Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Celtics


“I guess the last day and half of me yelling and screaming about playing hard every night, I guess they got tired of hearing it. They came out and did a great job!”

Kyrie performance: “He did a great job. Put the ball in his hands the last play of the game, told him we wanted him to go at about seven seconds. I didn’t want to go quick, I wanted to go for the win and he was able to get to the basket.”

What said to team when down 11: “Keep playing. We just got to keep playing. There’s a lot of time left in the game. I thought the last 3 ½ minutes, defensively, they didn’t score again. That was a key. I know they shot the ball pretty well all game long, but 87-80 ya know and we get key stops and we get down the other end and score, we got some free throws. So we just kept fighting that was the bottom line.”

Learned from that Indiana shot that rolled off: “Probably not to miss the lay up this time. He (Kyrie Irving) had another opportunity so I thought he really focused in and I really thought at the end of the game when he had the ball in his hands I told him hey just to go run a high pick and roll and see what you can get. We’ll spread the floor for you. He had that little look in his eye like he wanted it anyway, almost like he wanted to redeem himself and I thought he was great.”

Varejao performance: “I think he’s been fantastic all season long. We had a couple of chances at 87-86 where missed a shot and then we got it kicked out to AJ who had a great look at the back of the rim and he comes up with the ball, loose ball, ya know to give us one more opportunity. So its just Andy being Andy. Pure hustle, determination and was able to go after a guy to have one more possession.”

Mychel Thompson performance: “I thought he did well. He made shots when he had open shots. I thought he did a fantastic job on the defensive end, of sticking with Ray. He had an opportunity tonight to play because of the two guys we had down in Boobie and AP and he took advantage of it.”

What did you do defensively late in game: “Biggest thing was just make sure they didn’t get any open looks, challenge every shot and then rebound the ball. That was the biggest thing. We just tried to make sure we made it as hard as possible on them. I thought the last 3:30 we did.”


Getting redemption after missing a shot earlier against Indiana: “Yeah, I guess you could say that. A little bit of redemption. I just give credit to my teammates having the confidence in me and the coaching staff giving me the ball at the end of the game. You know, that play was designed and Andy (Varejao) set a great screen and freed me up a little bit. And it was a tough shot. So I’m just happy we got the win.”

Coming back and shutting down the Celtics at the end: “We just came with a lot of energy, coming out of that last timeout. We knew that if we got a couple stops we’d be in the game. They’re a great team. We give a lot of credit to them and we just wanted to come out aggressive; especially when we needed that comeback. We were down 11 points, it was a tough come-back, but we carried it out and I’m really proud of my teammates.”

How sweet was making the last shot: “It feels good. Especially, like I said, having the confidence of my teammates. And they gave me the ball at the end of the game and they trusted me to make that shot. And at least take it. So I’m happy that I actually made the shot this time.”


His contribution as an unsung hero: “Well, it’s what I try to do every night: get the second chance and stuff like that. Tonight worked out. Tonight worked out. We had the ball back and we had the chance to win the game. And Kyrie (Irving) made the shot. And we won. Tough game. But the key for the game to me was how our defense in the fourth quarter. Through the whole game we played hard on defense. And that’s why we won the game.”

An improbable win with the Celtics on a winning streak: “This is the NBA. You can’t let one good game fool, and you can’t let one bad game fool you. So you have to keep playing hard every night and giving yourself a chance to win games. And like you said, we lost a game at home to New Jersey – a game that to me, we should’ve won at home; take care of the home court. And we come here to Boston that’s playing really well lately and we won the game. So it’s all about being ready too. I want to talk about Mychel Thompson tonight. He made two big shots for us. AP (Anthony Parker) was out of the game in the first half, and Alonzo (Gee) did a great job. So everybody was ready tonight. And I’m really happy the way we played tonight.”


