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Game Quotes: Cavaliers at Boston Celtics - Mar. 3

Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt

(On if he thought the team took a step back in the previous two losses): "I don’t think that we played bad games in the two that we lost at all. We were playing pretty good in Indiana without both LeBron (James) and Kyrie (Irving). We were in that game. We had a shot and certainly in Houston, we had our shot to win. I didn’t think we played badly in either game. We had some moments but for the most part, we were in the game, we were competing and we were giving ourselves a chance to win…We’ve been pretty consistent and that’s good even though we dropped those two games. I didn’t have a bad feeling about our team at all. I thought we were in the games."

(On having more time to practice): "We have a very difficult couple of weeks ahead of us. Because of this very, very concentrating and difficult period that we’re going through from about mid-February to late March, April is going to be a month when we’re going to have more time to practice and more time to rest in between games if you look at the schedule. We have to get there standing but at that point, we will have time to practice well and get ourselves ready for the playoffs. Our main thought right now is how to improve our position and to finish in the best possible place going into the playoffs."

(On James Jones): "It just seems that every time we throw him out there, he does something to help the team and he’s always ready. Every day he’s in it, he’s engaged and he’s all about helping the team whether it be saying the right things or whether it be playing when asked to play or making a shot when asked to make one. He’s just a dependable veteran that you can trust and he has been playing excellent basketball for us."

(On if he feels the team is playoff-ready): "No, I don’t think we’re playoff-ready yet but I certainly think that we’re getting there…I feel like we’re getting there, I really do, particularly because we’ve shored up our defense and we’re good at that end now. When you’re good on defense, you can compete in the playoffs."


LeBron James

(On the game tonight): “In our wins, we’ve been very defensive - we’ve been sound defensively. We followed our rules all game. We made a few mistakes obviously but we cover for one another when we make those mistakes. Tonight, we also shared the ball, had the ball moving from side to side and it resulted in a good win.”

(On passing Ray Allen in all-time points): “I didn’t know until I came to the bench and the guys were congratulating me. I was like ‘For what? For making a layup?’ and they said ‘You passed Ray Allen’. He’s one of my best friends. He’s a guy I competed against, grew up watching and then when I was able to team with him the past two years while I was in Miami. I learned so much from him about work ethic, about being a professional. It just added on to my game to know I passed him tonight. It was very humbling and I guess I’ve done some pretty good things in this league so far.”

(On him and his teammates having fun while playing): “It comes with the locker room. Obviously winning heals all, but when you have chemistry inside the locker room and you have guys that really truly care about being successful. We all have the same goal. Our whole goal is to ultimately win a championship, but we also have short-term goals as well and that’s to get better every day – to not shy away from the process, don’t cut any corners. When you have that and you have good chemistry, it results in guys being happy and guys competing, too.”


Kyrie Irving

(On being playoff ready): “We’re trying to get there. Every necessary step that we need to take is needed. Every game that we play from this point on, we’re just trying to have consistency as we wind down these 20 games. We have another big game tomorrow – four games in five nights. We have to make it happen and continue to trust one another and go into the game, stick to the game plan and continue to just be there for one another.”

(On his time off): “When it first happened, obviously I took probably a day and a half off and then I got back in the weight room and got some good workouts in. I was just missing my guys a lot; it was hard to watch, being out for 3-4 days, when you have an environment like Houston. I’m just sitting on my couch with my TV, just a lot of anxiety because I wanted to be out there with my brothers so I’m just trying to stay healthy for the rest of the season and into the playoffs.”

(On watching playing time in a back-to-back): “For us, it’s just about finishing the game as best as we can and obviously you want to keep that lead. We had some of our guys come in and give us great minutes. I think I came out with 2:40 left to go. Obviously, every game isn’t going to be like that. But when you have the opportunity with games like this and you can get other guys minutes, we try to do so. We just continued the attack mode coming out of half time and got the win.”


Head Coach Brad Stevens

(On what he told his team after tonight’s game): “I told them it wasn’t good enough and it’s not okay to walk out of here thinking that that’s the best team and you have nights like this. We played individual basketball on both ends of the floor the whole night. Individual basketball against these guys doesn’t work because their individuals are the best in the game.”

(On what he saw from the Cavs tonight): “They’re good. They’re one of the contenders. They’re a really good team. LeBron (James) played great. You knew that we were going to get their best shot because they were coming off of two losses. Kyrie (Irving) was going to be antsy to play because he hadn’t played (since Feb. 26). So we knew that going in.”


ISAIAH Thomas

(On tonight’s game): “From the opening tip, we didn’t play like we wanted to win. We were playing very soft, offensively and defensively. We’ve got to fix that. We’re not that good of a team to just not play with energy. Every day, we’ve got to at least play with energy and effort.”

