Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Lakers
(On the game tonight): “Defensively tonight, we were great. For 48 minutes we played some of the best defense. As I told the guys after the game, that’s how we have to play. We have to be aggressive, be physical, and if we play that way, we can be a pretty good basketball team.”
(On Kyrie Irving returning to the lineup): “It was good to have Kyrie back. I thought he played great but we had so many other good contributions from so many guys. Tristan rebounding the ball and defending, Andy being Andy, and C.J. really starting to step up his game and playing extremely well. Even though Kobe scored 42, I thought Alonzo did a terrific job of challenging every shot. It really doesn’t matter who you put on that guy. He’s just that good.”
(On Kyrie’s play late in the game): “He just loves to play basketball. He loves the competition. He likes being put in the position of having to deliver. Again, he’s just a special young man… I think from a confidence standpoint, our guys feel pretty good. Guys were excited to see Kyrie back on the floor. You saw that from practice on Monday and it carried over into tonight’s game. We’ll see how it goes from this point on. I didn’t think I was going to play him 37, 38 minutes tonight. I was just going with the flow of the game. Tomorrow is the biggest test. It’s his first back-to-back in a month. We’ll see how he deals with that.”
(On putting C.J. Miles in the starting lineup): “I started him because he was playing really well the last three or four games, and I thought his confidence was coming back. The second thing was that he’s been taking good shots, not trying to do too much, and letting the game come to him. He’s been doing a really good job in practice of setting people up, making hard cuts and taking shots when they’re given to him. When he plays that type of role, he can be really effective for us.”
(On how he felt on the floor tonight): “I felt good. I thought we competed on both ends of the floor. Obviously, Kobe (Bryant) will do what he does, but we dug deep for a full 48 minutes.”
(On if his finger affected his play at all): “I felt that I rushed my shots a little bit, especially in the second half when they started shadowing me on the ball. My teammates did a great job of slowing me down. We were really together tonight and that’s why we got the win.”
(On if he waited for this particular game to come back): “No, I was just waiting for the doctors to clear me. I’m thankful they did and I got to get back out there tonight.”
(On his passing tonight): “I was just staying aggressive the entire game and finding my teammates. I worked with the bigs in practice yesterday and told them what spots to be at and that I’d find them.”
(On the impact Kyrie made tonight): “He comes out there and he makes plays for himself and others. There’s a lot more space for the guys off the ball because he requires so much attention. He made some big shots and helped set the tempo well. He did what we needed him to do and he was who we thought he was.”
(On his confidence level): “I’m just playing hard and am going out there and staying within the system. My teammates have been the biggest supporters of me; setting screens and giving me open looks. I can’t do anything without them.”
(On why he was shooting so well tonight): “I got a lot of good looks, especially in the beginning of the game. I would catch the ball and guys would be three steps away instead of one, and that’s the easiest shot you can get. I had more time to square myself, which made it easy.”
Lakers Head Coach Mike D'Antoni
(On Kyrie Irving’s impact on the game): “He’s tough. When you get him in dire straits he will hit shots you can’t guard. Irving is good. He hits a couple of very hard shots and guess what? You lose the game.”
(On Lakers’ recent struggles): “We play at a slow-pace and we struggle. It may be a mindset. We’ve got to search hard for some heart and play harder.”
(On Cavaliers building an early lead): “We lost that game in the first half because we didn’t defend with the energy we had in the second half. In the state that we are in, that’s inexcusable.”
(On the loss tonight): “It seems like Groundhog’s Day. It’s the same thing over and over as far as giving a team life. This team (Cavaliers) has been struggling without a lot of their guys and they came out and made eight out of ten (shots). It’s gut-check time. We have to look in the mirror and fix some things.”
(On improved play in second half): “We’re a good enough team that we should be doing this for a full 48 minutes. We have yet to put together a good effort for a full 48-minute game.”
- The Cavs have won seven of the last eight games against the Lakers at The Q.
- Cleveland shot .407 (11-27) from beyond the arc, marking the seventh game this season with at least 10 triples made.
- Three players scored at least 20 points: Kyrie Irving (28), CJ Miles (28) and Anderson Varejao (20). The last time the Cavaliers had three players score at least 20 points was on November 30, 2012 against Atlanta: Jeremy Pargo (22), Dion Waiters (21) and Anderson Varejao (20).
- Kyrie Irving recorded 28 points, including 4-6 (.667) from the three-point line, six rebounds and a season-high 11 assists in 38 minutes. In two career games against the Lakers, Irving is averaging 24.5 points on .514 shooting from the field, 7.5 assists and 1.5 steals in 33.0 minutes per game. Irving also notched his eighth 20-point game in 11 contests this season.
- In his first start of the season, CJ Miles tallied a season-high 28 points, including 5-10 (.550) from behind the arc, a season-high tying five rebounds and one block in 37 minutes. The last time Miles made five or more threes in a single game was on March 16, 2011, when he made six against Minnesota. In his last four games, Miles is averaging 16.5 points in 22.8 minutes per game. Miles is also shooting .450 (9-20) from deep over that stretch.
- Anderson Varejao recorded 20 points on 8-13 (.615) shooting from the field, nine rebounds, five assists and a game-high three steals in 35 minutes of action. With three steals tonight, Varejao (425) passed Brad Daugherty (422) for ninth place on the Cavaliers all-time leaders list.
- Alonzo Gee finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in 40 minutes. In his last three games, Gee is averaging 15.0 points and 5.0 rebounds in 36.3 minutes per game.
- Tristan Thompson pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds in 34 minutes and is averaging 7.6 rebounds in 30.0 minutes per game this season.