Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Rockets
(On tonight’s game): “It’s tough because that’s two nights in a row that we’ve come out and our first group has just been flat. They’ve been flat defensively, flat offensively. From the beginning, we’re fighting from a hole. Not only are we fighting from a hole but obviously you’re opponent has some confidence, especially offensively. So it’s like an uphill battle that you’re fighting, especially being shorthanded. We have to do a better job at beginning of games. Come out and try to hit first and not be the recipient of being hit. You give those guys credit. Obviously, (James) Harden had a monster game against us. I thought Chandler Parsons was really good too, especially early on.”
(On the team’s bench play): “For us, Delly (Matthew Dellavedova) was great coming off the bench. He’s been really good for us. This is second double-double in a row. Anderson (Varejao) was great coming off the bench. Tyler (Zeller) was great. I thought our bench in the last two games they’ve given us a big spark. They’ve really helped us either A, get back into the game, or B, stay in the game to a certain degree. Give those guys credit but we just have to do a better job of coming out at the beginning of games and playing with some sort of sense of urgency or fight and not be the recipient of whatever a team throws at us. It’s going to be big for us tomorrow in a back-to-back situation at New York.”
(On if he can explain the team’s slow starts to recent games): “I’m not sure. We just have to come out with the mindset of playing with the same energy as we did in the last five minutes. Every game we’re shorthanded, so there isn’t a lot of room for mistakes. These last three teams that came in have been playoff teams. These last couple of games for us down the stretch is going to be like playoff basketball. Playoff teams are still fighting for seeding and we’re still fighting. We just have to have a sense of urgency and come out and keep the same energy level.”
(On defending a team that has so many three-point shooters): “It’s hard; we’re out there scrambling, helping one another and they’re moving the ball. That’s what makes it tough. We just have to stay with it. We can’t get down. I feel as though every time teams go on a run, we put our heads down like the game is over. Every time we play with a sense of urgency, that tempo we need to play at for the last five minutes, you look up and you’re only down seven-eight (points) with two minutes left.”
(On treating the last games of the season like playoff games): “You have to. These teams that are coming in here are fighting for seeding and we’re still alive too. It’s not over and I think we should know that. We have to come out here and just play hard; play together and play for one another, especially with us being shorthanded.”
(On tonight’s loss): “We’re just going to continue to play hard and try to stay in the game. You don’t ever want to give up and I felt that we did a great job of that tonight.”
(On being able to come back late in games): “If you can get into a flow a little bit, maybe it’ll help going into the next game. Hopefully, we just continue to play better and better every game.”
Rockets Head Coach Kevin McHale
(On closing out the game): “We didn’t want to have (our starters) come back like that. We didn’t play very well. We started doing stuff that we had no business doing. We had a big enough lead and it was a good win, now off to Charlotte.”
(On Rockets’ ball movement): “It’s nice to see when we don’t hold it. When we hold it and try to make specific plays, that’s when we struggle. When we just make the next play to the open man, that’s when good things happen.
(On James Harden): “He had it going. Great players do that. They get it going. He got on a roll and I’ve seen him do that many different times. That’s what separates him from a lot of players - he has the ability to do that.
(On the game): “(The Cavaliers) made their run. They made their run, and then we made our run. We knew they were going to make a run. (The Cavaliers) are a good team and they don’t give up. (Our) guys did a good job of staying with what we do and playing all four quarters.”
(On the Rockets’ ball movement): “We move the basketball and everybody scores, everybody’s happy and everybody plays defense. It’s contagious. If we can get to that level on a night-to-night basis, it’s going to be tough to beat us.”
(On his night): “I let the game come to me. If the shot is there for me, I take it. If the pass is there, I make sure I make the right pass every time. If the drive is there, I take the drive. It’s just a matter of me using my basketball instincts and going out there and just playing.”
(On getting in a zone): “(It’s) practice. It’s me being in the gym all the time. It gives you the confidence to go out there and shoot those shots. The more I stay in the gym and practice on my game, the more confidence I have taking those shots.”
• The Cavaliers dished out a season-high 33 assists tonight. The Cavs have dished out 27-plus assists in each of the last three games (27 vs. MIA 3/18, 27 vs. OKC 3/20). The last time Cleveland dished out 27-plus assists in three straight games was February 26-March 3, 2010 (29 at TOR 2/26/10, 31 vs. NYK 3/1/10 & 29 at NJ 3/3/10). (Elias Sports Bureau)
• Cleveland scored 111 points tonight on 46-91 (.505) shooting from the field, including 6-15 (.400) from the three-point line. The Cavs also outrebounded the Rockets 48-31 and outscored them in points in the paint 56-42.
• Cleveland received 52 points off the bench. The Cavs have scored 50-plus points off the bench 13 times this season.
• Dion Waiters tallied a team-high 26 points on 11-20 (.550) shooting, four rebounds and eight assists in 40 minutes. Since re-entering the starting lineup (three games), Waiters is averaging 24.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 40.7 minutes per game.
• Tyler Zeller notched a career-high 23 points on 10-16 (.625) shooting, six rebounds, two assists and one block in 30 minutes off the bench. Zeller scored 20-plus points for the second time of his career (20, at Boston 12/19/12).
• Matthew Dellavedova posted his second straight double-double (second career) with 14 points, including 3-4 (.750) from the three-point line, a career-high tying six rebounds and a career-high tying 10 assists in 37 minutes off the bench. Over the last two games, Dellavedova is averaging 12.5 points, including .500 (5-10) from the three-point line, 5.0 rebounds and 10.0 assists in 35.0 minutes per game. The last Cavs player to record consecutive double-doubles off the bench was Marreese Speights (2/2/13-2/6/13). The last Cavs player to record consecutive point-assist double-doubles off the bench was John Morton (3/14/91-3/16/91). (Elias Sports Bureau)
• Anderson Varejao recorded his 14th double-double of the season with 12 points on 5-7 (.714) shooting, 11 rebounds, two assists and one block in 24 minutes off the bench. Varejao has grabbed 11-plus rebounds in three of the last four games, averaging 10.5 rebounds to go along with 9.5 points on .615 (16-26) shooting and 1.8 steals in 21.8 minutes per game.
• Jarrett Jack finished with 11 points, four rebounds, six assists and one block in 36 minutes. Jack has recorded 10-plus points and six-plus assists in seven games this season.
• Tristan Thompson posted his 30th double-double of the season with 10 points on 4-8 (.500) shooting and a game-high 12 rebounds in 25 minutes. With tonight’s double-double, Thompson became just the fifth player in Cavs history to have two seasons of at least 30 double-doubles (B. Daugherty, T. Hill, L. James & S. Kemp). Thompson registered 31 double-doubles in 2012-13.