Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Mavericks


(On tonight’s game): “Anytime you beat the world champions, it’s a great win. It didn’t look that good in the first half, but I thought getting it into single digits going into the second half, we had a chance. (In the first half) we weren’t playing very well offensively. We made some defensive mistakes, but corrected some of those at halftime and did a much better job.”

(On the third quarter): “The last thing I told the guys at halftime was that we had to come out aggressively on both ends. I said ‘Just be aggressive. If you have an open shot take it, just take it with confidence.’ We got going pretty good in the third quarter. Taking Kyrie out to try to save him for the fourth quarter, I thought the second unit guys really got it going. That helped us build a little bit of a lead. You knew they were going to come back. They’re the champs so they’re not going to just lay down. The way we finished the game, I thought was great.”

(On getting their first win vs. a team over .500): “It’s just like your first back-to-back win, winning the second night of a back-to-back. All of these little firsts are just confidence builders for us. We just have to keep going from here. Not live on this one, enjoy it for right now, but come in on Monday for practice and get ready for another game.”

(On Kyrie’s layup with 15 seconds left): “Great move. Got to the basket. Great finish. I told him to just run this one play that we have been running. Just keep the ball in his hands to where he can make a decision. Be aggressive and look to score for himself or see if he can get it to his teammates and he was able to get it all the way to the basket.”

(On Kyrie in the fourth quarter): “I thought in the fourth quarter, he was pretty fresh. We put the ball in his hands and let him make decisions. He has a unique ability to get to the basket. When he gets there, he has a great way of finishing. Once he gets around guys, he is just a great little finisher and he can finish on the inside with either hand.”

(On getting Andy extra rest in the second half): “I think it’s very big. He’s been playing a lot of minutes lately and as hard as he plays, sometimes he’s going to be gassed. Trying to give him an extra couple minutes, as long as we had the lead and it was close, I thought was important. Bringing him back for the last five and a half minutes, I thought was a perfect time for him because he was going to be able to get his hands on the ball and do what he does.”


(On defeating the defending champion Dallas Mavericks): “This win means a lot more, but it’s still just a win in our column. We beat the defending champs and we gave a valiant effort. I’m happy. It feels good.”

(On what he’s learning about himself): “I just feel my teammate’s confidence down the stretch. They continue to give me the ball and they have the confidence in me to make the right play, whether if it’s for myself or them. Once you have that confidence, it’s easy going into the fourth quarter.”

(On what the team did differently in the third and fourth quarters offensively): “We started to knock down our good looks. In the first quarter, I missed my first four shots. They were good looks, but they just weren’t falling, like the rest of my teammates. In the second half we started getting stops and started to score the ball.”


(On the second half of tonight’s game):

“The second half was big for us. We didn’t start the game the right way. The second quarter was not good for us, but we knew that if we kept ourselves within eight, we could come back and give ourselves a chance to win the game.”

(On the team’s effort tonight): “That’s what we talked about before the game. We said let’s play hard on defense, get stops, and run against them because they don’t want to run. And that’s what we did.”

(On playing with Kyrie): “It’s hard to guard a guy like him because he can finish around the rim. They know they have to deal with him and he’s smart enough to know when he can finish or make that extra pass and get his teammates an easy one. It’s going to be really hard to guard a guy who does what he does.”


(On the loss): “They had 19 points off turnovers and 17 second chance points. That was the difference.”

(On not keeping leads): “We’re doing some good things, but we have to do a better job of sustaining and that’s on both ends of the court. We have a couple practice days. We have to put them to good use and we have to get better.”

(On Brandan Wright): “(Brandan) Wright has produced virtually every time we’ve put him in the game. He’s doing a terrific job.”

(On Kyrie Irving): “He’s a terrific young player and we didn’t guard him very well. He’s a very good penetrator and he made big plays. He was a great draft choice and he’s going to be a foundation piece here for more than a decade.”


(On the loss): “It was just another bad third quarter. We talked about having bad efforts coming out of halftime and (tonight) was another perfect example of it…They (Cleveland) really took it to us and really picked up their energy.”

(On Anderson Varejao): “He’s an animal. We knew that coming in and he’s just great. He’s relentless…He’s got a great nose for the ball and he just keeps coming. (There are plays) when you think two guys have it and he just gets in there, tips it and someone comes up with it…He’s very active. I don’t think we’re the only team he’s done it to.”


(On his return to Cleveland): “These Cleveland fans are more than fans, they’re friends…It’s good seeing a lot their faces in the same seats. They have a great owner here. They have a great nucleus of young guys…This organization is on its way. I can see them being a contender a few years from now.”