Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Hawks
(On the game tonight): “It was a good example of youth versus experience. If you don’t know what I mean, the last three minutes of the game the Hawks did a heck of a job of running their offense and getting the ball into the paint and we just settled on bad jump shots. That’s the biggest difference.”
(On the difference between the third and fourth quarter): “We did a much better job in the third quarter of running our offense. We were very efficient of getting the ball moving from side to side and then looking to attack them. On the defensive end, we did a really good job of clogging the paint, being aggressive, being physical and getting stops. In the fourth quarter, the last two or three minutes, it was the total opposite. That’s the bottom line. We didn’t move the ball. We settled on long jump shots and they did a much better job of rebounding, bringing it down, getting everybody in position, running their offense and getting the shot they wanted. That’s a prime example of youth versus experience and experience is going to win most of the time.”
(On late game execution): “I wasn’t really happy with the execution the last two or three minutes. That’s an understatement and I let them know. That’s the 24th loss for us, and in 20 of them we’ve been leading going into the fourth quarter or down by no more than six points. So we’ve put ourselves in position. We’ve been right there. It’s just learning how to close games out."
(On the team playing stagnant at the end of the game): “Down the stretch, that’s usually the time I get aggressive. I tried to be aggressive and make plays for our guys. We just couldn’t finish down the stretch.”
(On if a loss like this is part of the team’s learning curve): “Absolutely. We’ve got to get stops on the defensive end and that will lead to our offensive execution. (Atlanta) got into a rhythm down the stretch and were making shots in transition. That was the difference.”
(On what he took from tonight’s loss): “There’s no doubt that we have to execute first on the defensive end and that will lead to our offensive execution. We’ve got to make shots, settle in, and not lose our focus, especially in the last few minutes.”
(On his halftime buzzer beater): “I told the guys, let’s get on the bus and go to Brooklyn. It was a momentum push for us, but it doesn’t mean anything now.”
Hawks Head Coach Larry Drew
(On the victory): “This is a big win for our club. We were shorthanded and played a team in Cleveland that has been playing well and probably had some confidence coming into this game. I thought in the beginning of the game we got in a hurry with a lot of the things we did. We settled down more so in the fourth quarter. Defensively, we got stops. Offensively, we came out and executed and did the things we needed to do to win the game.”
(On Hawks bench play): “We had a great performance out of a number of guys. The guys that came off the bench did a phenomenal job. All of the guys that came off the bench were very instrumental.”
(On Jeff Teague’s play): “Jeff played extremely well on both ends of the floor. I thought he did a great job with Kyrie Irving, as far as defending him. He kept the pressure on him on the offensive end too.”
(On his career high): “I was just playing aggressive. Coach has pulled me aside and told me to be more aggressive and that’s what I tried to do.”
(On facing Cavaliers backcourt): “They’re great players. They’re going to make plays on any given night and that’s what makes them special. We did our best to defend them and we did. That’s how we got the win.”
(On Hawks 9-0 run to finish the game): “We moved the ball and made shots. We played as a team. Overall, everybody played well.”
(On Hawks bench play): “They played well. They come out and work hard every day. They got the opportunity and made the most of it.”
(On adjustments made on Dion Waiters): “He’s a talented player. We tried to keep him out of the paint and make jumpers. He just happened to be missing them tonight. He’s a confident scorer and we know he wanted to make shots.”
- The Cavaliers collected 10 offensive rebounds leading to a 17-10 advantage in second chance points. The Cavs have tied or outscored their opponents in second chance points in 22 of 31 contests this season.
- Cleveland shot a perfect 14-14 from the charity stripe and have connected on 35-36 (.972) shots from the line in two contests with Atlanta this season. The last time the Cavs shot perfect from the foul line was February 16, 1999, when Cleveland made 14-14 shots against Orlando.
- The Cavs committed 11 turnovers compared to Atlanta’s 15 and are averaging 11.0 miscues over the last three games.
- Kyrie Irving recorded a game-high 28 points on 12-20 (.600) shooting, a season-high tying six rebounds, five assists, a career-high four steals and one block in 38 minutes of action. Irving also shot 4-7 (.571) from the three-point line.
- Dion Waiters finished with 18 points, a career-high six rebounds, four assists and three steals in 36 minutes. In two career games against the Hawks, Waiters is averaging 19.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 32.5 minutes.
- Tyler Zeller tallied 12 points and seven rebounds in a career-high 37 minutes. In five games as a starter, Zeller is averaging 12.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.0 block in 35.8 points.
- Alonzo Gee recorded 10 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 32 minutes.
- C.J. Miles finished with 10 points and three rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench. Miles has scored in double-figures in 11 of his last 13 games and is averaging 14.1 points and 3.2 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game over that stretch.
- Tristan Thompson tallied a near double-double with eight points and eight rebounds. Thompson is averaging 12.0 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 36.6 minutes over his last five games.