Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Wizards
(On the game tonight): “For a home opener first game, I thought our guys played pretty well. The one thing we talked about all preseason long was defending. They shot 36 percent for the game so we did a heck of a job defending. We still have to do a better job defensive rebounding but overall I’m very happy with the way we played…Tonight was one of those nights where I thought we did a great job defensively. Everybody was focused. They did their job like they’re supposed to. Our communication was better. We defended well for 48 minutes.”
(On Anderson Varejao almost recording a triple-double): “I asked the referees if we can play five more minutes even though the game was already won so he can get another point and another assist…He’s so viable to us because of all the things that he does on both ends of the floor. Offensively, he’s our hub. He’s a great passer at that center position and every time that shot goes up, you have to worry about him. He’s a guy that you have to game plan for. ”
(On all-around team play tonight): “Tristan had one of those games tonight where he did a little bit of everything. He’s growing as well. It’s good to see our young guys play as good as they did. It’s great to have two All-Star performances with Kyrie and Andy, and then you throw in Alonzo Gee on the defensive end. I thought he was fantastic as well…Dion is starting to understand what we’re doing. I thought he did a good job.”
(On his team’s play down the stretch): “They showed a lot of heart. They showed a lot of guts. The last few days of practice and scrimmages we’ve had has been like (tonight)…somebody will get up big and the other team comes back. As much as you try to emulate game time in your practice, that really came up tonight. Our guys came in and were used to the situation the last few weeks of doing it in practice. I told Kyrie at the eight-minute mark that we have two time outs left, and he patted me on the leg and said ‘Don’t worry about it coach, I got it.’ So that shows a lot of maturity for one player as well…He basically kind of took over from that point on and that was really good to see.”
(On the key to the winning stretch at the end of the game): “We picked up the energy when we got back in. We made smart plays down the stretch and we executed.”
(On the combination of himself and Dion Waiters tonight): “I felt like we were playing off each other. Our defense definitely turned into offense, which worked well for us. We kept playing off of each other; making plays and setting up our teammates.”
(On the atmosphere at The Q tonight): “It was great, especially when we were down and came back. It was awesome. The fans definitely helped hype us up even more tonight.”
(On the winning stretch at the end of the game): “It was good. For being a team that has a lot of new guys, it was good for us. They got back in the game, but we kept ourselves in the game too. We played hard defensively and moved the ball on offense; that’s why we won the game.”
(On his excitement of being back on the court): “It’s exciting to be back out on the court; exciting to be back playing here. I gave everything tonight.”
(on tonight’s game): “Before the game, coach was telling us that we have to play with a lot of energy, we have to play hard out there. I just tried to do my job, be active. It was one of those nights, where you get one, two three and they keep coming. It was fun.”
WIZARDS HEAD COACH RANDY WITTMAN
(On the game): “That wasn’t the team I’ve seen the last four weeks. I don’t know if it was because it’s the first game or not. Execution offensively was horrendous. We were doing things out on the floor that I’ve never seen these guys do before. We tried to be somebody we weren’t and that wasn’t good. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board and try to find our team.”
(On Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving): “Irving was pretty good tonight. He’s a good player. He dictated tempo of the game and he was a big factor.”
(On Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving): “He’s one of the best point guards in the league even though he’s young. He was making his jump shots tonight and when he’s doing that it makes him that much tougher to guard.”
(On Wizards’ offensive struggles): “We had a tough time due to our lack of rebounding. We weren’t able to get out and run and that’s a big part of our offensive game, to get easy baskets, and we weren’t able to do that tonight.”
(On positives team can take from loss): “We fought. We never quit. We could have laid down but we fought back as a team together and we made it interesting at the end of the game on the road. That’s all you can ask for.”
(On his NBA debut): “I should have played a lot better than I did. I think I got lax. I felt good at the beginning of the game and made some shots, and then I got lax and kind of disappeared.”
(On pregame jitters): “I was prepared. I was ready. I approached it as just another game. I talked about just having fun. Unfortunately, we lost.”
(On Wizards’ second half): “Our second halves are always better than our first halves. We have to come out and start being more aggressive in the first half.”
- Cleveland held Washington to 32-90 (.356) shooting from the field, including 8-32 (.250) from behind the arc. The last time the Cavaliers held an opponent to .356 or lower from the field was on March 23, 2011 when they held the Nets to .340 (32-94).
- As a team, the Cavs collected 18 offensive rebounds, which led to a 23-7 advantage in second chance points.
- The Cavaliers outscored the Wizards 42-32 in the paint.
- Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 29 points on 11-20 (.550) shooting from the field. He also added six rebounds, three assists and one block in 35 minutes of action.
- Anderson Varejao recorded nine points, a career high 23 rebounds and a career high nine assists in 37 minutes. He also grabbed a career high 12 offensive rebounds. He is only the second player in NBA history and the first in Cavalier history to record at least nine points, 23 rebounds and nine assists in the team’s first game of the season (Wilt Chamberlain, 11 points, 30 rebounds and nine assists on Oct. 18, 1967). He is the first player in the league to record at least these numbers since Charles Barkley (26 points, 25 rebounds and nine assists on Mar. 20, 1987).
- Tristan Thompson dished out a career high five assists to go along with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes. This was Thompson’s 10th career double-double.
- In his NBA debut, Dion Waiters scored 17 points, to go along with three steals and two rebounds in 28 minutes.