Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Mavericks
(On today’s game):
“I thought tonight was a night that we got beat a little bit by the turnover game. We had 15 turnovers but they converted a lot of those into points. Twenty-one points off of our 15 turnovers was tough, especially when you’re talking about them having eight turnovers and us scoring five points off them. I thought in the first half when our second unit came out on the floor, they were a little flat. I thought DeJuan Blair just had a huge first half against us. He really impacted the game, (shooting) 5-for-5 from the field. He had a few rebounds, helped Dallas create the separation and next thing you know we’re down 20 (points). Give our guys credit because they kept fighting and gave us a chance in the second half.”
(On the difference in the first and second half):
“Our second half demeanor. Tristan (Thompson) had one rebound I think at halftime and Andy (Anderson Varejao) might have had five. Andy ends up with 21 and Tristan ends up with 10. It was just a different ball game for us coming out in the second half. There was a stretch in the first half, especially towards the end of the first quarter and going into the second quarter where defensively we couldn’t get a stop. Offensively, I thought we had some good looks but couldn’t get a bucket. You give Dallas credit for coming in here and getting a win.”
(On the last inbounding play):
“If you go back and watch the play, Kyrie (Irving) was wide open. It was supposed to go to Kyrie on the weak side of the floor. (Jarrett) Jack said he couldn’t see him because they did a nice job of jumping up and down and guarding the basketball on the inbounds play. The ball was supposed to go to Kyrie on the weak side of the floor for a three. We did a great job of executing it. I don’t know if we’ve ever been that wide open before at the end of games on a situation like that. Jack just couldn’t see him.”
(On who he want to inbound the ball at the end of games):
“Either Jarrett Jack or Luol Deng. Jack has done a great job of inbounding the basketball. We have not had a problem with Jack inbounding the ball. He’s very, very reliable. He’s a heady, heady veteran. I wanted Luol on the floor because I wanted another guy who had some size just in case they screwed up a screen. They had a bigger guy on Luol. Luol was involved in the screen situation and if they screwed that up then maybe Luol pops and he’s able to knock down the three. A lot of times it’ll be one of those two guys but because I wanted Luol involved in the screening situation as another screener for Kyrie, as opposed to three smalls where they might switch everything, I opted to having Jarrett Jack take it out.”
(On what he thinks of the team after 41 games):
“We’re getting better. We still have our ups and downs like most teams. We put guys in a lot of situations where we’re expected to win. We’re still learning ourselves. I think we’ve improved offensively. We’ve improved defensively. We’re not sitting where we want to sit record-wise but even after all the ups and downs and adding Luol, you like the direction that we’re going.”
(On the difference between the first and second half):
“I just thought we played with a lot more urgency in the second half. In the first half, we couldn’t get any stops. Our energy kind of dropped. We couldn’t really get out on the floor and run. We let frustration get to us. When they came down and scored, instead of just taking it in and look for the next play, we kind of dropped our heads a little bit. That’s the bad, and the good was coming back. We just came back short. We all hopefully realize the way we played in the second half, with a lot more energy, that’s who we have to be. We have to come together and realize who we want to be. If we played the whole game like we did in the second half, we would have given ourselves a better chance.”
(On if the team felt sluggish because of the West Coast trip):
“You could tell we just didn’t come out with a sense of urgency, but we can’t use the West Coast time as an excuse. Usually, the game coming back from a long West Coast trip is one of the toughest. We tried to get over that hump. (Dallas) got out to a lead and got some stops. There were some plays where I just have to be better.”
(On if it has become as much mental as it is physical to try to come back in games):
“Yeah, we knew what we had to do. We just had to execute our game plan and just trust one another, especially on both ends of the floor. It started on the defensive end; we started to get stops, three, four in a row and we started to get back in the game. But like I said, some things didn’t go our way and now we go home with a loss.”
(On the team’s last inbound play):
“It was going to be a tough pass. I mean you had Brandon Wright on Jarrett Jack taking the ball out. It was a crucial turnover. Obviously, we’ll see what we can do and learn from it.”
(On if the team is turning the corner):
“Yeah, but for us, we just have to come out with a better sense of urgency. It starts with me, on and off the floor; just have to do a better job of just encouraging my teammates and being there for each other when I get back out there and leading this team. But I can definitely feel a sense of optimism and we’re definitely more comfortable playing together now, especially with plays down the stretch.”
