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Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Dallas Mavericks - Jan. 4

Kyrie Irving, David Blatt
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt

(On his team’s defensive play against one of the best offensive teams in the league tonight): "Certainly not good enough. The other night we played great defensively. Tonight, we didn’t play the kind of defense that we needed to play against any team and certainly not Dallas."

(On what in particular his team didn’t defend well): “We didn’t defend the three-point shot well and I thought we got beat too many times at the point of entry which put our defense in trouble. They’re a good drive and kick team with a lot of experience and a lot of continuity playing together. They’re going to create shots. At the end of the day, they scored their average but I thought it was too easy.”

(On Kevin Love): "He is making shots, certainly. He’s maximizing his touches right now. I think he scored 27 the last game and actually took fewer shots than he did tonight. But he’s getting it in good spots and he’s making use of his opportunities."

Kyrie Irving

(On his back): “I’m just in a lot of pain right now, just trying to get through it and try to start out the games. (I) just have spasms, tightness. I have to do what I can to get better.”

(On if the Charlotte game made it worse): “It was tight in the Charlotte game, in the fourth quarter, and then I fell on it which made it 10 times worse. It’s just painful right now, but I have to get through it.”

(On Dallas speeding up the offense): “For me, part of it is just the limit of my aggressiveness going out there. I had nine shots, not any of them were in rhythm. I have to be aggressive for our team when I’m out there. I have to dictate how we go in our pace. Tonight just wasn’t the night for me to do it. I just couldn’t do it. We got good looks, but it just didn’t fall.”

Kevin Love

(On the game today): “It was a lot. We let guys drop passes, we didn’t protect at the rim, we didn’t get back in transition defense – I think that was a big thing, we turned the ball over and we didn’t shoot the ball particularly well. That’s not a good recipe for success, especially against a team that good. I think they (Dallas Mavericks) are a very, very good team. With (Rajon) Rondo now it just changes their entire dynamic. They just go out there and play and they played well today.”

(On what can be learned from this game): “We have to play better, first and foremost. With LeBron (James) out and Kyrie (Irving) kind of having the same thing, I’m guessing, that I had a few days ago against Atlanta, where it’s just tough for him to move. We need that extra firepower that opens up the game. They just shrunk the floor on us. We missed quite a few shots. They got down in the open break when they forced us into turnovers. When they play downhill like that, they’re very tough to stop. They have a great role (player) in Tyson Chandler who takes up a lot of space and drives a lot, as you saw with the lobs today. When someone comes in to help on the weak side, they kick it out and have shooters all around. They spread you out and they can also play inside. They just have a dynamic team that has a lot of different looks all the way around.”

Head Coach Rick Carlisle

(On tonight’s game): “I thought as the game went on, we got better with moving the ball. Thirty (assists) is a great number for any game. It was a harder game than the score indicated. They’re down bodies. (Kyrie) Irving was out after a little bit in the second half, so we had to take advantage of it. But they battled us all night long. (Kevin) Love, as usual, was a load to deal with. He makes it look pretty easy and he’s just a really hard matchup for us. But it’s a great win for us, and now we’ve got to get to Brooklyn and get ready for that one.”

(On his team’s performance): “We’re moving gradually in the right direction. I thought in the first half, we were into it but we weren’t really into it. In the second half we picked it up. I thought (Rajon) Rondo’s defense on the ball in the fourth quarter was a key part of us getting some separation. We had six guys in double figures. With that kind of balance, we’re a harder team to deal with.”

Monta Ellis

(On the Cavs playing without LeBron James): “This is basketball. We played just like he was there.”

(On his team distributing the ball): “We can make an extra pass to get a good shot for our teammates. We’ve got a lot of guys that can score the ball. When we get to moving the ball, we put teams in a bind. So I think it’s better for us as a team.”

(On the Mavericks’ bench): “They’ve been playing great for us throughout the whole season. Even when the trade came, they’re still holding their end. We’re going to need it. They’re doing a great job.”

Dirk Nowitzki

(On the Cavs playing without LeBron James): “We wanted all the games on this (road) trip, so I think that’s how we approached it. In my career, we’ve lost numerous games where the best player on the other team was out. So I think we were all focused. We talked about it before the game. We wanted to be in attack mode on both ends of the floor. We built some nice little leads there. I thought in the fourth quarter, we should have done a better job closing the game. But I like the focus and I like some of the stuff we were doing out there defensively. (We were) trying to keep (Dion) Waiters and (Kyrie) Irving out of the lane. (Kevin) Love had it going and we missed a couple rotations there. But overall, I thought it was ok.”

(On facing Shawn Marion, who he won a championship with in Dallas in 2011): “It’s always good to see Trix (Marion). I think we all know that if you win a championship together, it’s a bond for life.”


  • The Cavaliers dished out 26 assists on 35 made field goals on the afternoon.
  • Kevin Love recorded his team-leading 17th double-double of the season after finishing with a season-high 30 points on 11-21 (.524) shooting from the field, including 3-7 (.429) from three-point range, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal and a block in 32 minutes. It was Love’s 51st career game in which he notch 30-plus points and 10-plus rebounds and his first as a Cavalier. Over two contests in 2015, Love is averaging 28.5 points on .556 shooting from the field, 7.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 35.0 minutes. Love has now scored 30 or more points in six of his last seven games against Dallas.
  • Tristan Thompson posted a solid all-around game and a near double-double with eight points on 3-5 (.600) shooting from the floor, a game-high 11 boards, two assists, two steals and a block in 39 minutes of play. Since being inserted into the starting lineup on Dec. 26, Thompson has grabbed double-digit rebounds in all six outings and is averaging 12.8 points on .556 shooting from the field, 12.5 rebounds (5.3 offensive) and 1.0 block in 39.5 minutes during that span.
  • Matthew Dellavedova scored in double-digits for the third time this season after tallying 10 points, a season-high seven assists and three rebounds in 32 minutes.
  • In 21 minutes off the bench, Shawn Marion chipped in with a season-high 13 points on 6-11 (.545) shooting and four rebounds.

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