Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Magic
(On the game tonight): “It was an ugly game just how I like it. The great thing about it was just watching our guys, they never gave up. They just kept fighting and fighting and that’s one of those things that we’ve been trying to tell our team. Just keep competing, competing, competing, especially down the stretch when it gets tight. A lot of NBA games are one or two possession games, and if you keep competing, keep showing grit, mental toughness and physical toughness, things can happen for you that are positive. That’s what I liked about the win tonight.”
(On the last 14 seconds of the game): “Fourteen seconds left in the game and we’re down seven. That’s still plenty of time if you execute and you do the little things as hard as you can. Our guys just never quit. That’s what I like. We had a lot of big plays down the stretch. Delly (Matthew Dellavedova) took a charge which was huge. Our guys came out and got a five-second call. Everybody just denied and they were physical with the denials. We get a big five-second call and we tell our guys to pick up and still foul. So they picked up and tried to go for a steal but they didn’t get it so they fouled right away. They just executed down the stretch. Everything we asked them to do, they did. A guy missed two free throws. You gotta have a little luck too but you gotta get execution down the stretch. You gotta have belief down the stretch. You gotta have grittiness and toughness down the stretch, and that’s what we got.”
(On taking care of the ball in the second half): “As a team, obviously, we had a little trouble scoring the basketball, but the one thing we did in the second half was we took care of it. To have two turnovers after having seven in the second quarter alone was huge. Those seven turnovers resulted in easy baskets for Orlando. So we kind of shortened it up, we toughed it out defensively and found a way to win. That was exciting for our guys. It was exciting for us to go into overtime and win by getting stops instead of outscoring somebody. They scored two points in the five-minute overtime. Orlando is a very young team. They’re a growing team, but any team in the NBA, you hold them to two points in overtime, you’re doing something right. They might have missed some shots, but you gotta give your guys some credit for doing something right during that five-minute stretch.”
(On the importance of Anderson Varejao’s play): “It’s hard to explain his importance because he does a lot of little things. Tonight his numbers were great. You can see the 25 (rebounds), you can see the 18 (points), you can see the three assists and the one turnover. You can see that in front of you. A lot of nights you won’t be able to see his numbers in front of you. He does a lot of little things that don’t show up in the stat sheet. Andy is like a right guard on an offensive line. He just continues to do grunt work, grunt work, grunt work. The running back busts through the hole, gets a touchdown and then do their little dance, and Andy comes back to the sideline, gets his rest and then goes back in and does it again. So, his importance to us is huge and I’m glad it showed with his numbers tonight.”
(On how it feels to have a 25 rebound game): “It feels good, but the most important thing for us was the win. I still don’t know how we won this game. It was crazy, but I’ll take it.”
(On what he was thinking with a minute left): “I thought it was going to be tough to win. I knew we had to keep competing and keep playing, but like I said, it was crazy the way we came back in the game and went to overtime.”
(On if he feels all the way back physically): “I feel pretty good. I think I’m 100%. My body feels pretty good. I believe I’m back 100%.”
(On the last possession of regulation): “I just wanted to be aggressive and just get to the rim; either get a layup or a foul. I just took what they gave me.”
(On where his last-second layup ranks amongst his most important shots): “It’s up there, especially in a key moment like that and just how we fought back. Some people probably counted us out and thanks to the defense, we got a five-second count when we needed it. We were able to go down on the offensive end and get a bucket.”
(On what stealing a win does for a young team): “We’re still learning. We’re still learning how to close games out, but I think this one was important. You’re only down when you’re down and we still had fight in us. One thing about the NBA, it’s never over until there’s triple zeros on the clock. We knew that coming in and we just wanted to be aggressive and we had to come together in a time like that where some people probably doubted us. We knew that if we stuck with it and had patience, that we could pull it off.”
(On taking a charge from Glen Davis): “(Orlando) just ran a pick-and-roll and he was rolling, so I had to get over there quick and get outside the (restricted) circle.”
(On if he thought about who was coming at him): “I mean it happened so quickly; you’re not thinking. If you’ve taken them a few times, you know how to brace yourself.”
(On how much enjoyment he gets out of making tough plays): “I’m just trying to help any way I can. That’s what I’ve been doing lately and if we can get an extra possession by getting a jump ball or a loose ball or taking a charge, I think that really helps the team.”
(On tonight’s game): “You give them credit for continuing to play throughout the course of the game, all the way to the end. That one is going to sting a little bit. The guys played well enough to win the basketball game and we basically lost it within the last minute of the game. I take a lot of blame for that, for not getting us in the right position. I should have called a time out at the end and so I’ll take this one for sure.”
