Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Nuggets
On: Close game and their last possession with 15 seconds left
"Well obviously with 15 seconds left we had a lot of time. I really wanted to take it full court and just let Kyrie just kind of go; just wanted to spread the floor for him. He did a great job getting the basket and finishing, and he didn't them (Nuggets) a whole lot of time left, 4 seconds. I thought Ty Lawson did a pretty good job getting to the basket; I thought Kyrie did a great job of affecting the shot, so he did it really tonight on both ends."
On: Kyrie Irving's defense, especially with 5 fouls
"That's the biggest thing, he had 5 fouls for a little while, and he was still able to take the challenge. He did a good job so he's showing, like we've said all along, that is in area he knows he needs to improve in. He's been doing a much better job. He took a little bit of a set back for a few games, but he's getting back to being a little bit more aggressive on that end of the flour as well."
On: Pleased with tonight's performance
"Extremely, Extremely, because that's something we talked about before the game; going out there and playing hard and competing. I told the guys before the game if you don't play hard, one thing I do know is playing hard doesn't still guarantee you anything, but without it you have no chance. I thought we did that tonight, we compete for a complete 48 minutes and we got a victory.
On: Playing tough defense late in the game
"I was just able to trust my teammates; they had my back. That's what it boils down to. We played great team defense all game, and that's what got us the win tonight."
On: Stopping Ty Lawson on the final play
"It was an adjustment on my end, and an adjustment by my teammates. I'm glad we got the stop at the end and got the win."
On: Game winning drive
"I was just taking what the defense gave me. They picked me up full court, and I kind of take it as a test when people pick me up full court. I'm pretty confident in my offensive skill set, and a lane opened up when I got there. It was a tough shot, but I had trust in my teammates."
On: First half performance
"At that particular time, there was a lot of back and forth going on. We couldn't quite get into a rhythm as a team. I kind of had it going, and my teammates did a good job as far as getting me the ball and kicking it to me. It wasn't really forced, it just came natural to me, and I was able to get some quality shots. In the second half we did a better job of execution. Alonzo [Gee] got it going and Kyrie down the stretch speaks for itself. I just had it going in the first half, and teammates picked it up in the second half."
On: Kyrie Irving's ability to finish
"He's always under control. He does a great job of setting opponents up and he finishes around the rim better then anyone I've played with or against. That's just an added bonus to his game, to get this type of experiences, to have so many clutch game winning shots, shots that make a difference. It only grows on his confidence and makes him better in the future. Down the stretch he single handed won the game for us, and we're not surprised by it. When the game is on the line, he'll get the job done."
NUGGETS HEAD COACH GEORGE KARL
On: Message to the team after loss
"I'm just disappointed that we didn't learn from the Sacramento game. The urgency of our defensive intensity and our pride to play [wasn't there.] We were on our home court; we were in a good spot and we don't demand ourselves to play at a high intensity level, and to let everyone celebrate where we're at. We just kind of had what I call ‘basketball coolness.' I'm not saying we didn't play hard. I'm just saying we didn't play hard enough. We didn't play focused and a demand on detail enough. It game in different ways [Antawn] Jamison got off. It's almost like we didn't know this kid. Jamison has gotten 50. We responded in the second half better. To lose the game by giving up layups is everyone's fault. It's my fault. You can't let a guy drive 84 feet and get a layup without him making a pass at the end of the game. It just can't be done. Our defensive pride is what I'm disappointed about, and then the home court enthusiasm. The home court energy and passion just show to your fans that we're going to be good. We just have casualness, coolness, whatever you want to call it. It's not the first time, its happened quite frequently. I've said numerous times that our team seems to play with more intensity on the road, then it does at home. That's on me, that's on some of our veteran leaders and on some of our young kids that are growing up."
On: Where do you go after loss
"We've got practice tomorrow. Tune up the little things we didn't do today, and just keep moving forward. There are too many games just to worry about one."
On: Cleveland limiting points off turnovers
"They did a good job getting back. When we did get steals, we missed shots. So hats off to them. They knew what they were doing."
On: Losing to a team that on paper shouldn't come in here and win
"Any team can beat you any given night. We didn't come out to play early, they caught a rhythm and that last couple of minutes they started knocking down shots, layups, and ones. You never know how it's going to go down the stretch, so that's on us."
On: Last play of the game
"The play was to either get Nene the ball in the post, or get it to me at the top, and I got it. I got a step on him, and I see him try to time the shot, so I tried to stay in, get him off balance, but I didn't have enough lift to finish it. It hit the rim, but it was one of those shots I needed to make."
On: Giving up layups in the final minutes of the game
"Yeah, Kyrie Irving did a good job getting to the basket down the stretch, so good plays by them."
On: Not coming out with the energy that the team talks about all the time
"We talk about it, just got to do it. So it wasn't there and we lost because of it."
On: If he was surprised that Cleveland wanted to go the length of the court at the timeout
"I don't know; I'm not sure what their strategy was. They won the game though, so they did what they had to do."