Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Pacers
(On tonight’s game): “That was a good win by our guys. Indiana is a very, very physical team. They’re a veteran team that’s well-coached. Frank Vogel has done an excellent job with that group. They’ve been in big games on the road or at home and had a lot of success. One of the things we talked about doing was try to match their physicality and their energy but exceed it because if we matched it, we’d get beat. I thought our guys tried to do very well in that area. They took it to heart and it showed in our play. For these guys to score 76 points on 37 percent shooting, they missed some shots but I thought our guys did a nice job of scrambling for one another and trying to protect one another when a teammate got beat. There were different parts in the game too where I thought our guys just buckled down and tried to play the right way, especially defensively. There was a period in the third quarter where they went on a little run and we talked about it in the huddle. Our guys went out and got a few consecutive stops and pushed the lead again. Then in the fourth quarter, I thought we were getting stops but we were struggling to score and Dion (Waiters) hit some big baskets for us. Different guys stepped up at different times. Everybody that played, played well for us.”
(On ball movement): “It’s something that we continued to preach. Not just our pace in the full court, but our pace in the half court. Indiana is a very good team, a very long team. Even if we would have lost the game, offensively for us you can see that we got better from the last time we played them. That’s what you continue to look for. I even thought in the Brooklyn game we sped ourselves up a little bit and took some bad shots but defensively we were non-existent that game. That’s why we lost but at the end of the game, we ended up with 25 assists. The ball movement was there even though we didn’t play well, and it’s been there for a while. That’s something our guys have to continue to understand. Don’t go find the ball. Let the ball find you. We’ve done a better job in that area, including spacing the floor.”
(On the key to stopping Indiana’s runs): “Just getting a little more mature. Having a better understanding, belief and trust in yourself and your teammates at that time. We talked about this. You go to Golden State on the road and you’re down 18 and you stay the course. A lot of times, we don’t change anything in the huddles when we take timeouts. We just remind the guys that we can play harder. We remind the guys that we can play better. We remind the guys we can move the ball better. A lot of times, we’re hurting ourselves in those situations because we know how to play the game.”
(On what Jarrett Jack brings to the team): “That leadership on the floor and off the floor has been terrific, especially down the stretch in tight ball games. He’s kept us composed offensively. In the past, if we were down, we rushed ourselves or we were going too fast for the situation. No matter what the time and score is, Jack has done a terrific job of understanding and feeling the game in helping his teammates out.”
(On bouncing back every time Indiana made a run): “I think it was huge for us; Indiana made shots and we just had to stay calm. We knew they were going to make a run. At the end of the day, I was able to go out there and just make shots at the right time.”
(On playing in physical games): “It’s playoff basketball. (Indiana) is still playing for seeding and we’re trying to get into the playoffs. Coming in, we knew they were a physical team; one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. At the end of the day, we just came out there and threw the first punch. We weren’t on our heels early in the game and we just stayed with it.”
(On if today’s game was one of the team’s best efforts this season): “Yes, I believe so. Everybody played together, moved the ball and we threw the first punch and we didn’t back down. We kept coming at them all day and we got a huge win.”
(On continuing to push the ball while on the floor): “I think the starting group definitely set the tone for that today and really pushed the pace. They set the tone physically as well. Indiana likes to slow it down and play a half-court game, so we really tried to push the pace today.”
(On not allowing Indiana back into the game): “I thought we were pretty solid defensively all day. I think we did a better job of shrinking the court and helping the helper. That definitely paid off for us.”
(On the impact of hitting a team first): “Indiana is obviously a good team and is having a great season. To get out on them to start with gave everyone a good bit of confidence. We just tried to continue that.”
(On tonight’s game): “Credit the Cavs on playing the better basketball game. I thought we tried to play the right way, in terms of sharing the basketball offensively. We had trouble catching passes and trouble knocking down open shots. A lot of our guys are out of rhythm right now and we have to figure it out.”
(On recent struggles): “Obviously, we would have fixed it by now if it was something simple. I thought we took a step in terms of sharing the basketball the right way tonight, Paul George in particular.”
