Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Warriors
(On competing tonight):
“We feel like we’re right there. I told them areas that we’ve got to get consistent in. The first one is to continue to think about the pass. We thought about it tonight at times and there were probably more times than not that we did pass the ball. I thought we saw some great, great ball movement. I think what happens to us at the end of ball games is we forget about our pace and we slow down a little too much. We’ve got to keep thinking about pace even with two minutes to go on the game clock because we have some talented guards and some great bigs that know how to play the pick-and-roll game very well and set screens for each other very well. We’ve got to keep thinking pace all the time towards the end. I thought throughout most of the game, our guys were competing. If you look at the month of December, there were probably three or four games where I felt our guys competed throughout the course of the game and went down to the last minute. I gotta keep helping our guys but our guys gotta keep thinking pass and keep thinking pace. If they think pass and they think pace as well as compete, we’re going to start winning some of these games. But I feel like we’re close. I feel like all of these losses bother our guys and they’re bothering our guys the right way, but we have to stay at it and we will. All of these experiences are great for us to go through. You just hope you can come out on the winning end in most of them, but I gotta give our guys credit because they’re competing. They are competing. I just gotta try to help them at the end of games too.”
(On Kyrie Irving continuing to get better):
“Kyrie is obviously a young player on his way to being a great player. He’s a very good basketball player now. He’s got a ton of ability. Not only does he have a ton of ability but he has a ton of belief in himself. When he does drive, he makes great plays throughout the course of the game. Sometimes, especially late in games, when he does get in there, he’s got to make a decision on whether he wants to finish it or kick it. That’s something that he’s conscious of and that he’s going to continue to get better at as time goes on.”
(On losing the lead late in the game):
“Anytime you have a lead and it’s cut like that, especially at the end of quarters, it’s tough to deal with but it’s part of basketball because there are good teams out there. (Golden State) is a good basketball team. I thought (Stephen) Curry hit some tough shots on (Jarrett) Jack. That’s all you can do is make a guy take tough shots. I think he had 24 (points) at halftime and ended the game with 29. We just felt he wasn’t going to be able to shoot that way the whole game as long as we kept contesting and trying to make him work. If you do, then usually good things will happen for you.”
(On if the last few losses have been deflating):
“It’s always negative when you come out with a loss, but there are a lot of positives from this game. I feel like we competed for most of the game. That’s what we need every single night, a consistent effort on both ends of the floor. The last three games, we’ve had mental mistakes when closing out quarters and especially in that overtime (tonight).”
(On if it’s more difficult to play with a pace when the game is on the line):
“No, not at all. I feel different plays of the game we got rebounds and we kind of pushed it just to catch them on their heels. That’s what you want to do against a good defensive team, put them on their heels at all times. A few times we got stagnant in the half court when we got our rebounds and we pushed it up. It was just a few mistakes here and there that cost us the game.”
(On if the team can take anything away from these last few losses):
“Just close out the game better; that’s what it boils down to. It’s kind of simple, but when we go out there, especially closing out games, we need to do a better job of it.”
(On going head-to-head with Stephen Curry):
“He’s a great player, an established superstar in our league. Going against him, you know you never want to get caught up in a matchup, but we’re kind of the main guys on our teams. Going against one another is always a great thing. Just in general playing against a good Warriors team, they’re always good and are going to challenge me, especially having Klay Thompson on the floor challenging me defensively. That’s what I look forward to, so it’s a good matchup, but I wish we had come out with a win.”
(On if they’re learning how to close out games):
“We need to learn how to close out games. Draymond Green coming down the lane and getting that dunk, that’s part of our defense, coming back and protecting the paint. That’s something we didn’t do tonight. We have to look at film tomorrow and get ready for Indiana.”
(On if the team is close and satisfied with being close):
“We definitely want to get the W. What coach is saying is that we’re making progress on both ends of the court. The last couple games, we’ve been in close games where it’s a toss-up whether we win or lose. It’s been two points or three points, so we’re getting close, but we obviously want to win now. We have another opportunity against Indiana.”
(On tonight’s game):
“Spectacular effort in the second half after they (Cavs) had their way offensively. They made shots but we didn’t do anything to stop them. Second half, they shoot 30% from the field. We did a great job of sharing the basketball and taking care of the basketball and rebounding the basketball. Draymond gave us great minutes. We battled. Once again, it showed the character and toughness of this basketball team, so I’m proud of this win.”
