Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Pistons

April 9, 2014
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Cavaliers Head Coach Mike Brown

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(On the game tonight):
“Obviously, I thought our guys played a good basketball game. We hit a little lull in the third quarter but besides that, I thought the little things we always talk about were really good tonight. We got off the ball very well. The ball was hopping in the first half. Nobody held on to it longer than what they should have. The floor was spaced. Bodies were moving. We tried to execute our pace in the full court and half court which was great. We hit the little lull in the third quarter, but I thought (Jarrett) Jack and (Matthew Dellavedova) Delly came onto the floor and got us going again and got the game back where we felt it should have been based on how we played.”

(On receiving multiple solid efforts):
“Everybody played good. Obviously, I mentioned Jack and Delly. Delly with 14 (points) and 12 (assists), if he knew how to rebound he would have had a triple-double. Our two starting guards had 13 assists and three turnovers between the two of them. That’s really efficient. Kyrie’s efficiency in the first half was spectacular in terms of his numbers and his play. He didn’t force anything. Basically to have eight (points), five (rebounds) and five (assists) in the first half was terrific. I thought his pace was great and it rubbed off on the rest of the team. It was just a good win trying to play the right way throughout the 48 minutes. You give credit (to Detroit). They missed some shots, but I thought defensively our guys fought and tried to play the right way.”

(On his team’s 41 assists):
“I think if you go back and look at our numbers the first two months of the season and you compare them to even February, I think we’ve gotten better every month. Our offensive numbers over the last two months and our defensive numbers have been good. The 41 assists were obviously spectacular tonight on 53 field goals. That’s really good. Can we get that every night? No, but that type of basketball, the stuff that we saw out here tonight, that’s the way we want to play most of the time. We have been playing that way quite a bit. We’ve taken our lumps and a couple of steps backwards at times, but our guys have gotten better in that area and it shows statistically. It probably shows record-wise too compared to the beginning of the season and the first couple of months when were still searching to find our way.”

(On the direction of the team):
“I feel good about the direction that we’re going. Again, I think we have to keep understanding that every time we step out, we gotta grow, we gotta get better and our guys have shown that so far. We need to go have a good practice tomorrow and a good shootaround and play the right way against Milwaukee so that we can continue making steps forward. Hopefully, we don’t take too many steps backwards the last few weeks of the season.”


Kyrie Irving

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(On missing out on the playoffs and finishing the season strong):
“(Finishing strong) is the main focus right now. Obviously, Atlanta is a great team and took our chances away. They showed why they deserve it, but on the flip side, we have three games left and it’s an opportunity for us to continue to get better at the end of the season.”

(On what clicked well for the team tonight):
“I think it was the way we started off the game. There was a different focus level; a great one. We were just getting each other involved in all facets of the game, trusting each other on defense. Our rotations were great. (We) had a little bit of a lull at the beginning of the third quarter and coach (Brown) told us to watch out for that because we have a habit of coming out lackadaisical, but we got it together.”

(On if he thinks back to games that got away earlier in the season):
“Yeah, you have no choice. It’s more of an empty feeling that you have now that your chances are done. You think about the things you could’ve done, should’ve done, and it’s inevitable. It’s definitely going to be on my mind. There were a lot of positives though that we can take from (the season). You always want to compete for something as special as the playoffs, but our chances were snapped tonight.”


Anderson Varejao

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(On missing out on the playoffs):
“It’s tough. Going into the season we thought we had a chance to make the playoffs. We had some ups and downs during the season, we had some injuries and we didn’t make the playoffs. We just need to finish the season strong and looking forward to next season.”

(On if he feels good about the direction the team is headed in):
“I do feel good and everybody is starting to understand what they need to do and what we all need to do as a team, on offense and defense to win games. We know we have to compete for 48 minutes, we know we have to move the ball and we know we have to play defense; everything for 48 minutes. If we do that next season and if we keep getting better, we have a good chance (of making the playoffs).”


PISTONS HEAD COACH JOHN LOYER

(On tonight’s game):
“It looked like a totally different team than we saw last night. We were the aggressors from the opening tip last night. Tonight, we were back on our heels. The Cavs have a lot of good offensive players. They can score the ball. That rim starts looking pretty big and it looked awful big for them tonight. We didn’t play the way we have been, and we certainly didn’t compete the way we competed last night.”

(On Pistons’ ball movement):
“We’re built a little bit different than a lot of these teams. We don’t really play as traditional for the most part. We don’t have a whole bunch of pick-and-roll players. You kind of play to what your talent is and our talent isn’t completely spreading the floor and shooting a bunch of threes.”

(On effort in third quarter):
“We were embarrassed in the first half. This is an unforgiving league. (The Cavaliers) didn’t care that we went and beat Atlanta last night. They were sitting here wanting to get a win just as bad as anybody. This league doesn’t care. The message was that we need to keep competing. We didn’t compete in the first two quarters. Some guys showed some heart and competed, but we cut it to 20 and the next thing you know, it goes back to 29. The better team won tonight. They outworked us.”


