Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Raptors
(On tonight’s game): “It was a good win by our guys. That’s a playoff team. They were playing good basketball. Obviously, we already lost two games to them, two games that I felt we had a chance to win. For us, to find a way to stay competitive and get the win was big for us. A game like that, maybe earlier in the season we might have lost, especially coming down the stretch when a team makes a run against us. Our guys just found a way to win and they stayed competitive, especially defensively when the game became a three to five-point ball game with six, seven minutes left. Again, that’s a good team and they missed some shots, but part of it we had something to do with. They shot 39.8 percent from the floor for the game. That’s attributed to our competitive spirit throughout the course of the game. Even when they went small, we just kind of found a way.”
(On the team’s offense): “We tried to share the basketball. We made some mistakes in the second half but we had 10 assists on 14 field goals. We had 17 assists on 22 field goals in the first half. A total of 27 assists on 36 made field goals, that’s pretty good. That’s pretty good versus a really good defensive team. On top of that, we shot 51.4 percent and scored 102 points. That’s pretty good versus a good defensive team. So I applaud our guys for that.”
(On different players contributing): “I thought Luol was great for us. He was very efficient with 19 (points), seven assists and six rebounds. Tristan’s energy was terrific tonight. Fifteen (points) and 13 (rebounds), now that’s the Tristan we’re used to seeing. I thought his energy and activity was terrific. I thought when he caught the ball around the basket, he didn’t waste any time. He went straight to dunk it. It resulted in baskets for him and that’s something he’s gotta do. He’s gotta use his athleticism. He’s gotta use his energy to be able to help us make plays and finish around the rim. I also thought that Dion was good for us. He scored the ball. He scored at a pretty high percentage, going 10-for-19 from the floor. Obviously, same with Jarrett Jack going 6-for-9. But both of those guys helped us in the assists department. They didn’t just score. They didn’t just shoot the ball well. Between the two of them, they had 12 assists.”
(On the two late inbounds plays): “The first one that I couldn’t get in, I got nervous and I didn’t throw it in, so I called a timeout. Then on the second, I thought (DeMar DeRozen) held me a little bit. (Anderson Varejao) looked at me and I gave him the look (to) throw it. I thought I had it. It’s my fault; I have to run to the ball a little bit.”
(On the importance of hanging late in wins like tonight’s): “I think right now our mindset has to be that we got the win. It’s over with. (I’m) not really worried about the negative part. When you get wins, you’re on a roll. Now (we’ve won) two in a row, that’s over with. We have to focus on tomorrow. The situation we’re in, we don’t have time to be negative about giving up that kind of lead. At the end of the day, you look back and it’s a win, not how you won it.”
(On how difficult it was for the team to keep its composure tonight): “That was the biggest thing, just keeping the composure. We were up big, but we knew they were going to make a run. That’s a great team, a playoff team. We just stayed with it; we didn’t get rattled and we made plays when we needed to.”
(On the team sharing the ball): “(We’ve been) just finding the open guy, sharing the ball and making the easy play. Not making it hard on (ourselves) and just moving (the ball).”
(On getting off to a better start in the first quarter): “We just came out and moved the ball; we ran the floor. That was the biggest thing, just pushing (the ball), making the easy play, rebounding, and just playing with each other.”
(On the final play): “If it wasn’t for bad luck, we wouldn’t have any luck on that one. You go back to one play and that’s not (how) the game was decided. The game was decided the way we approached it in the first quarter.”
(On the remaining games): “As a coaching staff, we’ve been harping on how hard these next 13 games are going to be (and) how physical teams are going to be no matter where they are in the schedule. It’s easy to get up for OKC, it’s easy to get up for Miami and it’s easy to get up for Indiana, but the teams that are not in the playoff picture, they’re playing for something too. They’re playing for pride, which is probably a little bit more dangerous than guys trying to save minutes and save themselves for the playoffs. We’ve got to get the mindset of being the hunter and not the hunted.”
(On the game): “We should have done a better job on that final play, but we couldn’t buy a shot. There are so many different things, as a team, that we have to get better at. We can’t really panic. We have another opportunity tomorrow.”
(On the final play): “I thought it worked out pretty well, but it was a bad play for me. It was me going to my weak hand and I lost my balance and stepped kind of weird. I turned the ball over. I’ll take responsibility and not runaway. I’m a man. Wish I can be in that position again.”
(On the final play): “That’s a good learning experience for me. I like being in during clutch time.”
- With tonight’s 102-100 victory over the Raptors, Mike Brown now has 300 career victories as the head coach of the Cavaliers. He joins Bill Fitch (304) and Lenny Wilkins (316) as the only Cavs head coaches with at least 300 victories.
- Cleveland shot 36-70 (.514) from the field and dished out 27 assists. The Cavs have shot at least .500 from the field in four of the last five games and dished out at least 27 assists in four of the last five games. Over that five-game stretch, Cleveland is averaging 102.0 points on a combined .514 (197-383) shooting from the field and 26.2 assists.
- Cleveland held Toronto to 35-88 (.398) shooting from the field. The Cavs improved to 12-1 when they hold opponents to under.400 shooting from the field. The Cavs also blocked nine shots tonight, which is the seventh time that the Cavs have blocked nine or more shots in a game this season.
- The Cavs outrebounded the Raptors 49-38, including 39-25 on the defensive glass. In three games versus the Raptors this season, the Cavs held a 46.3 to 39.7 rebounding edge.
- Six Cavs players finished in double figures in scoring, including all five starters: Dion Waiters (24), Luol Deng (19), Tristan Thompson (15), Jarret Jack (13), Spencer Hawes (11) and Anderson Varejao (11).
- Dion Waiters tallied a game-high 24 points on 10-19 (.526) shooting, three rebounds, a team-high tying seven assists and two blocks in 43 minutes. Since re-entering the starting lineup (five games), Waiters is averaging 23.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists in 41.2 minutes per game. Waiters has scored 20-plus points in a career-high four straight games.
- Luol Deng finished with 19 points on 7-13 (.538) shooting, including 2-4 (.500) from the three-point line, six rebounds and seven assists in 40 minutes. Over his last five games, Deng is averaging 17.8 points on .559 (33-59) shooting, including .542 (13-24) from the three-point line, and 6.2 rebounds in 35.2 minutes per game.
- Tristan Thompson posted his 31st double-double of the season with 15 points on 3-4 (.750) shooting, including 9-10 (.900) from the free throw line, a game-high 13 rebounds and one block in 27 minutes. Thompson has pulled down 10-plus rebounds in three of the last four games, averaging 9.8 rebounds to go along with 9.8 points in 28.0 minutes per game over that stretch.
- Jarrett Jack finished with 13 points on 6-9 (.667) shooting, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in 37 minutes. Over the past five games (since Mar. 18), Jack is averaging 16.6 points on .548 (34-62) shooting, 4.2 rebounds and 5.8 assists in 38.0 minutes per game.
- Spencer Hawes notched 11 points, seven rebounds and a game-high three blocks in 22 minutes. In 17 games with the Cavs, Hawes is averaging 14.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 31.1 minutes per game.
- Anderson Varejao recorded 11 points on 4-8 (.500) shooting, eight rebounds and two assists in 23 minutes off the bench. Varejao has pulled down eight-plus rebounds 36 times this season.