Postgame Quotes: Trail Blazers vs Wizards

HEAD COACH TERRY STOTTS
“Well it was a win that we needed to get. Understatement: it was good to have LA back. I’m glad he had a good game with the thumb and the splint. It was very encouraging. I thought our benched played very well. We got good contributions from a lot of people off the bench. Will Barton’s defense in the second half I thought made a difference. Dorell made some shots. Meyers did a nice job. Our bench was good, our starters were good, so going into this road trip and coming off these two tough losses, we needed it.”

On defense in second half:
“It was very good. I don’t know why we had trouble giving up some points in the first half but particularly the third quarter, our defense was very good. Will did a good job of chasing Beal around. We covered their pick and rolls well, we didn’t give up second chance points, only two offensive rebounds – one in each half. We did a lot of things that you need to do defensively. It helped to make shots too. The first half, I think they had 12 fast break points and they only had 5 the second and part of that was our defense but the other part was making some shots and getting rhythm in the offense so they’re taking it out of the net.”

On Aldridge playing through injury:
You can’t say enough. That was big time. Not only coming back and playing through the injury but then not favoring it, going hard, not shying away from contact, being aggressive on both ends of the court – I mean, that was big time.”

LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE
“It was a good win. I thought we played better as the game went on. We made plays down the stretch and I thought everybody just looked into it tonight.”

How’d you feel?
I felt okay. There was a few moments where I got it hit or whatever, and it was kind of tender. But for the most part, it was okay.”

Did it affect your game?
“It did but I was just trying to work with it. I kind of figured it out as the game went on, how to use it or whatever, and I kind of played with it. I figured it out pretty well tonight.”

On mindset to play through injury:
“I just want to win. I tested it out and I thought it went well so I just wanted to give it a shot tonight.”

On reaction of crowd to playing through injury:
“It was humbling. I thought they definitely showed me love and they respected what I was doing at that moment, trying to play through it, so that was humbling.”

DAMIAN LILLARD
What changed in the second half?
“We like to force midrange shots. In the first half, they shot a lot of those shots but they weren’t under pressure. IT was a throwback here and midrange jumper and we weren’t contesting, we weren’t bluffing and helping out. We came in and talked about it at halftime, made those adjustments and that was a big part of why we started to get some stops.”

On road trip coming up:
“It’s going to be a challenge but I think we’re ready for it. It was huge for us to get this win against a good team. Now we go to Brooklyn and take it from there.”

On impact of Aldridge playing:
“It’s huge because the last few games it seemed like teams knew that I was going to get aggressive and they made it really hard for me. A lot of the shots were tough shots, there was a crowd everywhere. Tonight I was able to find gaps, get to the rim and get at least quality shots because we’ve got balance knowing that he’s down there on the block and we can throw it into him. The attention he was getting on the block really helped.”

WESLEY MATTHEWS
On Aldridge playing through
“He was big time. Even if he didn’t have the monster game that he did, I think just his precense and his sacrifice of his own body and for him to recognize how special this season is and can be and continue to be, for him to give that up to be out there with us in the trenches, it speaks volumes.”

“He can’t sit out. He doesn’t want to sit out. He loves this game and figures if he’s got something to give, he’s going to give. I can relate to that.”

“We played hard against a good team. We’re not at full strength but guys stepped up that needed to and it’s just going to continue to pay dividends for us later in the season. “

On what changed in second half:
“Some of the shots they were making, they stopped making. They did shoot a lot of midrange in the first half which is what we want to force. But the biggest thing was we started making shots. They started out 13-2 and their transition points were high. Well it’s easy to run even if we did get back, even if we did force tough shots, they’re getting more opportunities because we’re not making a shot, so I think our offense helped our defense.”

HEAD COACH RANDY WITTMAN
On how they lost their lead and ultimately lost the game:
“We shot ourselves in the foot to start the 3rd quarter, we didn’t move the ball offensively. In the first half we moved it, got ball movement, player movement, any shot we wanted and really scored 57, I don’t know how Nene’s didn’t count. Then we came out and we just dribbled, each guy got the ball and each guy tried to exhaust instead of playing the way we did. We’ve got to learn to continue to play the game with the success we had and we came out in the 3rd quarter offensively and didn’t, there was no ball movement. We had 16 at halftime, assists to turnovers, I think we were 8 and 8 or 8 and 7 in the second half. That’s really what got us. When you work on the road to get a 10 point lead, you can’t just squander it as quickly as we did.”

On if he thinks they could have got away with anything more inside:
“We didn’t do anything, like I just said, we dribbled the ball. What else do you want me to say? You’re not listening to my quotes. We got away from what we were doing in the first half.”

PAUL PIERCE
“We turned the ball over more in the second half. We didn’t move it as much. The ball was swinging side to side in the first half, which enabled up to build up a lead and score as many points as we did. In the third quarter, we only scored like 15 points. We didn’t move the ball as well and we didn’t get stops. It’s easier for us when we’re able to get the stops. [We] moved the ball and then we opened up the three-point game, and the crowd got to the game and we found ourselves battling back up hill.”

“It’s consistency. Little things. We just got to continue to work, look at the little things, remember why we got the lead, and continue to do those things. It takes consistency to win in this league, and the things that you do becomes habit. We’re still learning even though it’s more than half way through the season. We have our ups and downs, but we just got to learn to be more consistent. We’re a defensive team. We’re team that moves the ball. We’re a team that doesn’t turn the ball over much. When we stick to those things we usually have a good outcome.”

BRADLEY BEAL
“In the second half, we got to go with what’s working. It works, moving the ball, sharing the ball, and solid defense by gambling works, and we just got away from it for some reason.”

On what went wrong:
“We can’t seem to figure it out, but we need to figure it out soon because we’re playing a bunch of tough teams, playoff calendar teams. We can’t afford to do this.”

On moving on from this game:
“Every time we lose a game, and every time we win a game, you got to have amnesia. That game is over. You got to move on to the next one. We got an even tougher task tomorrow. We just got to be ready to go.”