Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Suns
(On the game tonight):
“Starting off the game, I didn’t think our energy level was up. I thought Andy’s level of energy was up and I thought Alonzo got after it defensively, but other than that, nothing. You play two good solid games (on the road), and you come home and you play like this. That’s probably the most frustrating part.”
(On playing without Daniel Gibson): “It hurts us on both ends. Boobie is one of our best perimeter defenders. He’s been our best guy off the bench over the last couple of weeks as well. Those are things that you count on. Not having him, it just hurts when he’s not out there, and he’s a veteran guy. He knows how to play.”
(On the team’s performance tonight): “We didn’t play as a team tonight. The fourth quarter was terrible; we didn’t move the ball, we gave them some easy fast breaks and that’s why they won the game. When you don’t give yourself a chance to play defense, it’s hard. When you take bad shots, it leads to easy fast breaks.”
(On if he believes the team took a step backwards defensively): “I wouldn’t say that. I think our offense needs to get better and we need to move the ball. We need to play aggressive, make the extra pass and that’s what will get us to the next level.”
(On if he felt heavy-legged during the game): “A little bit, but there are no excuses for this team. We’ve got to be physically ready at all times, mentally ready too. Even with playing four games in five nights, you’ve got to be ready and come out with a sense of urgency.”
(On what happened late in the 3rd quarter): “They just outplayed us, they wanted it more. We’ve got to come out with a better sense of urgency and just play hard like we’ve been playing on the road.”
Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry
(On the game): “I thought we did a good job of moving the basketball and a great job of finding the mismatches. It was a ‘grind-it-out’ kind of game. These guys (Cavaliers) have played four games in five nights. Obviously, they were very tired and we wanted to try to push the tempo.”
(On Anderson Varejao): “He comes up with about six rebounds a game that he has no business getting. The energy level that he plays with; he will be a guy that ends up with 18 rebounds instead of 12. He’s the only guy that’s really tough to guard. He shoots the ball extremely well in those pocket areas where it’s really tough to rotate back in time and he is really confident shooting those shots. We talked about making him make those shots and he took advantage of it.”
(On playing the Cavaliers): “For them (Cavaliers) to beat you they have to outrebound you, out-hustle you and beat you from the three point line. We wanted to take away the three and then they hustled to get back into the game. The turning point was us creating turnovers.”
(On Cavaliers Anderson Varejao): “The scouting report was to give him that jump shot and he made us pay. We adjusted and took that away, and by then other guys had to play and they (Cavaliers) weren’t on fire like the first time we played them.”
• The Cavs outrebounded the Suns 45-39, including 14-7 in offensive rebounds. Cleveland had the advantage on the offensive glass in 14 of 15 games.
• Anderson Varejao recorded his sixth straight double-double, the longest of his career. He now has 10 in 14 games this season, adding to his career total of 66. Entering tonight, the only Cavs player to record six consecutive double-doubles in franchise history was Jim Chones (March/April 1978). The last NBA player with 15-plus rebounds in each of six consecutive games of a single season was Dwight Howard in March 2011 (7 straight games). (Elias)
• Varejao tallied a game-high 20 points, 14 in the third quarter, a game-high 18 rebounds (six offensive), three assists, one steal and one block in 38 minutes. He has recorded at least 15 rebounds in 10 games this season and is averaging 14.9 rebounds per game, which ranks 1st in the NBA.
• Alonzo Gee finished with 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 35 minutes. Gee has swiped at least two steals in nine games this season and is averaging 1.7 steals per game. Gee also shot 6-7 (.857) from the charity stripe and is shooting .875 (42-48) from the foul line this season.
• Dion Waiters tallied 16 points, three rebounds, a career-high seven assists and two steals in 38 minutes of action. Waiters is averaging 15.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 31.9 minutes per game.