Jack has dished out at least six assists in three consecutive games.
• Anthony Bennett grabbed nine rebounds to go along with seven points in 16 minutes off the bench. Bennett has grabbed at least nine rebounds in three of the last four games.