Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Heat
(On the game tonight): “Well first, I thought the effort was much much better. We had our chance. Norris Cole just made a great play at the end.”
(On the last play of the game): “Just wanted to get the ball in Ky’s hands, put him in the middle of the floor. We didn’t want to run the pick and roll because I know what they are going to do. They are going to trap him. So, (Kyrie) up against Norris was a good matchup and we will see what happens. Like I said, Norris made a great play.”
(On tonight’s defensive performance): “It was okay. They are a three point shooting team. A bunch of veterans. They understand how to play. They space the floor extremely well and they did exactly what we thought they would do. You give them any room, they’re going to shoot threes. They made eight in the first half and five in the second half. We wanted to see if we could cut that number to about nine, less than ten. Didn’t get it done from that standpoint. They hit a few tough ones. Overall, I thought our defense was okay, could’ve been better.”
(On his message to the fans): “Just be patient. The guys are on the right track. A tough season for all of us and all that happened, but we feel we are still on the right track. Kyrie is still developing to be one of the best point guards. Tristan Thompson is definitely developing into a young power forward in this league. Dion, I think we all saw this year, that he can be pretty dynamic at times and he still has a long way to go and some growth. Tyler is going to get better. We missed Andy obviously the whole season long. I think on those things right there, there is definitely potential and hope right there.”
(On the last play of tonight’s game): “We had an opportunity to win the game, but (Norris Cole) got a hand on the ball. It was a good defensive play.”
(On his mindset during the final play): “I knew I wanted to get to my pull up anywhere I could. (Norris Cole) read it well and got his hand on the ball and stole it.”
(On how important it is to win the final game of the season): “It’s really important for us to compete as a group for the remainder of the season. It’s the last game of the season and we just have to go out with a bang. It’s another chance for us to play the game that we love before we go on a long break.”
(On the fans): “They were awesome all season. The support was a lot better than last season and we’re thankful for that. I know that their support is going to continue to grow, especially in the Cavalier and Cleveland community. I’m really thankful for that.”
(On the last play of tonight’s game): “We ran a play for Kyrie (Irving) to be isolated and he’s been our go to guy, especially in tough times. He always makes the right play. It just didn’t happen tonight. It’s not a letdown or whatnot. We gave up the lead and put ourselves in a tough situation. What happened with Kyrie, it’s just the game of basketball. He brought us back and we got the game close, so I’m still proud of the way he played tonight.”
(On the fans): “We appreciate them sticking by us through an up and down year. We had tough breaks, but we’re all working hard and we want to continue to get better. This summer we’re going to look back and reflect on the season and come back a better team.”
Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra
(On the game): “I’m really happy for the guys in the locker room. It was a collective effort with the guys out but guys that have been sacrificing all year haven’t had the opportunity to play big minutes. They keep themselves ready. Opportunities like this, they make the most of them and we went deep into the rotation and everybody had a hand in this win. That’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to compete and (while) we’re here, we might as well give ourselves a chance to win on the road and see what happens down the stretch.”
(On Norris Cole’s performance): “He just makes steady progress. He’s as pure as anybody that we have in that locker room. He’s only about winning, and I loved to see him respond to those last few plays. He was so down on himself for missing those free throws but you know he’s so competitive. He’ll find a way to make a winning play and he did against an elite point guard in an open situation. He was able to get his body in front of him, get the winning strip and possession, but he made so many plays during the course of the game that put us in position to have that win. He’s making progress, he’s making better decisions, his shooting has improved…Each month he’s getting a little bit better and gaining more confidence.”
(On having a deep rotation): “Guys understand what makes us successful and that’s one through 15. Regardless of who plays, there’s a Miami Heat pride to come in here and compete… You have to have the right guys to be able to do it. If it were easy, more people would do it. You have to have the right veteran players that are willing to sacrifice and wait their turn, keep themselves ready and not drift mentally. We have guys that are playing for the right reasons, hopefully for the ultimate prize.”
(On the last defensive play): “It was an iso. I just wanted to stay in front of him and keep my body between Kyrie and the basket and he made a move. I seen the ball, stripped it away and we got the win.”
(On if he knew he was nearing a triple-double): “Yes, I knew. I don’t scoreboard watch but we have good teammates. I was close and they told me.”
(On playing in Cleveland): “It’s good to have my family here. As far as the win itself, you’d take any win. The fact that I had my family here, I know it’s a great experience for them to see me perform well live and not on TV or the radio or anything like that.”
(On being 15-1 in the second night of a back-to-back): “I just think we have a mature team. We take every game one game at a time. We don’t look past anyone. We don’t cheat the game. We work the game every minute, every possession and that gives us a chance to win.”
- Cleveland outscored Miami 50-28 in points in the paint. The Cavs have tallied at least 50 points in the painted area 10 times this season. The 22 point advantage in the paint is the largest differential this season.
- The Cavaliers recorded 20 assists and a season-low tying six turnovers. Cleveland also forced 18 Miami turnovers. The Cavs have forced at least 15 turnovers 43 times this season.
- Tristan Thompson tallied his 31st double-double of the season (40th of his career) with 16 points on 7-14 (.500) shooting from the field, a game-high 13 rebounds and two blocks in 36 minutes. Thompson has five double-doubles in his last seven contests and is averaging 16.6 points on .517 shooting, 12.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 34.6 minutes per game over that span.
- Dion Waiters recorded 16 points on 7-14 (.500) shooting, four assists, one steal and two blocks in 27 minutes off the bench. In three career contests with the Heat, Waiters is averaging 19.3 points on .511 shooting and 3.0 assists in 31.7 minutes per game.
- Alonzo Gee finished with 13 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting, six rebounds and three steals in 27 minutes. Gee averaged 11.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal in 32.0 minutes per game in three matchups against the Heat this season.
- Kyrie Irving tallied 16 points, eight assists, two steals and one block in 36 minutes. On the season, Irving is averaging 22.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 1.5 steals in 34.7 minutes per game.
- Kevin Jones recorded 10 points on 3-6 (.500) shooting, three rebounds and one steal in 14 minutes off the bench. Over his last four games, Jones is averaging 9.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 17.0 minutes per game.