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Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers - Nov. 29

David Blatt
Jason Miller/NBAE/GettyImages

Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt

(On the importance of winning without LeBron James having to score too much): "If he would have played his normal minutes, he’d been in the 25 to 28 point level. He just did his job well enough early together with the other guys to allow us, I think for the second consecutive game, to keep him under 32 minutes. That will serve us well going forward. I told you that we hope to get his minutes down this year. I think so far on average we’re certainly meeting that but it’s only because of games like this where we play well enough that we can take him off the floor and give him a chance to rest. And that’s to his credit and to everybody’s credit."

(On Kevin Love): "I just think Kevin is such a good basketball player that when he’s in the flow as he was today, you’re going to see games like that. And there may be another game like the other day when he had 21 and seven, and I thought he was really good...I thought he played well all over the court (tonight). I thought he did a good job defensively. In general, I would like to say that Kevin Love is playing the best defense of his career so far. He can get better like all of us can, but he’s doing a good job. He’s buying into the system and into the principles. He needs to continue to do that and we need to continue to involve him the way that we are."

(On Tristan Thompson): "I thought that Tristan was outstanding today. I thought that he set the tone for us physically, battling David West who is a terrific basketball player. David scored a few but they came hard. Tristan was all around the basket and all around the paint legally putting his body on people and being a presence. He played a lot minutes which he has not done up to this point. He took the challenge, took responsibility and really gave us a great game. In my mind, (he was) sort of the unsung hero of the night certainly.”


Kevin Love

(On his offensive production): “It felt good. I wouldn’t say it was a ‘breakout game.’ I think I was efficient, especially in the first quarter. I’d say it was a breakout first quarter. It felt good for me, they were finding me. As a team, the first and third quarters were both very efficient and we were able to get back our lead there in the third quarter while only being up three at halftime. It was a good game for us tonight on both ends.”

(On Coach Blatt stating it was some of his best defense tonight): “I’m like a broken record, I’ll say the same thing over and over that we watch film, we try to get better out there. For me, I think it’s a case of, just like anybody, buying in, knowing the system and just trying to do what’s best for the team.”

(On if he’s committed more to the defensive end): “Just understanding it better. I’ve never been really known for that in my career. Being a lockdown defender is something that I know I’ll never be. But as far as being a team defender, being in the right spots…being physical, doing those things – I can get a lot better at that. And just continuing to break down film and see where I can get better out there. So yeah, I think it’s something I can continue to buy into and get better at.”


LeBron James

(On the difference defensively the past four games): “I think we’re contesting more shots. We’re understanding what the teams are running. I think we’re just making a conscious effort of understanding how important every possession is defensively. It’s a lot easier offensively when we defend, when you’re not taking the ball out of the net, and we’ve done that the last few games.”

(On how difficult it was to push pace against Indiana): “It’s very difficult because they are one of the few teams in our league that play inside out. I think of them and Memphis. They are two teams that come off the top of my head that play inside out, so that kind of slows the pace down. You just have to try to wrap it up, a little bit if you can and keep your turnovers low, which we did.”

(On essentially matching Indiana in everything except for field goals): “I just think it’s the pace. We played with a much higher pace, obviously knowing that they played last night at home and won a really good game against Orlando. We just tried to keep the pace up. For us, we had a low turnover game. We had nine. It says ten, but the last one, we didn’t want to take a field goal on the last one. We had our assists up and we had three guys that had double-doubles, and that’s huge for our team.”

(On the biggest area of progress in the past couple games): “Well I think defensively, first of all. Just taking pride in it. First of all, guys are taking their individual tasks very high and that’s helped us. Then I think offensively, we’re starting to understand how fun it is to share the ball. When you get the ball moving from side to side, everyone feels a good rhythm, I think that’s very important.”


Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel

(On tonight’s game): “I think they just imposed their will on us. We made a good run in the second quarter to make it a game, but their starters outplayed our starters tonight. Our starters have been pretty good for us, but that wasn’t the case tonight.”

(On losing on the second night of a back-to-back): “We’ve played on the second night of back-to-backs with pretty good energy most of the year. I thought we had decent energy tonight, but they obviously exceeded that. That’s not going to be good enough to beat a team like this.”