(On tonight’s game):
“Tale of two halves. You can never win the game in the first half, but you can definitely put yourself in a hole and it can cost you the game. The good thing is that we fought back, but the first half put us in a big hole. We tried to dig out if it. Close, but not close enough.”
(On what brought out the energy in the second half):
“Playing with some pride. Coming back from the west coast trip where we did well. In front of our home fans, the performance we had in the first half wasn’t acceptable for both ourselves and the organization. We wanted to show a little better than that. (In the second half,) we came out with some urgency and we came out with some fight.”
(On what Coach Brown said at halftime):
“We just had to play. (We needed) a sense of urgency. We weren’t there for each other on the defensive end and then offensively, we couldn’t make shots, but we can’t have that dictate our offense with a lack of defense.”
(On the game down the stretch):
“It’s the NBA. It’s supposed to get hairy. I’d love us to hit every shot and get every stop but when you’re on the road, teams battle back if they get behind. We did a good job of holding them off. It got to two and we had to get a couple of stops and score and we got it done. That’s what it’s about."
(On Shawn Marion’s performance):
“I thought Marion had the biggest impact on our team. He was playing extremely hard. His shot making was there, his defense and rebounding. He really got us going with his overall activity.”
(On the Mavericks bench play):
“We had a lot of guys step up and do good things on offense. We had to play 11 guys to get the win. Everybody that stepped in there did something good for us. That’s kind of how our team is built.”
(On the Cavaliers fighting back):
“That’s what the Dallas Mavericks have done lately. Hopefully we can learn from that. We have seen this whole year that this league is getting closer and closer talent-wise. If you have a lead, you have to work at it. It doesn’t matter who you play, everybody is going to be right there.”
(On tonight’s performance as a team):
“We came out with the win. We stuck together and made plays down the stretch when we needed to.”
(On building the 24-point lead):
“We came out with a lot of energy and got a lot of deflections and got out and ran.”
(On preserving the lead):
“You got to look at the clock. When we are ahead, that’s the smart thing to do. We put ourselves in a position to do that. We tried to take as much time as we could off the clock.”
- Cleveland outrebounded Dallas 46-39, including 14-8 on the offensive glass leading to a 16-11 second chance points advantage. In the second half, the Cavs had a 33-15 rebounding advantage. In ten January games, the Cavs are outrebounding its opponents by an average margin of 6.4 rebounds per game (47.3 to 40.9). In January, Cleveland is averaging 13.1 offensive rebounds and 14.6 second chance points per game.
- Kyrie Irving tallied a game-high 26 points, two rebounds, a game-high nine assists and two steals in 40 minutes. 16 of his points came in the third quarter on 6-9 (.667) shooting. Irving has scored at least 20 points in nine of the last ten games at The Q (since Dec. 4), averaging 27.4 points, 7.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 37.5 minutes per game over that span. He has 20 games this season of at least 20 points.
- Anderson Varejao posted his 10th double-double of the season (82nd career) with a season-high tying 18 points on 7-12 (.583) shooting, a game-high 21 rebounds (season-high tying 17 defensive), four assists and two steals in 38 minutes. With two steals this afternoon, Varejao now has 475 career steals passing John Bagley (474) for 8th place in franchise history. He posted 20-plus rebounds for the fifth time of his career including the second time this season. Varejao has grabbed at least 11 rebounds in 11 of the last 12 contests (since Dec. 29), averaging 14.8 rebounds to go along with 11.0 points, 3.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 block in 33.1 minutes per game over that stretch.
- Luol Deng recorded 20 points on 5-8 (.625) shooting, including 2-4 (.500) from the three-point line, two rebounds, three assists and one steal in 35 minutes. In six games as a Cavalier, Deng is averaging 18.7 points, including .500 (10-20) from the three-point line, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 31.3 minutes per game.
- Tristan Thompson registered his fourth consecutive double-double (20th of the season) with 19 points on 6-11 (.545) shooting, 10 rebounds and one block in 39 minutes. Over the past four contests, Thompson is averaging a double-double with 16.0 points on .558 (24-43) shooting, 10.8 rebounds and 1.0 block in 38.0 minutes per game. Thompson has also notched a double-double in nine of the last 12 contests (since Dec. 29), including seven of the last eight games.