Offensive execution down the stretch: “Well I would say, really for me, even though – it’s funny, we shot 52% and the entire game I thought offensively we were sloppy. I thought we were in the home-run pass mode, instead of making simple passes, and then I thought there were times when the ball stuck. I told our guys at halftime, ‘We’re shooting 50% and that’s the worst 50%-shooting team I’ve ever seen. I mean, that’s not how we play. And we’ve been playing so well. And I thought the ball just stuck tonight. It was more we were trying to do too much with the ball instead of making simple plays and holding on to it, instead of the ball – touch, pass to the next guy. And I thought that hurt us. I also thought we let our guard down. I told our guys, ‘Think about down the stretch, the last five minutes, how many ‘cute’ plays we made. You know? No-look passes, behind-the-back passes. And they got deflected and we didn’t score on them. You lose games this way.’ And this was a bad loss for us. Not that it was Cleveland; it was that we had the game under control. And we didn’t take care of it.”

What did the referee say about the play where Paul Pierce thought he was fouled: “They said that he didn’t touch him. That’s what they told me.”

Stretches of offensive rebounds for Cleveland: “They did. Four of them were on the ground. You know what I mean? So to me, that’s what I meant by the 50/50 game. They count as offensive rebounds. I’m going to say three-to-four for sure were balls that were laying on the ground; long rebounds that someone has to get and we should have to get one of them. You would think. And we didn’t. But I also think it’s difficult when you have kind of turned it off. They’re going to make the effort plays, and I thought that’s what happened. We had Paul definitely got fouled, Ray (Allen) misses a lay-up – we had a lot of things that could’ve gone right. But to me, I always jokingly talk about the basketball gods; when you don’t take care of the game, things come back to haunt you. And I thought it did tonight.”

Did he expect them to go to Kyrie Irving at the end: “Oh yeah. Yeah, pretty sure. And the reason that Kyrie’s so good is the play was for him to make a play. Whether that be by shooting the ball or making a pass. And he pretty much makes good decisions. I thought he dominated the fourth quarter. He single-handedly in my opinion willed that win for them.”

Ray Allen’s return: “Ray looked good. I mean, he looked fresh. I thought he – 9 for 14 – in some ways you look at the stats, he was probably our most efficient player. You know, missed the big lay-up down the stretch and got some, I thought he gave up some middle drives and some base-line drives that creates those offensive rebounds that we talk about. And those are things we have to get better at. But overall, I couldn’t have been happier with his play.”

Pierce turning the ball over a lot: “Yeah, I thought he did too much tonight with the ball; it’s just that simple. He’s been playing great for us. And I thought he just predetermined some passes instead of just making the simple play.”


Kyrie Irving: “You know, he made a good play. Split me and Brandon (Bass) and he made a tough left handed lay up. Tough one.”

Has he ever played with or against Kyrie Irving: “No, this is the first time I’ve ever seen him play. He’s a good player. A good point guard. He’s real smart. He’s a good player.”

How is his ankle: “My ankle is good. I’m going to get treatment on it right now. I’ll be fine. I’ll be ready for Tuesday.”

Did he land awkwardly: “I just came down on it wrong. But I’ll be all right. (It’s) my right.”

What went wrong at the end: “I was in the locker room for a little bit but when I came out. We just had some breakdowns. But you know it’s things that we can fix. And like I said, we’ll be ready for Tuesday.”

Is it good that they will play Cleveland again on Tuesday: “Yeah, definitely. You know, it’s a tough one for us because we had it and unfortunately we didn’t win tonight. But we will be prepared for Tuesday and we all know what we need to do. Regardless of who plays for them, who comes back, we’ll be prepared and we just need to come with a chip on our shoulders and come and play hard like we’ve been doing.”


Did he get the final shot he wanted: “I just didn’t make the shot, or get it off on time.”

The “non-foul call” : “Nothing I can do about it.”

What happened down the stretch: “Like I said, the defense just didn’t step up. We allowed more points in the fourth quarter than we did all game, and the turnovers really came to bite us. I turned the ball over too much today. Turnovers really came back to bite us today. I mean, we shot 50%, they shoot 43, but that’s the difference in the game. We turned the ball over too many times.”

What did the Cavs do differently in the fourth quarter to have the offensive edge: “They just ran a pick and roll with Kyrie Irving. They were just really aggressive in the pick and roll and attacking the basket. And he did make the shot and caused hell and Varejao …goes down the middle – one of the best offensive rebounders in the league and he comes down the middle and gets offensive rebounds and that’s pretty effective.”

What needs to happen differently in the fourth: “Maybe I should play a little more. I don’t know.”