(On his team returning to one of the top contenders in the East): “There’s a lot of things that have to happen. We’re a work in progress right now because we’ve had injuries. We’re getting some guys back and some guys are still out. George Hill and Roy Hibbert (both injured) are big difference makers on this team. But our guys are scratching, clawing and trying to squeeze out as many wins as we can during this time while we’re banged up. We’ll keep battling.”


David West

(On facing the Cavs): “They’re just tough, man. They spread you out and they’ve got a bunch of ways they can attack you. They had us on our heels. We made a run to make it close in the first half, but it was just a tough game. We know they’re a good team. They’ve got a lot of guys over there. It’s just a matter of them getting their chemistry (going) and they were just too much for us tonight.”

(On moving past tonight’s loss): “We’ll be alright. We’ve just got to keep working and keep improving. We’ve got a tough road trip coming up, so we’ve got to be able to go out on the road and win some games.”


C.J. Miles

(On the difference between the Cavs in the preseason and the Cavs now): “You knew it was going to take them some time to figure each other out. They had a lot of new faces, a lot of new guys who are capable of doing a lot of things and just figuring out how to play with each other. But with all that talent, the guys figure things out and that’s what they’re doing (now).”

(On the Cavs’ performance tonight): “They played extremely well. They’re really good in the open floor. They’ve got guys one through four that can make outside shots and spread you out pretty well. LeBron and Kyrie made really good plays with the ball. They create matchups that are tough for people. When you’ve got one guy (LeBron) that can play almost every position and you’ve got a power forward (Kevin Love) that can step out and make threes, they’re tough (to play against). We just tried to come in and play hard. They got out in transition a lot, and that hurt us.”


CAVALIERS NOTES:

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers winning streak was extended to three (all by double-digits), after the Wine and Gold defeated the Indiana Pacers 109-97. During the three-game winning streak, the Cavs are averaging 109.3 points on .519 shooting, 24.3 assists, 11.0 turnovers and 10.3 steals, while holding opponents to 86.0 points on .404 shooting and 14.7 turnovers. Cleveland has also averaged 16.7 fast break points, while limiting its opponents to 3.3 during that stretch.
  • Cleveland is now 6-3 against the Eastern Conference and 2-0 against Central Division foes.
  • Tonight was the third straight game the Cavs have reached the century mark. They have now won seven straight contests when scoring 100-plus points (8-1 on the season). The Cavaliers shot 41-78 (.526) from the floor and sank 7-16 (.438) triples. The Cavs also turned the ball over only 10 times.
  • For the first time this season, three Cavaliers had double-doubles in the same game (Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson). Cleveland last accomplished that feat on February 18 of last season when Tyler Zeller, Tristan Thompson and Anthony Bennett each recorded double-doubles in a 114-85 victory over Philadelphia.
  • The Wine and Gold defense also continued to play well, as it held the Pacers to .393 (35-89) shooting and 7-22 (.318) from behind the arc. The Cavs have now held three of its last four opponents to .400 or less shooting from the field (3-1).
  • Kevin Love recorded his team-leading seventh double-double (263rd career) en route to a season-high 28 points on 9-13 (.692) shooting from the field, including 2-3 (.667) from three-point range, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals in 33 minutes. Love scored a season-high 16 first-quarter points. In his last four games, Love is shooting at a .580 (29-50) clip, while averaging 21.0 points and 7.5 rebounds in 32.0 minutes during that span.
  • Kyrie Irving recorded his first double-double of the season with 24 points on 9-17 (.529) from the floor, including 3-6 (.500) from deep, a career high tying 10 rebounds, five assists and a season-high three blocks in 36 minutes of action. He is now shooting a combined 25-48 (.521) from behind the arc at The Q in 2014-15. Tonight was also his 9th 20-plus point performance of the year.
  • LeBron James scored 19 points on 9-18 (.500) shooting, dished out a game-high seven assists and had one steal in 32 minutes.
  • In his first start of the season, Tristan Thompson came through with his second double-double of 2014-15. Thompson scored 13 points on 4-8 (.500) shooting, hauled in a game-high 11 boards and tallied one block in 39 minutes of play.

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