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Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks - Dec. 17

Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt

(On tonight’s game): "That was embarrassing how we played. I apologize to all the good fans that came out here as they always do. Really just a poor, poor performance and I don’t really have a whole lot to say."

(On if he saw any fight in his team): “No.”

(On the team’s defense): "I thought our defense was non-existent throughout."

(On what happened after the first quarter): "Atlanta played well offensively and we just didn’t defend at any point of the game with the exception of the very first part of the game."


Kevin Love

(On tonight’s game): “I felt like we started the game pretty good actually. As time went on, the defensive rotations, that low man getting to trap the box, kicking it out for wide open threes. They just got too many of them. They were really knocking them down. I think the first half they were 12 for 18 from the three line so that’s tough when you give a good team like them, who is well coached, a good rhythm in the second half. They beat us from the inside out. They gave us both attacks tonight. We took the individual challenge and just sometimes good defense is beat by better offense and that was kind of it tonight.”

(On this being a defensive setback): “This is something that we’ll look at. They’re a good team. We know we didn’t play well on the defensive end and offensively it was kind of the same thing. We’ve been letting that end dictate what we do on the offensive end. Tonight was tough for us, both inside and out. We probably should have taken a better challenge and done a few things differently, but that’s something we’ll look at tomorrow and just try to get better for Friday and then more well prepared.”


LeBron James

(On how damaging Atlanta’s three-point shooting was): “Very damaging. A three ball is an equalizer in our game. That’s the way they go. They had five or six uncontested threes and we can’t accept that. If guys are going to make shots, they have to make shots over us, contested. We can be satisfied with that but we can’t be satisfied with the open looks that they got.”

(On if tonight was a setback): “Defensively, for sure. I think offensively we played pretty well. We moved the ball. We didn’t make as many shots as they did obviously, but defensively we definitely took a step back.”

(On what wasn’t happening tonight that has been in the past games): “Every game is its own. You can’t really bank on other games. You have to play each game as its own. The communication, the breakdown, the pride – I think the pride of actually defending one-on-one and guarding your man is something that we have to learn and rely on help second, so that plays a part into it as well.”


Head Coach Mike Budenholzer

(On tonight’s game): “To go on the road and to not start out very (well) and dig ourselves in a little bit of a hole, and to find a way as a team to get back into it on both ends of the court (was key to the win). Obviously we made a lot of shots, which helps, but I thought our defense got better as the game went on. It’s just a great team win. You go up and down the roster and different guys were contributing at different times. That’s what we’re trying to build as a team.”

(On his team making a franchise-record nine three-pointers in the second quarter): “We’ve got a lot of good shooters. That’s what that says. I think it was one of those nights. The last time we were here, Cleveland had a heck of a shooting night. Sometimes in a long season, those things balance out. I thought we were getting good looks. The way we attacked and the way we moved the ball contributed to us getting those nine threes.”

(On his team closing out the game in the second half): “We stayed committed to what we were doing. I think our activity got better. We knew that we weren’t going to be able to win if we kept on giving them baskets, getting beat back door and fouling. I think it was just a lot of little things. I don’t think it was any one thing, but just an understanding that we had to get better.”


Shelvin Mack

(On their last game in Cleveland providing motivation for tonight): “We got blown out the first game (in Cleveland on Nov. 15) – like blown all the way out. That wasn't a great feeling. We wanted to come back and see what we're made of. We're supposed to be one of the best teams in the East. They're one of the best teams.”

(On his team’s defensive strategy after the first quarter): “Just try to get them out of their rhythm. They're a great team once they get in a rhythm, but (we wanted to) just try to make it uncomfortable, just make everything difficult. The biggest thing is to try to limit them in transition. In the first quarter, they were able to get some easy stuff in transition.”

(On his performance tonight in Jeff Teague's absence): “He's one of the leaders on our team. He’s an All-Star point guard. It was going to take a group effort (to win without him), but I had an opportunity to play some point guard today. I had an opportunity and I think I took advantage of it.”

(On his team’s performance tonight): “It means a lot, especially to do it on the road. Early in the year, we came here and we got blown out. It shows you that we're a different team from a month ago.”


CAVALIERS NOTES:

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers registered 24 assists to only nine turnovers on the evening. Over the last three contests, the Wine and Gold are averaging 24.7 assists to 8.7 turnovers during that span.
  • LeBron James scored a team-high tying 21 points on 8-16 (.500) shooting from the floor, while adding three rebounds and two steals in 29 minutes. It was his 16th outing of 20 or more points this season.
  • Kevin Love notched his 14th double-double of the year with 13 points, a game-high 10 rebounds and a season-high six assists in 32 minutes of action. Love has now recorded a double-double in eight of his last 10 games.
  • Dion Waiters tallied his second-highest scoring output of the season after scoring 21 points on 9-18 (.500) shooting from the floor, to go along with four assists and three rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench. It was Waiters’ third time scoring 20-plus points off the pine this season.

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