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Al Horford

3/26 Arbella Quote Worthy: Celtics at Cavaliers

Read what the players and coaches had to say following Boston's 116-106 victory over Cleveland.

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

BRAD STEVENS

RE: On their energy tonight:

“I thought we had a lot of guys that played with the right energy and approach, so that was encouraging. The one thing they (the Cavaliers) did the whole game was they answered when it looked like we were going to extend the lead. We fouled on the three when (Collin) Sexton got the three free throws and then (Cedi) Osman hit a big pull-up as the shot clock was winding down, and then it was a game again. We needed to do a better job of not letting it get back that way, but they answered the bell on all those of runs.”

RE: On getting Jayson Tatum and Al Horford back tonight:

“I thought Jayson (Tatum) had that run in the first half while we were really guarding at the start of the game, and then those last four minutes of the first quarter, we weren’t (guarding) as well, and then Jayson kind of went on that run to keep us at bay. Obviously, that was great and then Al, I mean, we really need Al. I don’t think there’s any way around that. He brings us a lot. When he’s guarded by a smaller guy, his ability in the post and then when he is guarded by more of a bigger guy, he can stretch him out.”

RE: On the decision to start two big men:

“I said it the other day, one of the things that we’ve wanted to do is play bigger more and we just haven’t been able to with our Al and (Aron) Baynes out a lot. That will be a game-to-game decision on who we start. I told our guys today, you need guys like (Marcus) Morris who are flexible like that. Morris came in and I thought his two threes in the late third or fourth, whenever it was, were huge. When we can start double-big, we certainly clog things up like the way we need to on that end of the floor.”
MARCUS SMART

RE: On their ball movement tonight:

“That’s what we talked about. We had a game plan to move the ball. We had a lot of matchups that we liked out there and just really made their bigs work, especially Kevin Love. We want him to use his energy on the defensive end and not just let him sit on the offensive end and tear us apart. We wanted to make their bigs work and really put them in a bind.”

RE: On Marcus Morris’ flexibility:

“It’s huge. For Morris to take on that responsibility, it shows the maturity, the professional that he has. He could’ve easily thrown a fit about it, but he didn’t. He controlled what he can control. He came out and gave us big minutes when he got out there and did what he was supposed to.”
AL HORFORD

RE: On the team showing poise tonight:

“I think for us, just making sure that we responded the right way, got stops when we needed to, taking good shots on offense, and we just answered every run they had for us…It just feels good. It feels good to win. Obviously, we weren’t perfect, but I was happy with the focus of the group going into tonight.”

RE: On the benefit in Boston starting two bigs:

“I think it’s one of the strengths of our group. We have a lot of guys that are versatile, that can play multiple positions. I think it plays to our advantage – sometimes that’s good, other times it’s good to go smaller. Coach (Brad Stevens) felt like it was important that we went big tonight.”

RE: On how he benefits personally being on the floor with Aron Baynes:

“It helps me a lot. He’s a great defender. He’s always protecting the rim. It was good to play with him. I got to play with him a little more tonight than usual.”
LARRY DREW

RE: On if how Kevin Love matches up with the Celtics affected his play tonight:

“I don’t know about the matchup itself. I guess in any situation where you’ve had a certain matchup and it has worked for you, you go back to it. I thought both (Aron) Baynes and Al Horford – they do play him tough and they do a lot of switching. I think the switching did kind of disrupt Kevin’s rhythm a little bit, because they have not only the size of the switch, but also their perimeters are pretty strong – strong and lengthy. They’ve had success with us as far as switching, as far as both of those guys playing him, they do make it tough. I can’t take anything away from him, that’s just a defense that has worked for them, and Kevin just didn’t have it tonight. We tried to get him going with a few things, but he just could not get a rhythm and he couldn’t maintain one.”

