Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Clippers
(On the game tonight): “(That’s) a very good team we just lost to. I thought we came out sluggish for whatever reason. I thought we were soft on our heels. I thought the first play was kind of indicative of the whole game.”
(On how the Clippers got going in the fourth quarter): “They had a couple of big plays and hit a couple of threes. We came down and turned the ball over a couple of times and they were able to get back on the offensive end and make some shots.”
(On playing without Kyrie Irving): “With any team, when you lose your best player, you can survive that for three or four games. It’s just like with losing Andy earlier in the season, but you can’t just survive for 10, 11 or 12 (games) whatever the case may be. That’s not necessarily what caught up to us tonight. I just thought the Clippers were a much better basketball team than we were. They were much more physical and much more aggressive than we were. We can get away with that against some of the lesser teams, but you can’t come out with that mentality like we did tonight. We were on our heels and they were the aggressor. We were trying to react to everything instead of being the aggressor and trying to be more assertive. When we did get into that, we were able to get back into the game...They turned it up a notch and we weren’t able to turn it up to the top of the notch they were able to turn it up to.”
(On why he believes the team came out sluggish): “There’s no real reason but Coach (Byron Scott) hit it on the head, we did come out sluggish tonight and we usually do get up for big games like this. This is a playoff team that is trying to make a run at the championship. Our guys needed to take advantage of it, but it happens. We have Monday against the Knicks and we have to come out and play.”
(On if he was afraid that the Clippers would run away with the lead late): “No, I thought when we were actually down by nine, that’s not a huge deficit going into the fourth quarter. They came out with that same intensity and Jamal Crawford made some tough shots. They played well tonight and they’re a tough basketball team.”
(On the Clippers ability to score quickly): “They have guys who can make plays. They have Chris Paul, who is a double-double guy and then you have Jamal Crawford who can score 20 points in five minutes. They have guys who can make plays and make shots. That’s how they get up and down the floor so quickly and score a lot of buckets.”
(On letting the game slip away): “We have to take care of the ball. One bad pass or a mistake on the offensive end leads to them getting layups and dunks. We saw that with the two dunks that Blake (Griffin) got. We have to take care of the ball and run the offense.”
Clippers HEAD COACH VINNY DEL NEGRO
(On the game): “Jamal (Crawford) made a lot of shots. Chris (Paul) controlled the game with his assists. We controlled our turnovers. I thought at times we were a bit slow defensively. Cleveland has been playing well. They play hard. We let them split our double teams a couple of times but overall we made enough plays offensively.”
(On their defensive performance): “We were trying to be aggressive; use our depth. We have athletic bigs. I thought Ronny (Turiaf) gave us some good minutes tonight. Another good team effort; trying to get as many (wins) as we can, learn the process and become better. It was a good back-to-back win after a tough game last night.”
(On six players scoring in double figures): “The ball movement was good. We didn’t shoot particularly well last night. We made a few more shots. It seems like and we controlled our turnovers. We didn’t give them opportunities to get out on the break…Offensively, we got some steals and got on the break.”
(On the Clippers defensive game plan): “Our game plan was great. Whether Kyrie played or not, with him and Dion Waiters, we were going to trap the ball screen. For a moment there we couldn’t slow (Waiters) down. We couldn’t contain him. For most of the game we tried to control him and not let him get going.”
(On how Irving compares to himself): “I’ve known Kyrie since he was in high school. He keeps getting better and better. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the (most fun) players to watch play. It’s been a tough season for him. I talk to him all the time and I tell him that a lot of guys don’t make the playoffs until their third year. The third year is when you turn it up.”
(On having numerous offensive options on the team): “It keeps the defense guessing. You can’t tell where points are going to come from. When you have a lot of guys scoring, they load up to try to stop one thing and then we have somebody else scoring. It makes our offense run much smoother.”
- Tristan Thompson tallied his 20th double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds in 31 minutes. Over his last 33 games, Thompson recorded 15 double-doubles and is averaging 13.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 32.9 minutes per game over that stretch.
- Dion Waiters finished with a team-high 17 points and six assists in 28 minutes. Over his last four contests, Waiters is averaging 22.8 points on .567 shooting from the field and 3.8 assists in 32.8 minutes per game.
- C.J. Miles recorded 16 points, including connecting on 3-7 (.428) three-pointers, six rebounds and a season-high tying three steals in 27 minutes off the bench. Over his last seven games, Miles is averaging 12.7 points, including shooting .436 (17-39) from long range, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 19.9 minutes per game.
- In his third start as a Cavalier, Shaun Livingston recorded 10 points in 33 minutes. Livingston has scored in double figures in three straight games and is averaging 13.3 points on .519 shooting, 2.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 33.3 minutes per game during that span.
- Mareese Speights finished with 10 points on 4-8 (.500) shooting from the field and three rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. Speights has scored in double figures in 12 of 16 games as a Cavalier and is averaging 12.0 points and 6.1 rebounds in 21.3 minutes off the bench over that stretch.