Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Celtics

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HEAD COACH BYRON SCOTT

(On tonight’s game): “Obviously, not the outcome I wanted, but the one thing I told our guys (is that) they played so hard tonight. It was just great to see. We just have to continue to play that hard. With so many guys down and to still compete the way that we competed, to get that game to two points, I thought was great. I told them I was very proud of the way they played, how hard they played.”

(On not having Gibson and Parker): “Obviously, it hurts because those two guys are big in our rotation. They both mean a lot to us. Then also to lose Tristan in the first half hurt us as well. Having three guys down and to be able to fight and compete the way that we did, I thought was fantastic.”

(On Anderson Varejao): “I don’t know what to tell you. I already said it last week-he’s playing like an all-star. I don’t know what else to say.”

(On Irving’s fourth-quarter play): “He just knows that that is winning time. That’s the time right there in the fourth quarter that you have a chance to win the ball game. His focus is even more heightened than when the game starts. He’s just doing a great job in the fourth quarter.”

(On if he wished Irving would be more aggressive earlier in the game): “Not really. I think he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing as a point guard. He’s trying to get all his teammates involved in the first and second quarter and then in the second half, he seemed to want to take over the game a little bit or be a little more aggressive. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”

(On what changed in the fourth quarter): “I thought we started getting stops. Defensively, I thought we started doing a much better job of getting stops and making their shots a little bit tougher. They’re going to hit tough shots. They’ve always been one of the best offensive executing teams in the league. When you have the type of guys that they have, it’s pretty easy to execute offensively. They have shot makers, but I thought we just got more aggressive defensively. We got stops and then were able to pick it up on the offensive end and that seemed to energize us even more.”


KYRIE IRVING

(On the team’s energy in the fourth quarter): “Going forward, we need to sustain that energy we had in the fourth quarter. We were competing with them, even though we went down 22 points. We still fought back. They gave us their best shot and it came down to the final two minutes of the game. We’ve just got to keep our energy up for 48 minutes.”

(On a career high in minutes): I feel like I’m in pretty good shape and I really understand what Coach Scott was doing by having me work my way up in minutes. I wanted to play more minutes, but it was a coaching decision that I’m behind. It was just another milestone.”

(On trying to come back against Boston): “We tried to come back against a good Boston team. It’s tough to do against any team in this league. They have a ton of talent and we got some stops down the stretch, but just didn’t close it out.”


ANDERSON VAREJAO

(On his individual performance tonight): “It’s good to have a game like that, but we didn’t take care of home court. We have to win more games at home. It was a tough loss.”

(On the comeback attempt): “I thought about last game and thought we had a chance to get back in the game. It was a two-point game and if we had gotten a few more good stops, we could of come back to win the game. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. t least we gave ourselves a chance to get back in the game and tried to win.”

(On what went wrong in the second and third periods offensively): “I think when we got to the fourth quarter, we knew we had to play differently. That was something we didn’t do in the second and third quarters. Then we played harder. We have to play hard for 48 minutes. If we play like that, we’re going to win games.”


CELTICS HEAD COACH DOC RIVERS

(On the game): “I thought we played really well. We had the one stretch, in the beginning of the fourth (quarter), where we really let (Cleveland) back in it. They really turned their defensive pressure up and we really struggled getting into (our offense)…We’re really good when we keep the game simple and we’re really bad when we try to do too much.”

(On Anderson Varejao): “(Anderson) Varejao’s energy is just amazing. It’s amazing to watch him run around relentlessly, and pursue (loose) balls…Varejao’s always an All-Star as far as I’m concerned. I think they should keep a spot for a role player. That’s what he does, he plays his role…He had 20 points and they didn’t run one (offensive) set for him…Down the stretch, he and Kyrie (Irving) were tough for us to handle.”

(On Ray Allen): “I said, ‘Ray, they’re going to trap you all night. Tonight is going to be your ‘pass’ night.’ Kudos to Ray (Allen), he just kept moving the ball.”


JERMAINE O'NEAL

(On his conditioning): “I was alright. I got a little winded, and it took me a couple minutes to get my legs going…It’s a process and I have another opportunity tomorrow (night).”

(On making the little plays): “I think that’s what this team is about. In order for us to be successful, we have to dig in and do the dirty work…Tonight was about guys having the will to win.”


PAUL PIERCE

(On the game): “We would have liked to end the game a little bit better, but we really scrapped back and put pressure on both sides of the ball.”

(On Anderson Varejao): “(Anderson) Varejao is just a pain in the butt with his offensive rebounding, the way he knocks down shots and keeps (loose) balls alive. He’s probably one of the more underrated players in the NBA with how much energy he gives this ball club…He has a knack of somehow coming up with the ball all the time…He’s a major factor out there.”