(On starting the road trip with a win):
“They had everything going. Defensively, we were not as sharp in the first half but we regrouped and came out with a quality win. That’s a team that has a homerun hitter with Kyrie Irving. He got it going. But, just a big win for us and showed a lot of resolve and what we are made of.”
(On key moments and big shots by Curry):
“It was certainly a big shot – that’s who Steph is. He’s one of the best in the world. He took it upon himself to make plays and establish a rhythm. I love the way he competed defensively also, but certainly made plays for himself and for everybody else on the floor. He’s a guy that we believe in. We’re not going to tell him to stop shooting. He’s a guy that is having an all-time great year for himself and has put himself in the class of elite players and it’s great to see.”
(On shots made tonight):
“I spent a lot of time in the offseason working on my shot. That was one thing I wanted to improve. One thing I’ve learned is that you have to stay confident in yourself. I know I’ve put the time in to be a better shooter and I have confidence that it’s going to work out regardless of the fact that I was, I think, 0 for 6 at that point. Staying confident was what I knew was key. The ball found me in that situation and I knew I had to step up and knock the shot down.”
(On the importance of starting the trip with a win):
“Getting down by 19 isn’t ideal. But, knowing we have the necessary tools to fight back, that’s the most important thing. We knew we had to start this road trip off with a win if we want it to be a successful road trip. With some tough games coming up, we always say that there are games that you are supposed to win and we felt this was a game that we’re supposed to win. It was key that we came in here and got the win. It wasn’t quite in the fashion we wanted to do it, but one thing that we talk about is showing some result. When things aren’t going our way, we have to continue to fight.”
(On being down big and then coming back):
“It was frustrating because we always talk about when we get up seven or eight, trying to put the other team away, especially a team that’s been struggling a little bit like Cleveland. You don’t want to give teams that have offensive talent like this a chance to get into rhythm and that’s what we let them do in the late first, early second. When they do that, a guy like Kyrie (Irving) can carry them to a victory. You can play great defense and it doesn’t matter. We were lucky we got back in the game early in that third and the rest we were able to take care of.”
- The Cavs scored 104 points tonight. Cleveland has now scored at least 100 points in eight of the last 10 games, averaging 106.0 points per game over that stretch. The Cavaliers shot a season-high .625 (10-14) from the three-point line.
- The Cavaliers shot 18-21 (.857) from the free-throw line. This is the ninth time this season the Cavs have shot at least .850 from the free-throw line.
- Cleveland outscored Golden State 64-55 in the first half on 24-46 (.522) shooting from the field. The 64 points are a season-high tying total points in a half this season (11/23/13 at SAS). The 35 first quarter points by the Cavs was also a season-high for total points in the first quarter.
- Kyrie Irving tallied a team-high 27 points, including 3-3 from the three-point line, a team-high nine assists and one steal in 40 minutes. Irving has topped 20 points in nine of the last 11 games (since Dec. 7) with averages of 27.7 points, 2.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 37.3 minutes over that stretch. Irving has also scored 20 or more points in each of the last eight home games (since Dec. 4), averaging 29.0 points, 2.3 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.1 steals in 38.0 minutes per game over that stretch.
- Tristan Thompson posted his team-leading 12th double-double (52nd career) with 17 points on 8-14 (.571) shooting and a game-high tying 12 rebounds in 40 minutes. Over his last 14 contests (since Nov. 30), he is averaging a double-double with 13.7 points on .507 (76-150) shooting and 10.1 rebounds in 32.8 minutes per game.
- C.J. Miles recorded 17 points on 6-12 (.500) shooting, including 3-6 (.500) from the three-point line and a season-high tying three steals in 23 minutes.
- Jarrett Jack finished with 12 points, including 2-3 (.667) from the three-point line, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in 34 minutes off the bench. Over the past 12 contests (since Dec. 6), Jack is averaging 11.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 28.3 minutes per game.
- Anderson Varejao recorded eight points, a game-high tying 12 rebounds, one steal and two blocks in 37 minutes. Varejao posted 10-plus rebounds for the tenth time this season. With two offensive rebounds tonight, he is now tied for 3rd place all-time with Jim Brewer (1,292 offensive rebounds) in team history.