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3/9 Arbella Quote Worthy: Celtics at Lakers

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 120-107 defeat to Los Angeles.

Click on a player to reveal quotes from their postgame press conference.

BRAD STEVENS

RE: On the team’s improvement in closing out quarters in recent games:

“That’s the only thing we did yesterday [at practice]. First of all, LeBron [James] wasn’t in any of those quarters. That made it, obviously, different. The only thing we did yesterday live was play one-minute quarters so we could close them out better. I don’t think we have done a good job of that this year. Something we need to improve upon.”

RE: On what he saw that was encouraging to close quarters:

“I have to go back and look. The most important thing is to manage the clock well and get great shots in at those times. Again, we haven’t done a great job of that this year so we thought it was important to spend our afternoon yesterday emphasizing that.”

RE: On the performance of Kyrie Irving:

“I thought he was really good tonight. The third quarter, when they made their run, I thought he obviously steadied us and scored in different ways. Scored off the pass, scored off the drive, did his thing and stopped runs, as you said. He pushed it out and gave us a little bit more of a cushion in the fourth.”
KYRIE IRVING

RE: On scoring in meaningful situations to kill runs and build momentum:

“It’s timely. Obviously, we had a lead that we built ourselves, a pretty decent lead. It’s just that we had to battle and keep Bron [LeBron James] out of the paint, make those other guys beat us and I think we did a good job of that tonight. We have one more game on Monday and then we are going to get out of here.”

RE: On if he likes where the team is right now:

“Absolutely. This stuff that happens in the regular season, people barely remember it. When it come to the playoffs that’s when you want to be playing your best basketball, and the last 18 games of the season, even though it’s a little less than that, I think we have 15 games left. We just want to play well and everybody has to step up and it starts with me and my energy out there and my spirit and when everyone’s on the same page we’re a different team. We weren't doing that throughout the season consistently and now it’s more important than ever for us to have connectivity and be together. That’s where my focus is and that helps me play at a high level when all of my teammates are playing at a high level.”

RE: On if the team is starting to put things together:

“Yeah and just making a choice. Throwing yourself in the game, throwing yourself in the rest of the regular season, throw yourself in the team. We have everything to gain. And for us, we’ve dealt with expectations, we’ve dealt with the outside pressures of that influence in our locker room and there’s no more time for that. It’s about us, and it’s about us competing and being well organized every single time we are out there and it starts with me.”
GORDON HAYWARD

RE: On the way the team closed out the second and third quarters:

“I thought we played with purpose at the end of those quarters. I thought we worked to get the best shot available and it showed on the scoreboard.”

RE: On why closing out quarters is so important in the NBA:

“I think the NBA is such a momentum game. Sometimes the last one or two minutes of a quarter, teams relax and you can really go on a run and you have to use that to your advantage. You definitely always want to treat the end of quarters like they are very valuable.”

RE: On his rhythm over the last three games:

“I think I’m trying not to judge my performance based on whether I'm shooting the ball well or not, but I think I’ve been aggressive in each of the games and I’ve definitely made winning plays for our team. The thing that I'm most aware of is that we’ve won all of those. They definitely haven't all been pretty, each one of them has been different. But we found a way to win and that’s important. Hopefully we can close this trip out with a win too. This next one is going to be tough. They’re going to play really hard, and they’re a good team who we owe something to.”
LUKE WALTON

RE: On his initial thoughts on tonight’s game:

“We never like to lose, but I was pleased with the effort our guys gave. Even looking at the stat sheet, across the board we were pretty similar. The big difference was [the Celtics] made a lot of contested threes. Our defense was solid tonight and they were making contested twos and contested threes. Something we always preach is control what we can, and we did that job. And offensively, I thought we did a nice job moving the ball and getting open shots. We, unfortunately, shot 18 percent [on] threes and a lot of those were uncontested. I can’t be mad at that. That’s what we’re looking for, to get open looks. But I did think the effort was, for the most part—the start of the third was no good. Besides that, I thought our effort for the night was something to hang the hat on, as far as how we’re going to keep playing every single night. I thought guys coming in off the bench again did another really, really good job of leaving everything they had out there on the court.”

RE: On Moe Wagner’s first start and expectations for him moving forward:

“I thought Moe was good. He looked a little nervous to start, well maybe not nervous, but he was probably a little overly excited it felt like on some of the stuff. As he got into the groove of the game and he just started making the reads and making play, it was a good a night for him and a great learning experience for him and something to build on.”

RE: On Johnathan Williams’ performance and how he’s contributing:

“He’s been great for us. This is what we saw him do early in the season in training camp and early before ‘Zu’ [Ivica Zubac] worked his way into the rotation before we signed Tyson Chandler. This is kind of what he was doing for us. He’s versatile. Playing at Gonzaga, I think he has a good feel for how to play the game and what to do. He sets good screens, he rolls, he keeps possessions alive. I thought he had another really good night for us.”
LEBRON JAMES

RE: On what swung it Boston’s way:

“They made timely shots. We cut it to single digits in the fourth quarter, but we gave up an offensive rebound. Kyrie [Irving] hit a big three and that was a tough blow for us.”

RE: On the performance of Moritz Wagner and Johnathan Williams tonight:

“They were great. They were great all night. Both on the offensive end and defensive end. Their energy is something we have been lacking. They are just young guys who just play. They play free and they’re going to make mistakes, obviously, they’re young. They’re going to make mistakes, but they played through it and they played hard. It was fun and we’re happy for them.”

RE: On how the team played while short-handed due to injury:

“I do like the way we played. I thought we shared the ball, for the majority of the game. I thought we defended them, for majority of the game. That’s a very good team over there. Coming off a win over Sacramento and coming off a win in Golden State, their hopes are really high in the Eastern Conference. I thought the time we were all on the floor, we played well.”
MORITZ WAGNER

RE: On his first start as a Laker:

“...As a basketball player and a competitor you always want to win so it kind of hurts to fight that hard all game and then kind of have to leave again with a loss. That’s my first thought about it... I’m pretty proud. I’m happy it worked out that way. The thing that sticks out is it’s a loss.“

RE: On how his game has transformed with increased playing time:

“I think the biggest thing is to slow down a little bit. I keep turning the ball over. The league is a lot faster than college. [It’s] a lot faster than what I’m used to. It’s a lot more single hitters, one play actions. I’m not used to that yet. That’s something I’ll continue to work on. Obviously, defensively be more solid and stand my man there.”
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