(On recent struggles): “I think we’re playing against ourselves right now. There’s a level of play that we’re trying to reach and we’re not close to where we need to be.”
(On upcoming game versus San Antonio): “It really doesn’t matter who we’re playing right now. We have to find a way to play with an offensive rhythm.”
(On his team’s defense): “(I wasn’t happy with it.) I thought our defense could have been better, but I don’t worry about our defense very much.”
(On offensive struggles): “We have to play together. Sometimes we’re missing the extra pass and somebody’s not getting a rebound or somebody is just messing up. We just have to play through it and keep playing hard. When we’re not rolling offensively, we need to rely on our defense and get good, easy baskets by pushing the ball.”
(On recent struggles): “We just have to play together. If somebody makes a mistake, use that as motivation for the next play. I think we’ll be all right. We’re having a tough stretch, but I think we’ll get through it. We just have to be motivated. We got this far. We can’t let down over the little things. We just have to play through it. We’ve had our struggles last season and the beginning of this season. We just have to keep playing hard.”
(On upcoming home stand): “I don’t think playing at home is the medicine (we need). I think playing together and playing as a unit more than anything (is). I think playing at home has nothing to do with anything. We just have to play together and trust our teammates.”
(On the Cavaliers): “A lot of guys that are playing now didn’t start with them at the beginning of the season. They’re trying to prove a point to their coach. We knew they were going to come out with a fight.”
• With today’s 90-76 victory over the Pacers, the Cavs have won four of their last five games. Cleveland has also won four straight games against Central Division opponents.
• Cleveland held Indiana to 76 points on 29-78 (.372) shooting from the field. The 76 points are a season-low by a Cavaliers opponent this season. The Cavs improved to 13-1 when they hold opponents to under.400 shooting from the field. Since Feb. 9 (25 games), the Cavs’ defense is holding teams to .438 shooting from the field.
• In the fourth quarter, the Cavs held the Pacers to 6-19 (.316) shooting, including 1-6 (.167) from the three-point line. Cleveland’s defense has held their last eight opponents to a combined .301 (43-143) shooting in the final period, including .176 (9-51) from the three-point line.
• Six Cavs players finished in double figures in scoring, including all five starters: Dion Waiters (19), Luol Deng (15), Spencer Hawes (13), Tristan Thompson (12), Jarret Jack (11), and Matthew Dellavedova (11). It marks the 12th time this season that the Cavs had at least six players score 10-plus points, including the sixth time in March (3/7 at CHA, 3/12 at PHX, 3/18 vs. MIA, 3/22 vs. HOU, 3/25 vs. TOR).
• The Cavs shot 17-21 (.810) from the free throw line. The Cavs have shot at least .800 from the foul line 24 times this season.
• Dion Waiters tallied a game-high 19 points and two steals in 33 minutes. Since re-entering the starting lineup (eight games), Waiters is averaging 22.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 39.9 minutes per game.
• Luol Deng finished with 15 points on 6-12 (.500) shooting, five rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes. Over his last eight games, Deng is averaging 16.4 points on .490 (49-100) shooting, 6.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 35.4 minutes per game.
• Spencer Hawes notched 13 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting and five rebounds in 33 minutes. In 20 games with the Cavs, Hawes is averaging 13.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 30.1 minutes per game.
• Tristan Thompson posted his career-high 32nd double-double of the season with 12 points, a game-high 16 rebounds (six offensive) and two steals in 30 minutes. Thompson has pulled down 16-plus rebounds three times this season (21 vs. DEN 12/4 & 16 at PHI 11/8).
• Jarrett Jack finished with 11 points, six rebounds, a game-high nine assists and one block in 36 minutes. Over the past eight games (since Mar. 18), Jack is averaging 15.0 points on .490 (49-100) shooting, 3.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 36.9 minutes per game.
• Matthew Dellavedova recorded 11 points on 3-6 (.500) shooting, including 2-4 (.500) from the three-point line, two rebounds and six assists in 30 minutes off the bench. Over the last seven contests, Dellavedova is averaging 10.6 points on .532 (25-47) shooting, including .556 (15-27) from the three-point line, 3.4 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 30.9 minutes per game.