RE: On takeaways from tonight’s game:

“Nothing different than what we expected from playing against Boston. First of all, they’re a physical team. They’re physical in every position and they make it tough for you. Marcus Smart has always been kind of a thorn in our side, because he plays the perimeter, he switches down low and he fights down low. They take away a lot of your catches, which we pretty much expected. But just their physicality – I thought it wore us down. As bad as we were – I shouldn’t say as bad as we were, but we had some rough stretches – it really didn’t get away from us until the end. So we were right there, we just couldn’t make the plays that we had to. But again, it’s their physicality that really took a toll on us.”

RE: On if the rest of the team’s effort was impressive with Kevin Love having an off night:

“Without a doubt. That was one of the things that we talked about at halftime with our group. Kevin had his struggles the first half, but yet we were only down six points coming in at halftime. We felt we were in a good position because we hadn’t played our best. We had not played our best, but we did have guys that were really scrapping and fighting. I thought Nik (Stauskas) gave us a nice lift that first half and Marquese (Chriss) came in and played some really good minutes. JC (Jordan Clarkson) was JC. I thought Collin (Sexton) played a very solid game – he was attacking the rim and he was making the right plays. So our guys were fighting. We were right there, and like I said, it didn’t get away from us until in that fourth quarter. We missed a couple shots and had a couple turnovers, and from a six, eight-point game, it went up quickly to a 12, 14-point game. Against a good team, you’ve got to take care of the basketball. Your shot selections have to be shots that you want. And it was just one of those situations where we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
LARRY NANCE JR.

RE: On tonight’s game:

“It’s another sign of our resiliency. That’s growth. Earlier in the year, that could have snowballed and gotten to 20-30 on our home court. I think it shows some maturity and some growth that we stay in it and fought until the very end. That’s a playoff team and they’re poised for a pretty big run. The fact that we could hang in there, take some of their punches and throw some of our own was impressive.”

RE: On how the Celtics play differently without Kyrie Irving:

“Anytime you’re missing your lead dog, everybody else has to pull more weight. That’s a team that’s dangerous when that happens. Guys like Marcus Smart, Marcus Morris, we saw Jayson Tatum get going in the first half. They have some capable players and they certainly step up when he’s out.”

RE: On if he sees facilitating the offense as an area he can grow this offseason:

“100%. That’s something that I look forward to going into every game. I enjoy getting other people involved. That’s been a fun aspect of my game, getting to work on it this year.”
COLLIN SEXTON

RE: On tonight’s game:

“I think we tied it at (92). I just felt like when we tied it, they scored and energy just left the building a little bit. When it’s like that, we just have to continue to fight back. I know they had some key plays down the stretch and we weren’t capitalizing, we weren’t scoring on the other end, so it was tough.”

RE: On staying in the game with Kevin Love having a slow night:

"We just had to step up. Kevin, he was missing a few shots, but we know next game that he’s going to turn it up a little bit for us. When it’s like that, we just need someone to step up and Larry tonight, he was big for us. He’s a facilitator, he scores, he does it on both ends. When it’s like that, it’s good, it’s really good.”
KEVIN LOVE

RE: On tonight’s game and not being able to get over the hump:

“I thought in the second half, especially that second unit, they came in and fought extremely hard, made big plays for us, got the crowd into it. It was huge. Just a lot of 50/50 balls went their way, they hit some shots down the stretch and really executed. (Marcus) Smart hit a couple crazy ones which is typical of him to do and it was just too little, too late for us.”

RE: On his night tonight:

“I think in the first half, I didn’t give the guys what I should have. I came in at halftime and apologized for it. I thought my effort was a lot better in the second half, but just that first half was a poor effort on my part and something that I have to definitely do better with. I have to be able to bring it every single night for the entire game. I felt that second half, I was doing little things different. I was still missing some shots, but just trying to help us win. Especially against a team like that, it has to be all 48 minutes. That’s on me, but outside of myself, we had a lot of guys step up tonight and play extremely hard, extremely well and put us right there for a chance to win.”
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