Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. 76ers

(On the game tonight): “I don’t know what it is about these five and six o’clock games, but I don’t like them. It just seems that our energy isn’t as good for whatever reason. I’ve tried two different ways to approach it and if we have another one sometime this season, I’ll try the third way. In the fourth quarter, I thought we played really hard. We played the way we should have played the first three quarters. We played in spurts as far as our energy was concerned. As young a team as we are, we can’t afford to do that.”

(On Jamison’s injury): “We don’t really know yet. I know it’s a fracture on his left pinkie finger. I guess we’ll have a little bit more of an understanding on what’s going to happen in the next day or so.”

(On the Cavaliers having better effort against the top teams): “When you have a young bunch of guys, there could be. As we’ve talked about a while back, the biggest trick right now is to play that way on a consistent basis. We’ve been up and down. We’re still trying to learn what it takes to be successful every single night. We’ll get there. It might be something when you’re playing against great teams like that (that we raise our play). So obviously, San Antonio means we’re going to play a lot better.”

(On what happened on the play at the end where J.J. turned the ball over): “Sess had the ball in his hands and we wanted him to have two looks: AP on the weak side and Boobie coming off the double on the strong side. Boobie just felt that he couldn’t get the shot off, so he threw it to J.J. What he really was thinking about doing was coming back for a handoff. J.J tried to make a move and Thaddeus did a good job of taking the ball from him.”

(On the last play of the game): “It actually worked out pretty good. The play was drawn up for them to set a ball screen on the other side and while that was going on, we would come off of two screens on the back side. All night they were really trying to not allow me to catch the ball on the perimeter. This time I got a little separation and I came off the screen. I don’t know whose men they were but they both came to me. With 12 seconds left, I didn’t want to hoist up a bad shot with a lot of time left. I wanted to hit J.J and then come back off of him to get a cleaner look or maybe even a quick two instead of a bad three. J.J tried to make the right play. He tried to go in and get a quick two but Thaddeus Young made a good defensive play.

(On playing with Baron Davis): “I’m very excited. He is somebody that I think a lot of guys in the NBA have seen do great things for a long time. To have him as a part of our team, playing with us, we are lucky to have him and we are looking forward to him being out there with us.”

(On the energy in the fourth quarter): “We had that sense of urgency in the fourth quarter where everyone thought we could win this game. Every time we went to the huddle we said ‘okay, let’s make another push’ and that’s what we did.”

(On his extended minutes in the fourth quarter): “It’s just working every day. Talking to some of the veterans on the team, they tell me my time is going to come. They tell me I am a good player and to just keep working, coming early and staying late, and my time is going to come. They tell me to go out there and give them some hard minutes and that’s what I am going to do.”

(Opening statement): “It was not easy by any stretch of the imagination. We got off to a very slow start and I thought that our bench came in and gave us a really big lift. We had scored 10 points and they came in and got it to a one-point game within the first quarter and then we had a good second quarter, but I thought our bench really gave us a chance to win today. This team (Cavaliers) has been averaging 113 points a game and shooting the ball so well here at home. They have been averaging eight made three-pointers a game and 42% over the last five games. We held them to 3-of-14 from three and 91 points. I thought the start of the fourth quarter hurt us; we fouled three straight times so we got them into the penalty early and it takes your aggressiveness away. We had a chance to put them away. We were up 82-70 and missed two free throws that would have made (the lead) 14 and then we were in a dog fight the rest of the way. Byron Scott’s teams are never going to give up, they are going to fight to the finish.

Jodie Meeks was terrific in the third quarter for us today. He struggled in the first quarter and came in and hit some big baskets for us. I brought him in cold and he hit a big three late and then stepped to the line and made two key free throws. He was our ace of spades today so it was a good win for us, four straight, and now we are going home to play three games in a row. Dallas, I think, on Tuesday and I think they have won 15 out of 16 going into tonight. They play Toronto so we could be looking at a team that has won 16 of their last 17. (It was a) workman like game. We would have lost this game early in the season. When we were 3-13, we would have found a way to lose this game and that’s one thing I told our guys, ‘We won this game today which was a very positive sign, but still 16 turnovers, I was not happy with that. I thought we got careless, but other than that it was a good win for us.”

(On playing the bench as much as he did): “That is what I have to do. We had another game not too long ago that I did the same thing and the beauty of it is our team respects that. They know that those guys on that bench are damn good players so when I go to the bench early, they know that I am putting somebody in there that is really a good player and you don’t have to say anything to our guys right now. We got off to a very slow start and one-by-one I started taking some guys out until I found a group out there that had a little juice. I thought Evan (Turner) was really good in the first half, Lou (Williams) was very good in the first half, Thad (Young) was very good in the first half, and then I thought Thad got a little tired wrestling those big guys today. Plus he had to do a lot of showing on screen rolls and then trying to get back to Jamison and their guards so I thought he got a little tired at the end of the game. Again, it was a good win for us. This team had won three-out-of-five and have been on a seven-game home stand. They beat the Knicks, they beat the Lakers, so this is a good win for us on the road.”

(On closing out the game in the fourth quarter): “I think it is our confidence. We did not play well and we did not execute well but we felt we could hold off their run and win this ballgame. I think our confidence is the biggest key.”

(On his slow start followed up by making several key shots): “In the first half, I started off kind of slow. Our bench came in and gave us a great lift. I just wanted to carry that over into the second half and I thought I did a good job, and the team did a good job of moving the ball and finding the open man.”