What the New Orleans Pelicans had to say about 104-98 loss to the Phoenix Suns (11/5/13)

Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams
On what the team did well:

“We had a good first quarter. After that, I think we went away a bit from the things that are necessary for us to be good. I just didn’t think we were as connected as we were against Charlotte. We had a great start, but we just didn’t sustain it.”

On struggling in the third quarter:

“For whatever reason, I don’t think it has anything to do with the other team. I think it’s just us learning how to play together, learning how to do something with guys you never played with before. But to me, that’s a bit of an excuse. It’s still basketball. You’re playing to win. We played to win in the first quarter. We didn’t have a great second quarter, but I still thought we played hard in the third quarter. To a degree, in the fourth quarter, we were just playing desperation basketball. The second half was just totally not the way we play in practice. We’re just having a bit of a time with carry-over from practice. ”

On mistakes in the third quarter:

“The ball was getting to the basket and then we had to go help because it’s at the rim. We had too many guys going to help because we didn’t take care of the ball and that’s on me. We teach a certain way to play a pick and roll defense and (Eric) Bledsoe just ate it up tonight. Our shot selection led to that. When you take bad shots in transition, teams take off and you have an unbalanced defense going back. ”

On how the latest victory and subsequent practices affected tonight’s game:

“We had a great practice yesterday. Our guys had a great shoot around this morning. For whatever reason, it didn’t translate. We’ve run into a couple of teams that play just as hard as we do, but they shot the ball better, especially from the three point line. I certainly feel like we played better than we did in Orlando.”

Pelicans Guard Anthony Morrow
On how the Suns were able to win the game:
“They got loose from the three. We did a bad job of running them off the line. That’s what they’ll do, spread you out, penetrate and pitch. Overall though, it’s on us. We have to respond better when teams make their run. They kind of hit us in the mouth, so we have to respond tomorrow because we have another game.”

On preventing teams from making big runs:

“Collectively, we have to understand when the moment comes when teams are making their runs how to respond. I think they made a run and we just have to respond better in those situations. It’s something we have to learn to handle as a team. Individually we have to take it personally, and collectively we definitely have to take it personally.”

Pelicans Guard Brian Roberts
On allowing thirty-seven points in the third quarter:
“That’s the game-breaker right there. That’s what pushed the momentum in their favor. It was tough in the fourth quarter to try to fight back and make plays. When we fell in the third quarter, it’s tough to get back. There are things that we can do differently defensively, but there is no real excuse to give up thirty-seven points. We came out and gave the first punch, and they punched back but we didn’t respond.”

On maintaining strong starts and the next game:
“When you have something going and it’s working, you have to stay with that. We were moving the ball and finding the open man. We have to keep that formula. That’s been successful for us and we have to keep doing that. We have a big game tomorrow and we can’t hang our heads going into Memphis. We know how tough of a team that is, so we’ll talk about it, but we just have to get ready for tomorrow.”