(On the locker room postgame): “This is one when you say stay together, you really have to and that’s really got to be the focus. This one is going to hurt and it’s going to hurt for a little bit, but we have to continue to encourage each other and pick each other up.”
(On Varejao’s performance): “He was a problem for us all night. We stress getting him off the boards but he’s relentless – you give him credit.”
(On the difficulty of closing with a young team): “You painfully play in games like these, which they really show you that you have to play until the end. Cleveland really did, they played till the end. They got to the lane, made shots at the end and gave themselves a chance. We have to give them a lot of credit.”
(On tonight’s performance): “We blew it, bottom line. They made shots out there towards the end of the game. We moved the ball well during the first half, I thought, and third quarter I thought we were moving it pretty well too. That’s just how it goes. We didn’t win the game. It was a tough loss for us.”
(On letting this game get away): “We did have it. It was tough. That was our game, the whole game. No if, ands or buts about it. That’s our game and we let that one slip and we can’t get it back. Those are the ones we need. Our team needs those wins.”
(On how to get wins out of games like this): “We just have to come together as a team, value every possession, and make right plays. We have to be almost perfect towards the end and the fourth quarter.”
(On tonight’s performance): “We just had some letdowns at the end and they made some plays that hurt towards the end. We just have to do a better job as a team especially when a team isn’t shooting that well against us. When we give them second chances, we give them another opportunity to score. I know we missed Vucevic tonight but it’s no excuse. We just have to fight more as a team.”
(On what can be improved): “We just can’t have those letdowns on either end of the court. I said it maybe a week ago, we don’t have the type of team to make those mistakes so it hurts when we do. We just have to play a better game for 48 minutes.”
- After tonight’s 87-81 overtime victory over the Magic, the Cavaliers have now won five straight games over the Magic including three straight at The Q.
- The Cavs overcame a nine-point deficit with less than a minute left to force overtime. This is Cleveland’s sixth overtime game this season, as they improved to 4-2 in overtime contests. The Cavaliers outscored the Magic 8-2 in the overtime period.
- Cleveland held Orlando to 32-84 (.381) shooting from the field. The Cavs are 5-0 this season in games that they hold opponents to under .400 shooting.
- Anderson Varejao recorded his seventh double-double on the season (79th career) with a season-high tying 18 points, a career high 25 rebounds, three assists and one block in 39 minutes. Varejao posted 20-plus rebounds for the fourth time of his career. The 25 rebounds tied a Cavaliers record for rebounds in a single game (Previously: 25-Rick Roberson 3/4/72 at HOU) and sets a new Quicken Loans Arena record for rebounds in a single game (Previously: 23-Anderson Varejao 10/30/12 vs. WAS & 23-Kris Humphries 3/23/11 NJ @ CLE).
- Anderson Varejao recorded 16 rebounds in the second half, which tied a Cavaliers record for rebounds in half (Previously: twice, 16-Elmore Smith 2/2/78 vs. WAS & 16-Zydrunas Ilgauskas 1/12/98 at UTA) and set the Quicken Loans Arena record for rebounds in a half (Previously: twice, 14-Anderson Varejao 10/30/12 vs. WAS & 14-Nikola Vucevic 4/7/13 ORL @ CLE).
- With Anderson Varejao’s 25 rebounds tonight, this was the second time this season that two Cavs players have recorded 20-plus rebounds in a single game (21-Tristan Thompson 12/4/13 vs. DEN). The last time the Cavaliers had two players with 20-plus rebound games in a season was in 1994 (Michael Cage-20, Tyrone Hill-20).
- Tristan Thompson posted his team-leading 13th double-double of the season (53rd career) with 16 points and 10 rebounds in 41 minutes. Over his last 16 contests (since Nov. 30), he is averaging a double-double with 13.4 points and 10.3 rebounds in 33.5 minutes per game.
- C.J. Miles recorded 14 points on 4-8 (.500) shooting, including 3-5 (.600) from the three-point line, two rebounds and one block in 28 minutes.
- Jarrett Jack finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and a season-high seven assists in 42 minutes. Over the past 14 contests (since Dec. 6), Jack is averaging 11.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 29.1 minutes per game.
- Dion Waiters tallied 17 points, four rebounds and three assists in 39 minutes off the bench. Waiters is averaging 15.6 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 30.9 minutes as a reserve this season.