(On the game tonight): “We definitely had our chances.”
(On fouling Drummond): “I was thinking about it as of this morning, knowing what he was shooting from the free throw line. I figured if we had a nice tight game and they were playing pretty well offensively, we would try and mix it up. We would throw a little bit of a wrinkle at him and hope that he would shoot his percentage. The two big ones that he missed they get an offensive rebound and score and then they get the offensive rebound again and get another score. It was something that we just cannot allow to happen. We know that he (Drummond) is shooting thirty-four percent from the free throw line, but tonight he made them.”
(On Dion’s return): “I thought he was okay. Nothing special, but I thought he was okay…The plan was to get him about fifteen minutes of playing time. It will probably go up starting Friday and then Sunday.”
(On Tristan’s foul): “He (Tristan) said he had the ball when he thought he first fouled him. Then he passed and then they called it. I didn’t think he had the ball. I thought they were dribbling up the court when he fouled him. We are trying to yell ‘foul the guy with the ball.’ Second year player mistake…He felt that he had the ball, which he did get the rebound. He passed it, they took three or four dribbles and then he fouled him. He was thinking right, it was just way too late.”
(On the fourth quarter): “We gave ourselves a chance to win. I myself had two costly turnovers. Our effort was good, but we just didn’t come out with the win.”
(On how he felt physically tonight): “Going into the fourth quarter, I was obviously a little fatigued like everyone else on the court, but that’s no excuse for not executing on both ends of the floor.”
(On if fouling Andre Drummond consistently messed with the flow of the game): “You just have to get used to it. Coach (Byron Scott) obviously saw something he wanted to take advantage of and Andre shoots around 34 percent from the free throw line, so we were just trying to take advantage of the opportunity. Offensively, we just have to execute better and just get moving on the weak-side a little bit more. That comes with time and just getting used to being out there and executing in the fourth quarter.”
(On his late-game foul): “(Andre) Drummond got the rebound, so I tried to foul him right away, but they called it after he passed it. After two minutes if you foul, they get two shots and the ball back. I guess it’s my fault, but I just have to keep playing.”
(On the difficult pace of tonight’s game): “I played like this in college, so it’s part of the game; the rules, you’ve got to play with them. It just didn’t go our way tonight.”
(On Andre Drummond): “The great thing about Andre is he struggled in the first half and was able to bounce back. I thought his energy was great to start that third quarter. And to me, it’s all about rim protection. That’s his huge advantage. Obviously, guys did a great job of finding him around the basket. He’s an explosive finisher.”
(On the free throw shooting of Andre Drummond down the stretch): “We’re very, very proud of him on the way (he finished) at the free throw line. Andre is going to have a long, long career. There’s been a history of big men who from the free throw line came into the league with low percentages. I remember Karl Malone was a poor free throw shooter and became a great one…He has to go through it and mentally he did a great job of breaking right through. He was 2-2 on his last two (free throws). You have to show confidence in your guys. Andre and Dee Brown works at it every single day. This is our team. These are the guys we’re building for our future, so whether it results in a win or a loss, we fight for our guys. We have confidence in Andre and he came through for us.”
(On Greg Monroe pairing with Drummond): “Both of those guys have such a big room for growth… We obviously feel very good about those two guys. Greg carried us for a big stretch. If both of those guys were ball magnets and they both had to have it, then you won’t have nights like we had tonight, but they kind of compliment each other and they’ll continue to get better.”
(On Rodney Stuckey’s three-pointers in the fourth quarter): “That was big because they went on a run and then Rodney answered with two big threes. We go on an 8-0 run and they call a timeout. Rodney had a great start, really good vision and just kind of understood where the game was going. He made some really good reads off of pick and roll play. We didn’t shoot the ball well from three, but we had some really wide open looks and Rodney was the main guy in terms of finding those guys. So I thought he was very good.”
(On tonight’s game): “I think we were just being aggressive. I think everyone was moving the ball, being unselfish…I think that’s all it was. I just think we were being aggressive. That’s how we should play.”
(On Andre Drummond’s play): “He’s around the rim a lot and he finishes well around the rim. Rotations that I had before are not there anymore. It is a little bit different but when a guy like that is on the floor, it makes it easier for everyone.”
(On intentional fouls late in the game): “It’s a part of the game. That’s a rule that teams use. We have confidence in Andre. We just have to make sure we continue to get stops and we believe we’ll make our free throws…Like I said, we have confidence in Andre. He works on it hard every day. Teams are going to (foul him), and we have confidence that he’s going to make them.”
• The Cavaliers outrebounded the Pistons 49-33, including 13-5 on the offensive glass. In four matchups with Detroit this season, Cleveland averaged 16.5 offensive rebounds.
• Cleveland’s bench outscored Detroit’s reserves 37-27. Since Wayne Ellington and Marreese Speights played their first game as Cavaliers on January 25th, the bench has scored at least 30 points in 26 of 35 contests. The Cavs reserves are averaging 36.2 points per game over that span.
• The Cavs shot 21-26 (.808) from the foul line tonight. Over their last five games, Cleveland is shooting .846 (99-117) from the charity stripe.
• Kyrie Irving recorded a near double-double with a team-high 27 points, three rebounds and a game-high nine assists in 35 minutes. Irving also shot 12-13 (.923) from the free throw line. On the season, he is averaging 22.7 points, 5.9 assists and 1.5 steals in 34.9 minutes per game.
• Tristan Thompson tallied a near double-double with 19 points on 8-13 (.615) shooting from the field, eight rebounds, two steals and one block in 35 minutes. In four contests against the Pistons this season, Tristan Thompson averaged 14.3 points on .581 (25-43) shooting from the field, 8.3 rebounds and 1.0 block in 30.0 minutes per game.
• Dion Waiters finished with 11 points and three rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.