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3/18 Arbella Quote Worthy: Nuggets vs. Celtics

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 105-114 defeat to Denver.

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

BRAD STEVENS

RE: How much of a “killer” was the sequence at end of third quarter?

“You know what? I think first of all, it was. And I just said, I probably shouldn’t have called the time out. I’m going to lose it going into the fourth, and you think maybe if you can get a match-up down the court then that’s a good thing; otherwise, be safe. And I shouldn’t have done that. And then we just didn’t respond to that. We didn’t respond well, you know? Getting back-cut for that dunk and then the start of the fourth – we needed to respond better to that and we didn’t. We’ll be in that position again where something bad happens and the air gets taken out of your team a little bit, and you have to respond. And tonight, we didn’t do that. Against a good team who took advantage of it.”

RE: What was supposed to happen on that out-of-bounds play?

“Well there – there’s a deep look, but we had safeties. And so, ultimately if you can get a match-up you like from the deep look, we’ve thrown that before and – and had good success. But, obviously, didn’t work. And, again, that’s on me for calling the time out.”

RE: Jayson Tatum’s three-point shooting rut:

“I thought tonight he took – seemed like he took more, which was good. I mean, he’s a really good shooter, he’s a very capable shooter, and I think that ultimately he’s going to knock those down. Times when you’re struggling, it’s all about getting in the gym and shooting your way through it. And you know, for some guys, it’s about ‘Don’t take them,’ but for him it’s, ‘Shoot your way through it.’ Because that has to be one of his strengths. He’s a good shooter with a wonderful touch, and we need him to be a threat from out there. And he is. People are still running at him like he’s making them all.”

RE: Crowd reaction to Isaiah Thomas tribute:

“Well-deserved ten times over. You know, like I can’t say enough great things about Isaiah. I could sit up here all night and certainly that video tribute was great. Our people did a great job on it; it was very – it was emotional and it was – it could’ve lasted a lot longer. So, greatly appreciative of our time together and it was – I was glad that he got that moment.”

RE: Difference Gordon Hayward could have made tonight:

“Well, I mean, Gordon’s a really good player but we don’t make excuses like that. So, our guys, you know – their bench has been good all year. They’ve had guys out; we’ve had guys out. You just have to play with who’s available and those guys have to play great and ultimately we came up a little bit short. And I think sometimes people think the other coaches are just saying this, but, like, Denver’s really good, and they took advantage of us, like when we hit that skid, they punished us. Both inside and out. And I thought that their bench – Monte Morris, (Mason) Plumlee, (Malik) Beasley – those guys have been good all year. And I thought they made big plays today. Especially – and especially Torrey Craig – with that three, with that five-point run at the end of the third quarter. That was huge.”
KYRIE IRVING

RE: Potential of a good win turned into a bad loss:

“Anytime you lose a game the way we lost tonight, it definitely spoiled. You got to give credit when credit is due. You got to play well for 48 minutes against those guys. They’ve come back from 18 down, 17 down. They keep firing. They have (Nikola) Jokic out there, who is a big fellow to handle. We just got to be prepared. They were making shots, but that run towards the end of the third. I think it’s just staying locked in just throughout the Playoffs and those specific positions that matter, having a two-point lead going into the fourth. But things happen; you know you have to be able to weather the storm. We just have to take our lessons and move on from this.”

RE: What does it mean to guys to see the fan reception Isaiah Thomas had in his return?

“I mean, first and foremost we all understand that personal emotions and business really don’t mix, especially in the NBA. You have a plan where you’d like to stay somewhere then the organization moves in another direction. We respect all those guys who are in the top positions to make those decisions, but you can just see that the connection that guys have with fans that they build in the community sticks with them for the rest of their careers and the fans support them for the rest of their careers, for the most part at least. It’s just awesome. It’s well documented what he’s done here. For me, it’s a unique position because I’m the one that got traded for him. I just want to see him do well. We got drafted the same year. He’s dealt with a lot of BS in his career, just trying to be the underdog all the time instead of getting the opportunity he deserves. Boston gave him that opportunity and he flourished. Unfortunately, he had that hip injury. He’ll be back at the top of his game in no time. You don’t ever got to worry about a talented guy like that finding a job in the NBA and making an impact somewhere.”
AL HORFORD

RE: What happened at the end of the third quarter?

“Yeah, that was difficult. That’s one of those things; it’s probably not going to be the last time that happens to our group. We just need to make sure that we do a better job moving on to the next play.”

RE: Do you feel like it affected you guys in the fourth quarter too?

“Yeah, I think so. I think it did. It shouldn’t but it definitely did.”

RE: In terms of focus:

“Yeah, making sure on the defensive end focusing on the things we needed to do, definitely disappointed on our end. We felt like we played a really good game back and forth then it just got away from us there in the fourth.”

RE: Does this game feel like a little step back?

“Well, these kinds of things happen especially against really good teams like that. If you’re not doing the right things and if you’re not locked in enough, that can happen. You know, we just had some miscues there. Maybe against, I don’t know on Saturday, Atlanta. We were able to overcome some of those. Tonight, a better team it’s just harder. You can’t give them life like that.”
MICHAEL MALONE

RE: What does it mean to clinch and finally get back to the postseason?

“It is a great feeling four years in the making two years in a row coming up just shy, coming up one game short as a motivation for tonight’s moment. I am so happy for all of our guys who have been working for this. We still have a lot of work to do, we are not just satisfied making the Playoffs. I think early on in the season we realized we had a change to be a special team and that remains the case. So, lets continue to fight and play as many games as we can and see where we wind up.”

RE: What went into tonight’s victory over Boston?

“Great defense and look at the numbers 41% from the field, and only 31% from the three-point line. We turned it over a lot in the second half and tried to give it back to them a few times but guys stepped up and made big plays. Nikola (Jokic) hitting three’s and I thought Torey Craig’s energy, effort, and productivity off the bench was really instrumental in the win tonight.”
JAMAL MURRAY

RE: How far has this team come in your time?

“A long way, it is better than waiting till the last game to decide or know all the way till the end looking at it, but now we’re looking at it and were locked in and now we can just focus on going through winning every game and just being solid and getting better. We have just done a great job improving whatever it is; through the bench, through injuries, even coaches, all around just doing a great job and having a lot of vision.”

RE: The defensive effort of your team tonight:

“Great job we made it tough for them. They had some good looks, but I think we’re just very comfortable, so we just pressed them, switched a lot, talked a lot. Just got our defense running and got into our transition game.”
ISAIAH THOMAS

RE: Was the wait worth it?

“Yeah that was big, that was special. I wish my family was here to see that, but they watched it. I was emotional I almost cried. That was everything I appreciate them for doing that it meant a lot.”

RE: How much more special does it feel that the Nuggets clinched a playoff spot?

“That’s amazing that has been a goal of ours since day one to get to the playoffs now we want to advance and go even farther. That was big time, Boston is a great team and they are going to go deep into the Playoffs. To beat a team like this on their home floor that was special for us.”

RE: How was it seeing some familiar faces, guys like Terry Rozier?

“Well it was me and Jaylen (Brown) because he thought he could guard me, he always thought he could guard me. I told him I need like six hands around me. I need three people to guard me. It was fun those guys are brothers to me; those guys are always and will always be family. This whole organization, the coaching staff, everybody that I was here for those three years is always going to be family and is special in my heart.”
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