Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Nuggets

(On the game tonight): “Another disappointing game as far as I am concerned; just not being able to put together a 48 minute game. I am just really disappointed in the fact that we just continuously spot teams 16, 18 and 20 point leads and then just like most teams you are going to come back and make a run but you are fighting uphill all game long. We have got to figure out a way to just play 48 solid good minutes of basketball without putting ourselves in a big hole to start the game.”

(On the lack of defense against the Denver Nuggets this year): “I thought in the first half we did not match their intensity. I thought they were more aggressive, more physical than we were. We were on our heels the whole night. In the second half we allowed them to do whatever they wanted to do and they took advantage of it. I thought in the second half we came out a little bit more aggressive. We did a much better job on both ends of the floor until the last five or six minutes when we started breaking down again. In the first half, they were just more aggressive. They were just tougher. They just went right at us. That is the bottom line.”

(On the offense during the fourth quarter): “I just know we had two three-second calls, we had an offensive foul in transition by Joey (Graham). The other two possessions I do not remember because I know we did a pretty good job of keeping it within that six to eight point differential at that time. We just could not get a good basket or a good shot out the next time down. Again, those are just a little bit of the things we are not doing well. Offensively when we have the game on the line like that you have got to do a better job of executing. It is the same thing on the defensive end. Again, with Carmelo (Anthony), we talked about coming off of the ball as quick as possible and trying to get the ball out of his hands. We lapsed and he got down the lane three times. Again, it was lack of focus at that particular time of the game. We cannot have that. Not against a team like that.”

(On how he is going to fix the mistakes made by the players this season): “We will keep talking about it until they (the players) get it. That is all you can do, keep working on it. I am not going to throw my hands up. That is not me.”

(On if the effort at the end of the game was about staying out of the record books): “I have no idea if that even entered their minds to be honest with you. It did not enter my mind. I can care less about the record books as far as that is concerned. The one record I hope we start to do is 48 solid minutes of basketball. Not 36 or 24. Let’s see if we can put a streak together where we can play 48 straight minutes of good basketball.”

(On taking anything positive from tonight): “Yes, it is over and we get ready for tomorrow.”

(On the defensive improvement in the second half): “We got locked in. We kind of let up in the fourth towards the end, but I think we cut (the lead) down to like six or less points. We had a chance to take the lead and we just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities.”

(On if the team wants to win badly enough): “Of course. We are not playing to lose. Like I said, we had a couple of blown defensive assignments, but nobody is playing to lose. We are all playing to win.”

(On if the team has forgotten how to win): “We are not forgetting what it takes, we know what it takes. I think at some point in everybody in this locker room’s career, they have been a winner. Myself personally, I came to this team to two 60-plus win seasons. I just hate losing. It’s a tough season for us and hopefully we can turn it around.”

(On the current losing streak): “Any loss bothers me, not just knowing we have lost 19 in a row. If we won 19 and lost one, that one loss would bother me. Losing 19 in a row is tough, but I just hate losing overall.”

(On having a 20-point lead and Cavs cutting it to six in the fourth quarter): I just don’t know of many NBA games that you keep a 20-point lead for the whole game, especially on the opposing team’s court. I just thought we didn’t give enough, concentration and focus. They (Cavs) played hard and took advantage of it in the third quarter. Fortunately, we held on and made enough plays in the fourth quarter to win.”

(On Cavs): “I think once they got (Daniel) Gibson back in the game, it seemed like he got into a good rhythm. Sessions, when he plays like he did tonight, they will find some wins. They are just going to have to hang in there until they get some confidence. Hickson had a good game for the. They’ll be good enough to win some games.”

(On Nuggets early in games): “Our starts have been good on this trip. We’ve gotten into the games mentally pretty well. The only disappointment I have is our offense. Of course, we have a lot of guys who are hurt, Kenyon (Martin) had foul trouble and it was kind of a weird rotation going on and I don’t think anyone understood who was playing when. I thought Ty (Lawson) and Arron (Afflalo) were really good for us.”

(On Carmelo Anthony trade rumors): “I think we get tired being asked that question, so I think they (players) are a little tired of it. I think we have kept it away from the basketball court. I think there is an energy that is drained from press conferences, going to different cities, and being asked the same questions and reading the same stories. In general, I think, especially on this trip, lately at home, we’ve had a good run and winning games at home. We had a bad stretch early in January, but I think we have bounced back. Now, we’re starting to play as good of basketball as we have played all year.”

(On Arron Afflalo): “He’s pretty impressive. I keep saying he’s making a lot of money. I like how he plays, he’s fundamentally sound on both ends and making shots. Tonight, with the second unit, he made some go-to moves, go –to plays that kept the lead at six. Then, he gives you first-class defensive effort every night.”

(On his role tonight): “I was just pushing the tempo. The first squad, they like to play slow down, post-up, so I try to push the tempo of the game and get J.R. (Smith) involved so that makes us play a lot better.”

(On his style): “In your select few minutes, you have to push it the whole time. Make sure you push the tempo, because it gives them (opponent) a different look.”

(On first half vs. third quarter): “Give them (Cavs) credit, they continued to play with a lot of intensity. The coaching staff has them playing extremely hard, regardless of their circumstances and standings right now. So, I am going to give them a lot of credit for competing.”

(On his performance): “I hit my first few shots and I thought I could have a good night. Then I got into a little bit of foul trouble and that threw my rhythm off a little bit. Outside of that, I thought it was a pretty productive night.”