Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Timberwolves
(On if tonight was the worst loss of the season): “I don’t know if it was the worst loss of the year, but it wasn’t pretty. We definitely didn’t come out and play the way I expected us to play… It was terrible in the second half. They shot 64 percent in the second half. What I saw tonight is we had a little adversity and we scattered. We don’t come together. We go our separate ways. Now is that youth and inexperience? I guess you can blame it on both of those, but we go our separate ways when it gets tough and you can’t do that.”
(On the team’s turnovers): “I thought we were careless. The spacing was bad. We went back to some old, bad habits. Offensively, we were not moving the ball. We tried playing one-on-one. I think we looked at them and said, ‘Okay, this should be an easy win.’…We can’t play that way, simple as that.”
(On the team’s defense in the fourth quarter): “They didn’t miss a shot and there was miscommunication. Dante Cunningham made a couple of pick-and-pop shots and we didn’t make adjustments. There was a lack of communication and the first unit just didn’t have it tonight. I think our second unit played phenomenal for us. They played hard for us and kept us in the game, but the first unit was a letdown for us. We should be disappointed and we have Wednesday to make up for it.”
(On if this game reminded him of the Golden State loss): “Coach (Mosley) told us that this could be like the Golden State game. They had some wounded warriors, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t play. They’re NBA players and we have to come out with the same intensity. Fight fire with fire. ”
(On if he felt the team could complete the comeback tonight): “Things were rolling and we were feeling good. We had the energy and the momentum, but we had some breakdowns. Ridnour hit an open three and that really sealed the deal.”
(On moving on from tonight’s loss): “We’ve got to do the right things as far as basketball plays. I think we get away from that sometimes. A guy gets going a little bit and we start searching a little bit. It happens to everyone. I think just moving the ball offensively makes a big difference because defensively, we weren’t bad in the first half. In the second half, their confidence was sky-high. Everyone was rolling and everyone got hot. It makes a big difference when you start off slow and let them do that. I think we just have to get better at just playing. Playing the right way and playing with each other.”
(On if this was an embarrassing loss): “I don’t know if I would call it embarrassing. We definitely should have won the game, but at the same time we handed it to them. I feel like it’s just a piece of our effort as far as us coming out from the start of the game and stretching it out throughout the rest of the game.”
Timberwolves Head Coach Rick Adelman
(On the importance of JJ Berea’s performance): “We really needed him out there but I didn’t think he was moving well at all, in the second half especially. (He) gave us a breather here and there. When he’s on the floor he’s a threat.”
(On the Timberwolves’ overall performance including six players in double figures): “Games are a lot easier when you can make shots. I found that out. We made three’s. We made shots. We got the ball to (Pekovic). (We) had a nice balance to the game.”
(On winning on the road): It feels great with all the effort (we put in) to win this game. We’ve been having trouble (in the) last month and we fought all game. Finally we got a victory.”
(On the Timberwolves’ impressive shooting performance): “It feels good when the ball goes (in). We have to keep working. We know we believe in us and we have to keep believing.”
(On the importance of tonight’s victory): “We needed that. We’ve been fighting a lot at home and on the road. We were fighting (in all) the games. We needed a win like that.”
(On tonight’s win): “This is a good win for us, to be able to come in here and get a win. It’s been a while since we’ve won, especially on the road.”
(On how to keep positive during a losing season): “It’s always tough. We’re competitors and we want to win games. Losing, as much as you don’t want to say it, takes a toll on you… We’ve been in a lot of these games but just haven’t been able to win them (so) this is good one for us to finally win.”
• The Cavaliers shot .506 (40-79) from the field tonight and outscored the Timberwolves 48-34 in points in the paint.
• Cleveland forced 22 turnovers and scored a season-high 34 points off of Minnesota’s miscues. It was the 10th time this season the Cavs forced at least 20 turnovers, which includes 21 forced turnovers against the Timberwolves in the first meeting on December 7th.
• Kyrie Irving recorded a team-high 20 points, four rebounds, seven assists and one steal in 36 minutes. Over his last 19 games since January 4th, Irving is averaging 25.3 points, including shooting .476 from the three-point line and .897 from the foul line, 3.4 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.2 steals in 35.2 minutes per game.
• Tristan Thompson tallied a near double-double with 16 points, nine rebounds, a career-high four steals and two blocks in 34 minutes. Over his last 26 games, Thompson is averaging 14.6 points on .525 shooting and 10.6 rebounds in 33.9 minutes per game.
• Wayne Ellington added 10 points on 4-7 (.571) shooting from the field, two rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes off the bench. Ellington has scored in double figures in six of nine contests as a Cavalier and is averaging 9.6 points, including shooting 18-38 (.474) from behind the arc, in 20.7 minutes per game.
• Dion Waiters poured in 12 points by shooting a perfect 6-6 from the field in 21 minutes and is averaging 14.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 29.4 minutes per game this season.
• Alonzo Gee finished with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 27 minutes. Gee is averaging 15.5 points on .722 shooting from the field, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 36.0 minutes over his last two games.