Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Thunder
(On Oklahoma City’s 18 offensive rebounds): “We just gave up too many offensive rebounds. On top of that, we didn’t get after the 50-50 balls. It seemed like whenever the ball was bouncing on the ground, Oklahoma City got to it. I thought in the second half, we did a better job at shortening it up to five offensive rebounds. Obviously, there was a big (offensive rebound) that they got late in the game when it was a two-possession game. We had a little bit of momentum at that point but that was something that plagued us the whole game.”
(On different guys playing well): “A lot of guys stepped up and played well for us. Tristan’s 10 rebounds were big when not many other guys were rebounding. Andy’s eight were big too. Obviously, Dion scored the basketball for us with 30 points tonight. Spencer’s 20 really helped out. Those two guys got a combined 50 points, especially at times when we were struggling to score the basketball. I thought Delly did a great job coming off the bench for us and getting a double-double. I thought he played hard.”
(On Matthew Dellavedova guarding Kevin Durant and his team continuing to play hard down the stretch): “We had to throw him out there early on Kevin Durant. Nobody is stopping Kevin Durant but I thought he fought his behind off. Our team did a decent job with trying to help support him when it came to guarding Durant early in the game. Give our guys credit. They kept fighting even when they were down 20 with about four and a half minutes to go in the game. Our guys just kept fighting and that’s something especially in the last couple of months that we’ve done a nice job of. We haven’t been consistent out there for 48 minutes, but for the most part, our guys have fought.”
(On the difference in the Cavs 16-0 run in the fourth quarter): “Pressing, just trying to get steals, create turnovers. We were able to do that.”
(On the Thunder run in the second and third quarters): “They started making shots. The guys that came off the bench started making shots. The way we play our defense, we have to sink to the bigs, so if Durant gets to the middle, it’s tough to stop because he can create (for himself) and create for others. He was able to do that tonight and they knocked down shots.”
(On the Thunder’s second chance opportunities): “It was huge. They were just more aggressive than us. I blame myself, too, for that. I have to get back down there to help the bigs rebound. I can’t just always depend on them to get the rebound, so I take the blame for that tonight. As guards, we have to rebound too. I don’t think my focus was as good as it should have been on rebounding the ball tonight.”
(On the team’s fourth quarter comeback): “Guys were just scrambling, making plays, hustling. (Oklahoma City) knocked down a few shots late. We tried to make the game a little more interesting.”
(On how close the team is to competing for the full 48 minutes): “I think we’re close. We played against two of the top tier teams the last couple of games and we have another one coming in here on Saturday. Your room for error against teams such as them is very, very small. With us, we have to get out of having those four, five minute lulls that allow teams to gain a lead and dictate the pace of the ballgame.”
(On how tough it is for the team being shorthanded): “It’s tough, but it happens to everybody. The injury bug is never an excuse. Everyone has to deal with it and we have to step up and be ready to make plays and take on the challenge.”
(On the Cavs bigs making play difficult on the Thunder guards late): “We ran a couple of run and jumps late in the ballgame. (Oklahoma City’s) bigs did a good job of hitting shots, so coach (Brown) had us rotating a little early. In turn, they made some turnovers for us and it created a situation for us to close the lead.”
(On tonight’s game): “I thought we did a good job throughout the game. Unfortunately, we had about a three minute stretch where we stopped defending and they made some tough shots. I thought the ball was moving throughout the game and we did a great job defending and rebounding the basketball tonight. I liked the guy’s effort and energy on both ends.”
(On Kevin Durant): “I thought (the Cavaliers) did a good of really bodying him up early in the game. He’s seen every defense thrown at him, so it took him a few minutes to adjust to that. Obviously, an all-around game. He does it every night and his consistency is remarkable.”
(On reaching 50 wins): “It’s important. Everything we do is about our organization. We focus on team things and the 50 wins is not about me, it’s about what we do. It’s about everybody in the building and our fans.”
(On Jeremy Lamb): “I like what he did. He hasn’t played as many minutes as he had earlier in the season. He has to stay ready. I’m really glad that he came in aggressive on both ends of the floor. He was guarding a tough guy. Dion Waiters is a scoring player and I thought he did a good job of taking the challenge and making his shots tough.”
(On his slow start): “I just don’t care if I miss. Sometimes I have to get my mind ready for a tough shooting night, but I always stay aggressive.”
(On thinking his night was over at 95-71): “Yeah, I thought it was. Anything can happen in this league. Guys have pride and Cleveland plays extremely hard, so those guys made (it a) game late and we had to close it out.”
(On returning to the game late in the 4th quarter): “My mind is always on the game, so I didn’t space out. Once it’s my time to go into the game, I’m instantly ready. After sitting for so long, it’s a little tougher now that I’m 25 and have played so many games, but it’s good my mind was focused on the game.”
• Cleveland held Oklahoma City to 38-89 (.427) shooting from the field, including 4-16 (.250) in the fourth quarter. Over the last 19 games, the Cavs are holding opponents to .434 shooting from the field.
• The Cavs dished out 27 assists tonight. This is the 11th time this season that the Cavs have had at least 25 assists in a game, including each of the last two games (27 vs. MIA 3/18).
• Dion Waiters tallied a season-high tying 30 points, including 2-3 (.667) from the three-point line, two rebounds, four assists and a team-high three steals in 41 minutes. Waiters scored 30-plus points for the third time in his career (second this season). Since returning to action (eight games), Waiters is averaging 17.6 points, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals in 29.5 minutes per game.
• Spencer Hawes finished with 20 points, three rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes. Hawes has now scored in double figures in a career-high 13 straight games. In 14 games with the Cavs, Hawes is averaging 15.9 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.0 block in 33.5 minutes per game.
• Matthew Dellavedova posted his first career double-double with 11 points on 4-8 (.500) shooting, four rebounds and a career-high 10 assists in 33 minutes off the bench. Dellavedova has scored in double figures eight times this season.
• Anderson Varejao recorded eight points on 3-5 (.600) shooting, eight rebounds and two steals in 19 minutes off the bench. Over the last three games, Varejao is pulling down 10.3 rebounds to go along with 8.7 points on .579 (11-19) shooting and 2.0 steals in 21.3 minutes per game.