Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Raptors
(On the game tonight): “When you give up 64 points in the second half, 35 in the fourth quarter, and I think they had 17 points at the eight-minute mark of the fourth quarter, you’re not going to win a lot of games. The thing that’s most frustrating is the fact that the last four or five games, the best anybody shot against us was 44 percent. So from a defensive standpoint, we took a step back. That’s something we can’t do.”
(On the second half): “We made so many defensive mistakes and they seemed to capitalize on every single one of them. All of our principles that we talk about and go through every single day…Their point production went up each quarter and then they had the explosion in the fourth quarter of getting 35 points. We just have to do a much better job of understanding that if you want to be successful, it’s on that end of the floor first. It has to be for 48 minutes. I think that as a team tonight we didn’t do a good job of staying involved and in tuned to what was going on on the floor.”
(On guarding Jose Calderon): “He’s very underrated and a very good point guard. To Kyrie’s credit tonight, I thought, defensively, he was the one guy that was giving a pretty good effort. We didn’t do a good job in our pick and roll defense of helping him. I thought Kyrie was that one guy that got up, applied pressure and tried to do the right things that we were asking him to do.”
(On what happened in the second half): “We just had some defensive breakdowns. It goes back to us being stagnant on offense and that leading to transition points. We need to execute more on the offensive end. They got into a rhythm and we just couldn’t stop it.”
(On if he’s worried that the team plays to the level of competition): “We’re not trying to make any excuses here, but when we play the lower echelon teams, we don’t come out like we want to. We’ve got to come out with a more focused attitude and a killer mentality. We’ve just got to find out what’s missing in those quarters that we’re having letdowns in.”
(On Jose Calderon): “He was just hitting shots. He’s not a tough matchup for me at all, but he just got off those screens and hit shots. We didn’t make the proper adjustments until it was too late.”
(On how he felt tonight): “I felt good. It was just good to get back out there and get up and down the court.”
(On if he felt rusty tonight): “No. Shots that I usually hit weren’t going down, so I tried to impact the game by just driving. I kept driving and just tried to stay aggressive.”
(On the team’s defensive play tonight): “I just think we need to be more vocal; everybody talking and having each others’ backs. We’ve just got to communicate better on the court and buckle down on the defensive end.”
Raptors Head Coach Dwane Casey
(On the game): “We didn’t start out the game the way we wanted to start out but we ended up playing the way we wanted to play. We were sleep walking and playing in mud in the first quarter and then guys got it going. Once we started getting to that point of playing to our personality which is hard work and hard play, we did that after the first quarter.”
(On three game-win streak): “We’re still digging ourselves out of a hole. You guys (media) were on our butts a week ago about how bad we were. We’re still in that hole. We’re digging ourselves out. We’re not satisfied and we’re still a work in progress. We’re not where we want to be but we’re not as bad as we were.”
(On positives of current win streak): “Everybody has bought in and they are believing. These guys got tired of getting their butt whooped everyday on the playground. Sooner or later you’re going to man-up and buck-up and everybody has. ”
(On the game): “I think the first half was an up-and-down game where we scored and they scored. We got an offensive rebound and then they got an offensive rebound. We were just switching; it’s your turn and now it’s our turn. When we started playing defense, we took the lead and we started playing better basketball.”
(On three-game win streak): “I think at some point we realized you have to start playing and having fun. We were in a tough situation and now we’re playing better and we are sharing the ball. We’re starting to feel good about each other and that is how it has to be. It’s about the team. It’s a team game.”
(On three-game win streak): “Everything has been clicking for us. Everyone is out there having fun and we’re playing hard. We can’t look back now. We have to prove we can win some games as we continue to move forward.”
• The Cavaliers connected on 7-16 (.438) attempts from the three-point line tonight and are shooting 45-107 (.420) from beyond the arc over their last five games.
• The Cavaliers outscored the Raptors 10-0 in fast break points. It marked the seventh time since the 2000-01 season the Cavaliers held a team to zero fast break points. The last time Cleveland held a team to zero fast break points came against Toronto on December 26, 2011.
• Kyrie Irving tallied 23 points on 9-16 (.563) shooting, three rebounds, seven assists and a career-high tying three steals in 37 minutes. Irving is averaging 23.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists in 35.3 minutes per game and notched his 11th 20-point game in 15 contests this season.
• Anderson Varejao recorded his 16th double-double of the season, the most in the Eastern Conference, with 22 points, a game-high 10 rebounds, one steal and one block in 39 minutes. Varejao hit a career-high 12 free throws on 16 attempts (his previous was 8 made free throws on 12/13/06 vs. Charlotte and 1/2/09 vs. Chicago), and tied Phil Hubbard for 10th place in Cavalier history in games played (469).
• Alonzo Gee finished with 15 points on 6-8 (.750) shooting from the field, four rebounds and a career-high tying three blocks in 41 minutes of action.
• C.J. Miles tallied 13 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes off the bench. Miles recorded his eighth straight game in double figures and is averaging 17.6 points and 3.5 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game during that stretch.
• Tristan Thompson had a near double-double with 10 points on 5-8 (.625) shooting and nine rebounds in 29 minutes.