Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Pacers
(On the game tonight): “I thought our guys competed tonight. I thought they tried to play the game the right way versus a very good Pacers team. We gave ourselves a chance to win because we tried to do the little things right. It wasn’t always pretty but I thought we did a great job with covering for one another, especially on the defensive end of the floor. We showed grittiness and toughness. Obviously, that’s a very good team in the other locker room so you give them credit for getting the win, but I definitely liked the fight that our guys showed tonight. The thing you like about it is we got stops, we kept pushing the pace, pushing the pace and we got some stuff in early offense, and that was something we tried to preach before the game because you don’t want to go against their set defense all the time. It’s tough to go against their set defense all the time and our guys did a nice job of trying to attack after getting stops.”
(On the last few offensive plays in the fourth quarter): “Indiana did a nice job at the end of the game in that situation. We felt that we had a look early that we had missed and then we were late coming off of another screen. So that particular play was just an execution thing that we have to continue to get better at. I basically drew up the same play the first time, and when we went out there, we weren’t in the right spots and that’s why I had to use another 20 (second timeout) to get our guys in the right spots. It’s a great learning experience for us, and hopefully we’ll get better at this as time goes on.”
(On his confidence in Dion Waiters late in the game): “The confidence in Dion has been there. He’s a talented guy offensively and he knows it. Everybody knows it. He just has to continue making sure that he continues trying to make the right play for us like we all do.”
(On what he liked in the second half): “I thought in the second half, especially as the game went a long, all of our guys stepped up their level of intensity and grittiness. That’s what gave us a chance to win. We were getting stop after stop after stop which allowed us to run out. We were moving the basketball, spacing the floor and setting solid screens for one another. If we continue to do that then good things will happen for us.”
(On what the team can take away from tonight’s loss): “Another tough loss. (We) fought back, never put our heads down when (Indiana) went up by 16 in the fourth (quarter). We just fought back. These types of losses hurt because we were right there. We’ve been there all year long though. Once we find a way to close these games out, we’ll be really good.”
(On how Indiana defended him): “I mean you still have to be aggressive no matter what. Coming off of screens, (the Pacers) were blitzing me and things like that and I got in foul trouble. They did a pretty good job and I was frustrated a little bit, but that’s what they do. They’re a playoff team.”
(On if it was his plan all the way to attack the basket late): “Yeah, I’m not going to bail anyone out. I feel that Paul George is a good defender, but I knew I could get by him. There was that next guy you had to worry about and if I could’ve done it differently, I would’ve. I was just trying to be aggressive in that moment and put the pressure on the refs to make the call.”
(On what he would have done differently): “Probably a little one-dribble, two-dribble pull-up (jumper), but I was just trying to be aggressive.”
(On if he’ll change the way he attacks Indiana next time): “Yeah next time I get in that position, it’ll be a lot different. I had a couple of moves that I could have made, but it is what it is. I was just trying to be aggressive.”
(On tonight’s game): “It was a good win for our guys. Games like that are never as easy as they should be, when you have a bunch of key guys out. They’re dangerous games and I give our guys credit for playing a great game and doing enough to get a win.”
(On “style points” tonight): “There was no style points tonight. None. Zero. I can assure you of that. Unless you like defense. Our defense was pretty strong most of the night. We weren’t fouling, we were showing good discipline and forced enough turnovers and forced enough misses. Defense was strong, it held up. Another poor shooting night kind of like we had the last time we played the Cavs, but our defense carried us.”
(On the difference down the stretch tonight): “We finally got (Dion) Waiters under control. He had a stretch there where he had four straight baskets including a big three. We were able to, in the last two minutes, adjust the matchups and get a couple stops on him and do enough to get the win.”
(On late game execution regarding defense): “That’s what we talk about. Late games where the team is making a run or we are trying to make a run, we always have confidence, in the final four minutes of the game, that we can get a stop and our guys were able to do that tonight.”
(On the fourth quarter): “It’s always tough when a team gets going and everyone seems to have confidence. I just thought Dion Waiters did a great job in the fourth quarter of kind of putting the team on his shoulders and making plays down the stretch.”
(On what tonight showed about coming together and being resilient): “We’ve been in that situation so many times. I know coach is going to be on us about giving up a big lead. We feel like we’ve been in that position so many times where we know how to play in that situation. The best thing for us was to just stay together and hold them off for the last couple possessions.”
(On their defensive execution): “We didn’t finish the game the right way. They just hung around and hung around and obviously they made some shots, but our defense held strong.”
(On “style points” of tonight): “We just want to win. Bottom line is we just want to win. We know this team is dangerous. They have guys that could light it up, hit shots and obviously they’re a threat on the glass. I thought when it came down to it, our defense held up.”
(On if there is a difference in play with Irving and Jack being out): “We try to avoid that. Knowing this is a team of professionals, either way you shake it. They play differently at home. We knew we were going to be in for a tough game.”
- Cleveland held a 49-42 rebounding edge over Indiana, including 16-10 on the offensive glass. Over the last four games, the Cavaliers are outrebounding their opponents 50.3 to 41.3, including 14.8 to 8.0 on the offensive glass.
- The Cavs shot 18-20 (.900) from the free throw line. This is the fourth time this season the Cavs have shot at least .900 from the free throw line.
- Cleveland held Indiana to 28-77 (.364) shooting from the field. The Cavs have held their opponents under .400 shooting six times this season. The Cavaliers held the Pacers to 82 points which ties their season-low in points scored this season (1/1/14 at TOR).
- C.J. Miles recorded a game-high 21 points on 8-13 (.615) shooting, six rebounds, three assists and a season-high tying three steals in 37 minutes. Over the past three contests (since Jan. 2), Miles is averaging 18.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals in 32.0 minutes per game.
- Anderson Varejao tallied a game-high 13 rebounds to go along with seven points, two steals and one block in 27 minutes. With his fifth rebound tonight, Varejao moves to 4th place in total rebounds in franchise history (passing L. James-3,861) with 3,870 total rebounds in his career. Varejao has recorded 10-plus rebounds 14 times this season and in each of the last five games. Over the past seven games (since Dec. 26), he is averaging 14.0 rebounds to go along with 9.3 points and 1.4 blocks in 33.1 minutes per game.
- Tristan Thompson posted his team-leading 14th double-double of the season (54th career) with 13 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes. Over his last 18 contests (since Nov. 30), Thompson is averaging a double-double with 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds in 33.8 minutes per game.
- Dion Waiters tallied 14 points (12 in 4th Q) and a team-high five assists in 32 minutes off the bench. Waiters is averaging 16.1 points as a reserve this season.
- Matthew Dellavedova finished with 11 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals in 41 minutes. Dellavedova has scored 10-plus points in consecutive games, averaging 12.0 points over that stretch.