(On the impact of Cleveland’s defense): “I think we just bought into what they wanted us to do, which was hold the ball and try to make a play ourselves. But we’re not that good of a team to do that, especially against a good team like Cleveland.”


JAE CROWDER

(On whether Sunday’s loss to Golden State spilled into tonight): “I don’t know if that’s an excuse for us, (that it was) a “hangover.” We didn’t play the way we normally play and it showed tonight from the start of the game. We’ve got to get better. We’ve got a chance to do it the right way tomorrow.”

(On the Cavs): “They’re pretty good, but they’re not what the end result (a 31-point loss) showed. They’re a good ball club and they have good pieces, but we didn’t give our best effort.”


CAVALIERS NOTES:

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers topped the Boston Celtics 110-79, which tied their largest margin of victory against the Celtics (4/12/09). Tonight, the Cavs also improved to NBA-best 19-4 since Jan. 15, which includes 12 straight wins at Quicken Loans Arena, their longest since Cleveland posted a 16-game home winning streak from Feb. 11 – Apr. 12, 2009.
  • During their 12-game home winning streak, the Wine and Gold have averaged 108.8 points per game on .479 shooting from the field and a .397 clip from three-point range, while holding opponents to 92.7 on .399 shooting from the field and .315 shooting from behind the arc. Cleveland has also recorded seven straight home victories by double-digit margins, which is the longest streak since a nine-game stretch from Nov. 13 – Dec. 12, 2008.
  • The Cavaliers offense put together a strong performance as it had seven players score in double figures. Overall, the Cavs dished out 28 assists and posted 110 points on 43-89 (.483) shooting from the field, while also shooting a perfect 14-14 from the free throw line. It was the first time this year the Wine and Gold did not miss from the charity stripe in a game. The last time the Cavs went perfect from the free throw line was Dec. 28, 2012 vs. Atlanta (14-14). Cleveland is now a perfect 19-0 at home when scoring 100 or more points (31-5 overall) and 14-2 when notching 25 or more assists.
  • The Cavaliers also dominated in the paint (CLE – 48 / BOS – 24) and on the glass (CLE – 52 / BOS – 42). Cleveland moves to 23-5 when outscoring its opponent in the paint and 8-1 when grabbing 50 or more rebounds.
  • At the defensive end, the Wine and Gold held the Celtics to 79 points on 31-88 (.352) shooting from the field (Cavs opponent season low) and 7-28 (.250) from behind the arc. Cleveland has now held 17 of its last 21 opponents under 100 points and during the Cavs 12-game home winning streak, they have limited each opponent to under .440 shooting from the field, including five of the 12 opponents to less than .400 percent from the floor.
  • LeBron James (24,508 points) moved past Ray Allen (24,505) for 21st on the NBA’s all-time scoring list after tallying a game-high 27 points on 12-23 (.522) shooting from the field, five assists, three rebounds, a game-high three steals and a block in 26 minutes. James has now scored at least 20 points in each of his last 35 games versus the Celtics, his most consecutive 20-plus point games versus any opponent of his career).
  • Kyrie Irving returned to the starting lineup and finished the night with 18 points on 6-10 (.600) shooting from the field, including 2-4 (.500) from behind the arc, five assists, two boards and two steals in 26 minutes of play. During the Cavs current 12-game home winning streak, Irving is knocking down three-pointers at a .506 clip to go along with 22.5 points, 5.5 assists and 1.4 steals in 35.1 minutes per game.  
  • Kevin Love chipped in with 12 points, a game-high eight rebounds and three assists in 25 minutes. Love is now 13 points away from 8,000 in his career.
  • J.R. Smith wrapped up his night with 12 points on 5-9 (.556) shooting from the floor, including 2-4 (.500) from long range, four rebounds and a steal in 23 minutes of play. The Cavaliers are now a perfect 10-0 at home when Smith scores in double figures.
  • Timofey Mozgov contributed 10 points on 5-6 (.833) shooting from the field, six rebounds, three assists and a game-high three blocks in 20 minutes. Mozgov has now notched at least one block in 23 of his 26 games as a Cavalier and has 10 blocks in his last five games (2.0 per game).
  • Tristan Thompson kept up his solid play as a sub after shooting a perfect 4-4 from the field and 2-2 from the charity stripe for 10 points to go along with seven boards in 17 minutes off the bench. Thompson is now shooting .704 (38-54) from the field over his last ten games.
  • James Jones finished with 10 points on 3-6 (.500) shooting from the floor, including 2-4 (.500) from long range, a season-high six rebounds, two assists and a steal in 21 minutes of action.

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