BRANDON JENNINGS

(On tonight’s game):
“Mainly, we weren’t getting back on defense and they were making shots when we weren’t. I think at one point we missed 11 straight shots in the first half. We definitely can’t win like that.”

(On motivation to end the season on a positive note):
“It’s still the NBA. Guys still want to play regardless. We’re still going to keep playing.”

(On Peyton Siva):
“He’s running the team and getting into the paint. I just told him to go out there and play. (To) have a free spirit and don’t look over at the bench. Just keep playing.”


PEYTON SIVA

(On recent playing time):
“I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m just trying to go out there and play hard. It’s tough to go out there and lose like that. I’m learning the game speeds and different reads. Today, it was tough. It was a learning experience. You see how the NBA is - one night you feel like you’re on top of the world, the next night you’re at the bottom.”


CAVALIERS NOTES:

  • With tonight’s 122-100 victory over the Pistons, the Cavaliers improved to 6-3 over the last nine games and have won five straight against Central Division teams. Cleveland finished the season series with a 3-1 record against Detroit.

  • Mike Brown registered his 304th career victory with the Cavs, which ties him with Bill Fitch for 2nd place all-time and now trails only Lenny Wilkins (316).

  • The Cavs scored 122 points (season-high in regulation) on 53-93 (.570) shooting. Cleveland has shot .500 or better from the field 11 times this season, including in six of the last 12 games. In 12 games since Mar. 18, the Cavs are averaging 102.3 points while hitting on .479 of their shots and dishing out 25.0 assists per game.

  • The Cavs dished out a season-high 41 assists on 53 made field goals. The last time Cleveland tallied 41 or more assists was April 24, 1994 versus Boston (41 assists).

  • Cleveland held Detroit to 34-96 (.354) shooting from the field, including 9-28 (.321) from the three-point line. The Cavs have held consecutive opponents to under .400 shooting from the field and improved to 14-2 on the season when they hold their opponent under .400 shooting. Since Feb. 9 (29 games), the Cavs’ defense is holding teams to .437 shooting from the field.

  • Cleveland outscored Detroit 69-37 in the first half on 30-47 (.638) shooting, including 7-14 (.500) from the three-point line. The Cavs dished out 26 assists in the half, which set the franchise record for assists in a half (Previously: 25 in 1st H vs. NJ 2/2/89 & 25 in 2nd H vs. CHA 4/9/92). The 26 assists in a half are also an NBA season-high.

  • In the first quarter, the Cavs tallied 14 assists on 14 made field goals, which is the most assists by the Cavs in a quarter while assisting on every basket since the third quarter of April 6, 2010 versus Toronto (15 and 15).

  • Seven Cavs players finished in double figures in scoring: Dion Waiters (22), Tyler Zeller (18), Spencer Hawes (15), Matthew Dellavedova (14), Luol Deng (13), Anderson Varejao (11) and Tristan Thompson (10). Cleveland has had seven players finish with 10-plus points four times this season (1/10/14 at UTA, 2/3/14 at DAL, 2/18/14 at PHI).

  • After holding Detroit to 38 points in the paint tonight, Cleveland has allowed fewer than 45 points in the paint in 18 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the NBA.

  • Dion Waiters tallied a game-high 22 points on 9-18 (.500) shooting, including a season-high tying 4-8 (.500) from the three-point line, three rebounds and eight assists in 31 minutes. Waiters has recorded eight 20-point performances in the last 11 games. Since re-entering the starting lineup (12 games), Waiters is averaging 21.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 38.0 minutes per game.

  • Tyler Zeller registered 18 points on 9-11 (.818) shooting, six rebounds and two blocks in 24 minutes off the bench. Zeller scored in double figures for the eighth time this season.

  • Spencer Hawes notched 15 points on 6-8 (.750) shooting, including 3-3 from the three-point line, eight rebounds and three assists in 19 minutes. Hawes has nailed at least three triples in 10 of his 24 games with the Cavs. In 24 games with the Cavs, Hawes is shooting .457 (43-94) from the three-point line.

  • Matthew Dellavedova recorded his third career double-double with 14 points on 5-8 (.625) shooting, including 4-6 (.667) from the three-point line, four rebounds and a career-high 12 assists in 31 minutes off the bench. In four games against the Pistons this season, Dellavedova averaged 12.0 points on .640 (16-25) shooting, including .714 (10-14) from the three-point line, and 6.5 assists in 26.5 minutes per game.

  • Luol Deng finished with 13 points on 6-12 (.500) shooting and seven assists in 25 minutes.

  • Anderson Varejao posted his 16th double-double of the season with 11 points on 5-8 (.625) shooting and a team-high 12 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench. Varejao has pulled down at least 12 rebounds 23 times this season.