Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Celtics

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HEAD COACH BYRON SCOTT
(On the game tonight): “I’m very proud of our guys tonight because there were times in this game, the third quarter especially, that we got down double digits and they could have mailed it in, but they didn’t. They are starting to trust each other big time and believe in each other. This is how we have to play basketball. We played really, really hard all night long.”

(On the importance of this win): “It’s a great win for us against a very, very good Boston Celtics team, a well-coached team. For us to win this game at home and start the season off this way is great, but we can’t have a let down on Friday on the road. We’re going to enjoy this victory because it was big time for us.”

(On Daniel Gibson’s play): “He’s been great all preseason and all training camp. I knew he wasn’t going to lose confidence in himself. I think everyone was a little nervous and excited. We made a few mistakes that we hadn’t been making, but you have to give them (Boston) credit because they are one of the best defensive teams in the league. We came back in the second half and did a heck of a job.”

(On the bench): “Our bench was fantastic in the second half. They didn’t play real well in the first half, but it wasn’t because of a lack of effort…the second half, I thought they just calmed down and made some big plays. Boobie and Antawn made some big shots and we got a lot of productivity out of our bench in the second half.”

(On J.J. Hickson’s play): “He was great tonight. He did some really good things on the offensive end and some really good things on the defensive end. He had some lapses on the defensive end…but his activity tonight and his aggressiveness was fantastic. He got us off to a great start and in the second half, he didn’t have a letdown. Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come.”


J.J. HICKSON
(On if the hard work and conditioning in camp paid off tonight): “Yes, I don’t think I got tired tonight. We pushed the ball all night; it paid off for us. They have got the big fella down low and I don’t think he could keep up with us tonight. It paid off and we got some easy buckets.”

(On if he is going to be leading scorer every night): “I’m trying to do whatever it takes to help the team. I know for a fact everybody chipped in tonight. We played hard, we played together as a team and we played as one.”

(On people having low expectations for the team this year): “I’m kind of used to being the underdog, so I prefer it that way because teams tend to not come out and play as hard. It works to our advantage.”


RAMON SESSIONS
(On the win tonight): “Me and Jamario (Moon) were just in the back talking about it. It felt like Game 7 of the (NBA) Finals. I’ve never been to the Finals, but it was that type of atmosphere here. The fans were behind us. It just goes to show that all of the hard work we did is finally paying off. We played a (regular season) game tonight that counts against a great Boston team. It was a great win for us.”

(On if all of the hard work and conditioning in camp will pay off for them late in games): “A lot of guys were saying that they weren’t tired, and I was one of those guys. What we did in training camp is why you saw in the fourth quarter that we still were pushing. It just goes to show the hard work that we did paid off. It was a great win.”

(On being down by 11 twice in the third quarter and coming back from it): “I think we called a couple of timeouts in that stretch. They came out in the third quarter with a good run, which is what we expected because they are a great team. We got it together, we stayed together and we were able to get the win tonight.”


BOSTON HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS
(On what turned around in the game): "I didn’t like the way we played for a lot of the game. I thought we were very loose on defense, very loose on offense. Nineteen turnovers are killing us, they are absolutely killing us and we got away from the post game. I thought we established the post early on and I thought we got away from it. We’re a better team than that.”

(On the Cavaliers): “Give them credit, they played hard. I told them (Celtics) before the game that one thing I guarantee you is they (Cavs) would have the energy. It was opening night and we played last night and you (Celtics players) had to figure out a way mentally. It’s a mental toughness game for us, to try to match their energy because that’s a talent they were going to have tonight. You have to try to match it, and if you don’t, there could be problems.”

(On difficulties defending J.J. Hickson): “We let him go right quite a bit. That’s basically the way he wants to go. We just didn’t do a lot of things that we’re capable of defensively. Give them credit, I thought they made great plays.”

(On the Celtics): “We’re going to be really good. I can take that (from first two games). We have yet to play well in my opinion and we’re 1-1. We’re going to be who we thought we were.”

(On Celtics technical fouls in fourth quarter): “Fourth quarter techs, that’s our one rule. No fourth quarter techs, and we get two of them. Honestly, I can’t say I saw the Nate (Robinson) thing, I didn’t see what really happened. I don’t know if that warranted a tech. Shaq’s, that’s respect for the game, I guess.”

(On keys to Cavs overcoming an 11-point deficit): “We stopped going to the post and we stopped moving the ball. Things stopped working for you offensively and it affected our defensive mindset. You could see guys shaking their heads because they missed open shots, and we had a lot of good shots, they just didn’t go in. My problem was they were all jump shots and we forgot the post. That’s on me.”


PAUL PIERCE
(On the keys to the game’s turnaround): “We turned the ball over a lot. I think we played good defense in stretches only. We were too inconsistent on that end of the court. One second on the (shot) clock, there is no way we should allow a guy to get a shot off. He (Parker) gets a big three. Two crucial turnovers, then they get back in it and push it. They kept it close and Gibson really got hot after struggling most of the game.”

(On the Cavs tonight): “You have to understand, this team is hungry. Everybody is against them and everybody is writing them off. This was their season opener and we had to be prepared for all of that. I think, mentally from the jump, we got frustrated maybe with the referees. Once you let a team in the game and they keep it close, it could be dangerous and that’s what we did. We had a chance, they got it to six and that’s when they got dangerous. They made plays they needed down the stretch to win.”

KEVIN GARNETT
(On Celtics problems the last 16 minutes of game): “For some reason, coming down the stretch, we didn’t execute and make shots. Sessions does a pretty good job of putting the stress on the defense. They (Cavs) made plays, point blank.”

(On the Cavs tonight): “I think they value that their true strength is playing together. They don’t have that one or two go-to-guys, but they do play well together. They play hard, and when you don’t match that, you find yourself in difficulty. When you play together, you dilute the responsibility.”